After a stunning defeat in the 2016 Presidential Election and a successful start of the Trump presidency, members of the Democratic Party have been forced to ask themselves if it could possibly get any worse. The answer is yes – much worse. Since January 20, the Trump administration has seen over a million jobs created, the lowest unemployment in over 16 years, Justice Neil Gorsuch appointed to the Supreme Court, removal of hundreds of Obama-era regulations, highest stock market numbers in American history, a 76 percent drop in illegal immigration, destruction of the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), withdrawal from the Paris Accord, NAFTA renegotiation, and a rollback of DACA – to name a few.
The Democratic Party is in a seriously dangerous position. After eight long years of a failed Obama administration, the Democrats have lost the following since Obama was inaugurated in January 2009:
– 13 Governors
– 63 U.S. House Members
– 9 U.S. Senators
– 737 State Representatives
– 233 State Senators
After dethroning over 1,000 Democrats from their government offices, Republicans now control the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of federal government as well as the majority of state legislative chambers and governorships. As of August 2017, the party breakdown has shifted to a Republican majority in nearly every measure of government control.
In August, former Democratic Governor Jim Justice of West Virginia switched parties and became a Republican. He is a friend of President Trump, and his decision to switch makes sense as West Virginia voted overwhelmingly Republican in 2016 – 69 percent to 27 percent.
Republicans have also gone undefeated in each of the four contested congressional special elections in 2017, adding to their 55 percent majority in Congress. With President Trump’s appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Republicans also enjoy a five-four majority on the highest court in the land. It is also likely that the Supreme Court could see four new members before the 2020 Presidential election, which could further increase Republican’s control of the Supreme Court to a seven-two strong conservative majority if justices Kennedy (effectively a moderate conservative), Breyer, and Ginsberg retire. In the interests of fiscal and social Republicans alike, a conservative majority of this magnitude would shape American politics lasting decades far beyond the Trump presidency.
It’s not all good news for Republicans, though – at least not yet. Since Donald Trump’s election win, the Democrats have adopted a new campaign strategy: “resist.” Instead of embracing actual policy ideas or creating alternative solutions to President Trump’s agenda, the vast majority of the Democratic Party (and much of the establishment GOP) have decided to stand against everything Donald Trump does, thinks, says, believes, or proposes.
Most of the success produced by the “resist” strategy has happened on the Senate floor. The Republicans currently have a narrow 52-48 majority in the Senate, with many Republican Senators frequently voting against the President’s position. Perhaps the most notable accomplishment of the “resist” movement happened when the “skinny repeal of Obamacare” bill died in the Senate in a 49-51 Republican failure made possible by senators McCain, Murkowski, and Collins.
One of Donald Trump’s most popular campaign promises was to “drain the swamp.” Americans need to realize that this will take some time.
Barack Obama had eight years to grow and empower the Washington swamp, and it will take a few election cycles for Americans to fully replace the unwanted Democrats and RINO’s (Republican In Name Only) in Congress. Luckily, this starts next year – on November 6, 2018.
Election Day 2018
Next year, the Republican Party will greatly benefit from one of the most favorable Senate election maps in US history. Of the 100 members currently serving in the Senate, a third of them (33) are up for reelection in 2018. The good news for Republicans is that 25 of these 33 Senators facing a reelection contest in 2018 are Democrats, which is equivalent to one quarter of the current Senate.
The best news for the GOP, however, is that 10 of these Democrats come from states that Donald Trump won in the 2016 Presidential Election: West Virginia, North Dakota, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
If you include Maine’s 2nd District, there are 11 Democratic Senators that face a reelection race in states where Donald Trump won electoral votes.
There are only eight Republicans up for reelection in 2018 with Nevada’s Dean Heller being the only Republican Senator facing a reelection race in a state that Hillary Clinton won in 2016. Even this race will be close, though, as she won Nevada by only about two percentage points.
Currently, there are 20 states in which both Senators are Republican (red), 18 states where both Senators are Democratic (blue), and 12 states that have one Republican and one Democrat (purple). If each state votes how they did last November, the Republican Party will control 61 seats in the Senate. This would result in 29 states in which both Senators are Republican, 18 states where both Senators are Democratic, and only 3 states that have one Republican and one Democrat. A Senate map featuring just three states with split Senate control would accurately reflect the partisan division that is evident in American politics today.
Assuming each state votes how they did in 2016, there is a small chance that Republicans could control two-thirds of the Senate next year (66 seats) if they can pull off victories in Nevada, Minnesota, Maine, Virginia, and New Mexico.
In any regard, Republicans are well on their way to obtaining a filibuster-proof supermajority in the United States Senate. They only need to pick up eight seats to do this and their odds are favorable. If Republicans are able to hold onto their majority in the House, Donald Trump’s agenda will have virtually no problem passing through Congress and becoming law. Despite what you hear in the mainstream media, the Trump movement is gaining momentum, and the Democrats know it. The year 2018 will be another interesting year in American politics and will ultimately determine the fate and everlasting legacy of the Trump Presidency.