Without help from the economy going south, or a major mess-up by Republicans on health care, it seems unlikely that Dems can win House majority in 2018 midterms.
Kyle Kondik, managing editor at Sabato’s Crystal Ball, today published Crystal Ball’s initial assessment of next year’s Congressional midterm elections. To no one’s surprise given the number of seats (few) that Republicans must defend against the number of seats (many) the Democrats must defend, the analysts at Crystal Ball expect Republicans to retain a House majority.
Of special interest to California conservatives and Republicans (not the same), Crystal Ball rates Darrel Issa’s seat in the 49th Congressional District as a toss-up. Steve Knight in the 25th Congressional District is rated as “Leans Republican” rather than likely. If you are conservative or Republican, you could do worse than lending support to these two candidates.
As a California conservative, I was briefly cheered to see Ami Bera’s 7th Congressional District rated as merely “Leans Democratic.”
How Democrats could win
If President Trump and Congressional Republicans (who are not necessarily his allies) manage to turn public sentiment against them, then Democrats might be able to eke out enough victories in “Likely Republican districts” to take back the House.
This initial analysis stresses that a neutral or positive public perception of Trump and Congressional Republicans will likely mean that the House stays in Republican hands.
So Trump and Republican Congress members need to really screw up in order to hand the house back to the Democrats.
It’s the economy, stupid — and health care, too
Kondik mentions particularly if the economy sours and whatever is eventually done (or left undone) regarding health care.
Our current recovery following the Great Recession is long in the tooth. We are due for another “correction” as the economists call it. Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen announced a mild interest rate hike, then reassured everybody that the Fed will remain “accommodative” for some time. President Trump is pressing ahead on easing regulatory red tape and cutting back the federal budget, although proposed cuts in, for instance, the EPA and the Department of Agriculture may be more than offset by increases in defense spending. We’ll see.
Meantime, the Republican health care plan passed out of the House Budget Committee and now goes to the House Rules Committee. The plan withstood much misleading commentary regarding the scoring it received from the Congressional Budget Office. That scoring noted that while costs would go down, 24 million people would lose coverage. That “24 million” is based on a prior CBO report that rosily predicted the number of people insured under Obamacare. That rosy number was never reached. So a big chunk of those 24 million were never covered to begin with.
Not that Democrats will admit that. Nor are they likely to admit other drawbacks to current health insurance, including ruinous co-pays for those who are insured under the “Affordable” Care Act.