The 2016 primaries and election so far has rattled the GOP, leaving many to wonder if the political party can hold their majority in the House and Senate. GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s numbers aren’t helping:
But, as Trump’s numbers — nationally and in key swing states — continue to tank, a creeping fear has taken root within the Republican establishment that maybe, just maybe, a landslide loss at the top of the ticket could cost the party not only the upper chamber of Congress but the lower one, too.
Overall, though, the consensus is the GOP will not lose their majority mainly because the presidential election obviously takes precedent this November. Also, the Democrats need to win 30 seats to win the majority in the House. But there are some districts that could fall to the Democrats. From The Washington Post:
The Cook Political Report lists 45 Republican seats and 11 Democratic ones as potentially competitive in November. Let’s focus in on those 45 Republican seats.
Of the 45, 40 remain largely intact from the 2011 national redistricting process. (Florida engaged in a mid-decade redraw.) For those 40 seats, we can overlay the Cook Report’s Partisan Voting Index (PVI) in an attempt to compare apples to apples. (The PVI ranks every district against every other district based on presidential performance.) Of the 40 GOP-held districts, 36 have a PVI of R+5 or lower, meaning that they are five points (or less) more Republican at the presidential level than all of the other districts in the country.
If Republicans lost all 36 of those seats with a PVI of R +5 or lower — and Democrats held all 11 of their contested seats — Democrats have the House majority. By six seats. Twenty-seven of those 40 seats have a PVI of R+3 or lower. Win those 27 and Democrats need to pick up only three seats among the slightly more Republican-friendly districts to win the majority.
But analyst David Wasserman told The New York Times that he has seen people differentiate their House candidates from Trump:
“Trump is such a unique candidate,” Mr. Wasserman said of the billionaire, who has feuded with the news media and political adversaries from both parties.
Citing the last two elections in which voters flipped party control of the House, he added, “We don’t really see the groundswell of support we saw in 2006 or 2010.”
But the Senate may cause trouble for the GOP since they will lose their majority with only three seats:
In two states where Mr. Trump trails badly, recent surveys have shown the incumbents, Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, trailing their Democratic challengers. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll last week, showing Mrs. Clinton ahead by nine percentage points in North Carolina, found Richard M. Burr, who is seeking a third term in the Senate, virtually tied with his Democratic opponent.
Confidence that Republicans can limit House losses to 20 seats or fewer and retain control of that power center rests on Mr. Trump’s position stabilizing. He currently trails by seven percentage points in The New York Times average of national polls.
Cook Political said they see Clinton beating Trump in November, but “the size of the margin is still in the air.” Charlie Cook wrote:
At the mid-point of August, Hillary Clinton has 21 states plus the District of Columbia and three of Maine’s four electoral votes that are Solidly, Likely or Leaning in Democratic for a total of 272 electoral votes, two more than the 270 electoral votes needed to win. Donald Trump has 22 states plus four of Nebraska’s five votes Solidly, Likely or Leaning in his direction for a total of 190 electoral votes – 80 short of victory. In the Toss Up column are five states plus both Maine and Nebraska’s second congressional districts totaling 76 electoral votes.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.