That’s a great question and I’m going to write a lengthy article about it after the primaries are over. Here’s the quick summary:
I care more out outcomes than I do about party success. I believe the chasm we’re about to fall into as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security explode is going to re-write every rule we have about budgets and upset delicate balances that have dominated both party’s agendas since WWII. The outcome I want is to stop the growth in the size of government (if possible) and have a rational plan to deal with the explosion of costs that are going to start hammering the budget in the 2020s.
Democrats will always vote to increase spending. So when the Democrats control the House and the Presidency, spending will go up.
Democrats will always cut deals with the President that result in spending increases. Not even Reagan was able to stop it. So if there’s a Democratic House, spending goes up regardless of who is in the White House.
Presidents always want to increase spending — that’s how they make a legacy. So if there’s a Republican President and a Republican House, deals will get done in the name of advancing party agendas OTHER than controlling expenses. Spending will go up.
However, if there’s a Republican House and a Democratic President, the result is gridlock or maybe even cuts. The only two times in my life when the government has ceased its inexorable growth were when the ’94 Republicans took the House and when the ’10 Republicans took the House, both times with Democrats in the Presidency. The Republican House gets electoral rewards for blocking Democratic Presidential initiatives so there’s a meaningful benefit to the House going to gridlock when it’s a Democrat asking for new spending that they cannot get when it’s a Republican.
The history of Republican Presidents and spending is terrible. Nixon, Ford, Reagan, HW Bush and W Bush ALL went along with (and in some cases actually asked for) increased spending. I cannot be convinced that ANY Republican President will willing and able to actually reduce the size of government. The pressure to take action, rather than stop taking action is simply too great.