GOP Midterms: Major Victory or Tragic Loss?
With $121 million in its coffers and zero debt, the Republican Party is celebrating a record year in terms of fundraising.
This is a clear sign the party is doing well ahead of next year’s midterm elections when 33 of 100 Senate seats and all 435 House seats will be up for grabs.
“As President Trump follows through on his campaign promises, our grass-roots support continues to grow across America,” says RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel. One of those promises came true last week, when GOP lawmakers passed the biggest tax overhaul in decades. The bill passed with no support from Democrats.
“Unfortunately, the Democrats don’t like to see tax cutting,” said Trump. “ They like to see tax increases. And they like to complain. But they don’t get it done, unfortunately. But they complain a lot.
Many red-state Democrats are struggling to explain why they didn’t vote for the tax bill, insisting it was skewed in favor of corporations or did not reflect Trump’s initial goals for tax reform
“The bill produced by Senator Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan was the complete opposite of what the president and I had discussed,” argues Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly (D).
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is $2.6 million in debt, and has managed to accrue just $60.7 this year – the worst showing in a decade.
Despite a lack of money, Democrats and Progressives are confident they will be able to win enough seats in 2018 to change the balance of Congress.
As reported by Politico, McConnell has expressed concerns that Republicans could lose both the Senate and the House next year. This could be gossip, or it could be McConnell’s way of trying to fire people up for the elections.
House Speaker Paul Ryan has also expressed fears that GOP lawmakers in swing states could retire, paving the way for Democratic victories.
A recent poll from Politico/Morning Consult, conducted before Congress passed the GOP tax bill, suggests that Democrats have a double-digit lead over Republicans.
Both parties seem to be equally excited about the elections. “Our polling indicates voter enthusiasm for next year’s midterms is high across party lines,” says Morning Consult co-founder Kyle Dropp. “Notably, 64% of Republicans and 59% of Democrats say they are very motivated to vote in next year’s elections.”
The last time Democrats enjoyed a double-digit advantage was before the 2008 election when they picked up 21 House seats and 8 Senate seats.
“History suggests that one party loses and one party wins,” said a GOP operative, suggesting Trump’s win in the White House could lead to Democratic wins in Congress. “The climate is worse today than it was in December 2009, like way worse.”
The midterm elections are more than 10 months away, however, and a lot could happen during that time.
“A lot’s going to change with the tax bill and its impact on the economy and people’s take-home pay by next November,” says GOP consultant Charlie Black.
Another thing that could sway voters is the culmination of the Russia probe, which is currently being led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
According to nonprofit activist group Public Citizen, at least 100,000 people are poised to protest if Trump “attempts to fire special counsel Robert Mueller or block his criminal investigation into the Trump campaign and administration.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has criticized the Democrats’ obsession with the Russia probe as “evidence that the Democrats have no plan, they have no agenda, they have nothing to talk about other than attacking this president.”
“Hopefully some of the Democrats will make some New Year’s resolutions to come back and talk about working with this president to help Americans instead of working to attack this president.”
Editor’s note: This is obviously premature, to try to predict the midterm races. But the loss of Roy Moore should be a wake up call to Republicans that we should get to work right now.