Trump could cost the GOP the House?

Unlikely — but expect a Republican wave in 2018 if it happens

The GOP has a majority in the House because (1) GOP voters are in rural areas (2) redistricting.

The majority the Republicans won after the “political market” corrected itself in 2010 seemed to be a guarantee until there was redistricting after a new census in 2020.

However, it is possible that Trump could be so unlikable that the GOP could lose the House despite the natural advantage. The assumption that GOP holds the majority is based on the idea that an R presidential candidate gets 47% nationally. Trump may not get there. Additionally, Trump may do worse with Republicans (especially Republican woman) in the suburbs than even McCain or Romney. Finally, Hispanics are going to turn out in droves to oppose Trump in many of these swing districts.

“Democrats already had reasonable odds of flipping a dozen or so House seats. But DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján recently started highlighting “reach” districts, like those of Rep. John Mica in Florida and Rep. Steve Knight in California, that broaden Democrats’ target list enough to take back the chamber — if local candidates can take advantage of the sudden opportunity. Strategists are now turning their attention to moderate suburbs around Detroit, Minneapolis, Washington and other areas where House Democrats have struggled in recent years but Trump has already shown weakness.”

The overly optimistic scenario here is unlikely. After all, consider the fact that TPP vote may have cost Bera his seat. Picking up Knight’s seat in CA-25 seems to be a fantasy, even with the Trumpmare scenario. Dragging out Lofgren to lecture SoCal grassroots on why they shouldn’t be supporting Vince but instead should be backing Cafario isn’t helping. No one in LA knows who Lofgren is and, more importantly, no one likes to listen to a lecture from people who have been getting blown out while still asking for money.


Overall, I think shrinking the majority to 15–18 seats seems do-able, but an outright win seems unlikely. Even if this occurs, the assumption that the trend will persist in 2018 is flawed. If anything, I’d expect 2018 to be a Republican House wave if 2016 goes better than expected for House Democrats. There will be a bunch of weak Democrats in swing districts with Republican challengers no longer hamstrung by Trump and the conservative base will likely be back to their senses after they see that their Trump tantrum got them nowhere.

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