The House of Representatives have passed a resolution of disapproval on the National Emergency declaration that President Trump issued February 15. The vote sends the measure to the Senate where it’s fate remains unclear. Radio America’s Christian Whittle reports.
House of Representatives
For the first time in the 2018 political season, one of the nation’s leading political forecasters is predicting Democrats will take control of the House of Representatives following the midterm elections.
On Tuesday, Sabato’s Crystal Ball, led by University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato, moved 17 House races more favorable to Democrats. The report also shows 33 of 36 seats labeled as toss-ups are currently held by Republicans. Seven other GOP-held seats are considered even more imperiled.
In contrast, only two seats held by Democrats are considered toss-ups, as is one member vs. member race in Pennsylvania. One seat held by Democrats is likely to flip to the GOP. Democrats need a net gain of 23 House seats to reclaim the majority.
Sabato’s Crystal Ball Managing Editor Kyle Kondik says the enthusiasm in midterm election years is almost always against the party of the president. And with President Trump serving as a lightning rod for the left, the passion among Democrats is even higher.
“The Republicans had this advantage in 2010 and 2014 and now the Democrats generally do in terms of asking people how enthusiastic they are to vote,” said Kondik. “For voters, anger can be a great motivator and the angrier party, I think right now, is the Democrats.”
Even though Trump is not on the ballot, Democrats are looking for any chance to express their disapproval. Kondik says last year’s Virginia governor’s race proved Democrats cared much more about hurting Trump than supporting Democrats on the ballot.
“Reporters were asking voters about Ralph Northam, the eventual Democratic winner and of course now the governor. They didn’t seem to know a whole lot about him, but they did seem to know they were casting a vote against President Trump. I think that’s what you might see in November,” said Kondik.
Republicans are also running against history. Kondik says American history shows midterm elections are almost always good for the party out of power.
“Going back to the Civil War, there have been 39 midterms. The president’s party has lost ground in the House in 36 of those, and the average seat loss is 33 seats. The Democrats need to net 23 seats. So it would not be historically odd for Democrats to win the House,” said Kondik.
But despite those built-in advantages for Democrats, Kondik says no one should count the Republicans out.
“I don’t think it’s a slam dunk for the Democrats by any means. It’s also quite possible the race for the House could come down to a few seats here or there,” said Kondik, indicating Democrats could make major gains but still wind up in the minority.
Kondik expects Republicans to try matching the intensity of Democrats by firing up their own base. Part of that may be based on issues like immigration, on which some Democrats have advocated abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
However, just like Democrats plan to demonize Trump, he suspects Republicans will rally their voters over fears of who would be running the House of Representatives if Democrats take control.
“They’re also raising the specter of Nancy Pelosi being the House Speaker again. Many Democratic candidates have actually disavowed Pelosi but Republicans still see her as a very useful foil,” said Kondik.
Gauging 435 House races is a bit tricky since polling can be scarce in a lot of contests. Many seats are considered safe for one party and the battle lines are drawn over a few dozen swing districts.
“The national party committees are doing polling here and there but even they don’t have perfect knowledge about these districts. A lot of [predicting races] is based on the history of the district, our sort of subjective view of the quality of the candidates, past performance, and demographics. You just try to do the best you can,” said Kondik.
“As we’ve seen in the past, even polls on the statewide level are not always correct and so there’s a significant amount of projection and guesswork that goes into it,” he added.
Sabato’s Crystal Ball will revise its projections on House, Senate, and governor’s races before locking in predictions just before Election Day, Nov. 6.
Listen to “Holding House Looks Tough, Blankenship Returns, Dems Line up for 2020” on Spreaker.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America recoil as political prognosticator Larry Sabato predicts Democrats will win the House in the midterm elections and shows that 33 of 36 toss-up seats are held by Republicans. They also shudder as Don Blankenship files papers to run as a third party candidate in the West Virginia Senate race. And they get ready for a very crowded 2020 Democratic presidential primary as former Attorney General Eric Holder and Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan seriously explore White House bids.
Listen to “Nevada Attack Ad, Senate Stalled, Palin Says Comedian Mocked Vets” on Spreaker.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America get a laugh out of Nevada Sen. Dean Heller’s attack ad, in which he exposes Democratic Senate challenger Jacky Rosen for lying about owning a business that never existed. They also call for Senate Republicans to act on hundreds of bills that the House of Representatives has passed but lie dormant in the upper chamber. And they think it’s time for a widespread rebuke of Sacha Baron Cohen’s comedy show where he impersonates a disabled veteran.
After discussing an eventful trip to the DMV, Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are happy to see experts shifting projections towards Republicans in four key House races, with Jim noting that real nominees often fail to poll as well as generic ones. Jim also rips President Trump for reportedly using cell phones that staffers fear could leave Trump – and classified information – vulnerable to hacking or espionage. And they blast Obama Education Secretary Arne Duncan for urging parents across the country to stop sending their kids to school until Congress passes gun control legislation.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America cheer up a bit following Jim’s exhaustive study of all the House seats held by retiring Republicans, a report which concludes the vast majority of those seats are likely not in danger of flipping to Democrats. They also wonder what President Trump would possibly have to gain by talking with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who seems plenty eager to pounce on process crimes as much or more than crimes directly related to the purpose of his investigation. They have some fun with the news that former Secretary of State John Kerry told a Palestinian official that he is “seriously considering” a 2020 presidential run. And they get a kick out of reports that the ill-fated XFL appears to be making a comeback in a couple of years.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America enjoy seeing Democrats get accused of caving in the shutdown standoff and seeing the avalanche of leftist criticism aimed at Chuck Schumer. They also shake their heads as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rules that the current congressional map is unconstitutional gerrymandering and a new map must be drawn, likely costing the Republicans at least two seats. And they’re disgusted as North Korea keeps finding ways to turn the Winter Olympics in South Korea into an opportunity to glorify its own communist dictatorship, and media figures like NBC’s Lester Holt seem only too happy to help.
David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America cheer House Republicans for listening to the backlash and reinstating the adoption tax credit into their tax reform bill. They also discuss the allegations of sexual misconduct reported by the Washington Post about GOP Alabama U.S. Senate nominee Roy Moore, and while debate over the veracity of the accusations continues, they are appalled at the number of Republican officials in Alabama who don’t see a problem even if the stories are true. And they groan as Bowe Bergdahl may end up getting hundreds of thousands of dollars in back pay from his time in captivity after deserting his unit and misbehaving before the enemy.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Rich McFadden of Radio America discuss the Capitol Police response to the shooting early Wednesday morning in Alexandria, VA where House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and others were injured during their practice for the 2017 Congressional Baseball Game. They also speculate about the possible motive of the 66-year old shooter from Illinois based on reports of his incendiary political views found on his social media account. And they react to the polarized responses on social media that are erupting across the political spectrum following the attack.