Thursday, November 8, 2018

Republicans On Track to Lose 35 U.S. House Seats, Worst GOP Mid-Term Election Result Since Watergate

No doubt President Trump and his delusional band of supporters woke up Wednesday morning thinking the President had "won" his first mid-term.  Certainly the GOP picking up as many as 3 seats in the U.S. Senate is something for Republicans to celebrate.  And Trump especially deserves credit for apparent GOP Senate and Governor wins (the races may be subject to a recount) in Florida, the only remaining swing state where Trump remains popular.

But back in the real world, the GOP in 2018 had an extremely favorable Senate map.  The Republican
Party should have been expected to oust Democrats in the several ruby red states that the party did win.  Notably GOP Senate challengers lost two heavily Republicans states - Montana and West Virginia - where Trumpism triumphed in 2016 but failed two years later.

In the U.S. House, Republicans, at last count, have lost 30 seats to the Democrats.  Twelve more congressional districts are still out.  Republicans are projected to lose as many as 35 seats when the counting is all done.  That would top the 32 seats lost by Republicans in President George W. Bush's second midterm in 2006.  In 1974, in the aftermath of Watergate, the Republicans lost 48 seats.

In state legislatures, the Democrats on Tuesday won over 300 Republican-held seats.  (During President Obama's eight year tenure, over 1,000 state legislative seats switched from Democrat to Republican control.  Trump is well on the way of matching that should he be elected to two terms.) Democrats claim the party has taken control of the Colorado Senate, the New York Senate, the Maine Senate, the Minnesota House and both legislative chambers in New Hampshire. The Democrats now have a majority of State Attorneys General.  The Democrats wrested control of the Governor's office from Republicans in Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico and Wisconsin.  While the Democratic gubernatorial candidates polled ahead, albeit slightly, in Ohio, Florida and Georgia, losses in those races did not offset the very good night the Democrats had in other governor races.

Several of my fellow Republicans have been sounding the alarm about the long term damage Trump is doing to the Republican Party, i.e. that he is narrowing the GOP's appeal as he drives young people, women, college graduates, and minorities away from the Party of Lincoln.   That will only get worse as shifting demographics continue to deemphasize the Trump's political base, i.e. less educated white voters.  Certainly the 2018 election results proved our fears about what Trump is doing to the GOP is real.  Will the Trumpers finally wake up to that reality?  I am going out a limb (not) and say "no."

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