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Rocking the House
Author: BobR    Date: 04/12/2018 12:54:46

The announcement yesterday that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) is not running for re-election has fueled speculation and fears about future control of the House. Ryan's most likely successors are Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Steve Scalise (R-LA), which is not necessarily an improvement (unless they are inclined to stand up to tRump).

His purported reasons for leaving the public sector is to "spend more time with his family", which is about the most cliché a reason there is. There are other potential reasons: He doesn't want to lose the election and go out a loser, he's worried that he'll get swept up in the Mueller investigation, he's having trouble getting donations for a re-election campaign, or he doesn't want to be in Congress if the Republicans lose control of it.

How likely is that last possibility, really? Actually - it seems within grasp.

The House currently has 193 Democrats. The magic number is 218 to take (or maintain) control of the gavel. That means Democrats would need to keep all 193 seats, and take another 25 to get control. We've been hearing a lot about how many Republicans are not seeking re-election. That doesn't necessarily mean the seat can easily be taken, especially with deep conservative districts in gerrymandered states. But let's just look at the raw numbers:

Reason for LeavingDemocrat   Republican
Not seeking re-election   1025
Running for Senate37
Running for Governor45
Left/Leaving Early25

Doing the math, that's 23 more Republican incumbents. Some of those Republicans are well known, and would be considered difficult to beat. Running against an incumbent is much more difficult than running against another person who is on the same level. This is giving the Democrats a distinct advantage.

There is also the "tRump effect" and the Blue Wave. The surprising victories of Democrats in VA, as well as a Democrat winning a Senate seat in AL is setting the stage for an interesting election in November. Voters who support Democrats over Republicans are energized and motivated (the tRump effect) and after seeing the results in the off-year elections last year are likely to flex their muscles this fall.

Website FiveThirtyEight.com (which failed us miserably in 2016) is predicting a stronger turnout for Dems than Reps, by a difference of about 7 points, based on numerous polls. The polls themselves vary from 3% to 10%. Of course, the key is where those voters reside, and how motivated Republican voters are this fall. That is certainly hard to gauge.

For Republicans in the House, what they are still trying to determines iw whether impeaching tRump would help or hurt them in the fall (with their voters), and whether they are more likely to accomplish what they want with tRump or Pence. There are no easy answers for them, and just the fact that they haven't done anything yet shows just how much they favor partisan power-seeking over the health and well-being of our country.

Let's hope the voters see it too. Fingers crossed.

17 comments (Latest Comment: 04/12/2018 19:43:59 by TriSec)
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