Axios: 'Probable' GOP Will Lose the House

Posted: Jan 15, 2018 9:05 AM

Axios’s Mike Allen is out with a dire prediction for Republicans: the GOP’s chances of keeping the House in 2018 are extraordinarily slim. Worse yet, the repercussions of a Democratic takeover could be devastating, not just for the Republicans’ legislative agenda, but for President Trump himself.

According to “Hill sources,” a “House Democratic takeover is now likely,” Allen writes, noting that he is already hearing an upwards of 40 losses. Given that presidents’ parties have historically lost an average of 32 seats in the first midterm, chances the GOP keeps the House are slim. Democrats, after all, would only need to flip 24 seats, he added.

Consider the following, Allen says:

  • Eight House GOP chairs have retired: You don’t climb to the top of power in Congress and leave unless you feel confident your reign will soon end. (Another factor: Chairmanships are term-limited from a Gingrich-era reform.)
  • Record retirements for GOP: Already, 29 GOP seats are open, a pace far exceeding the past two elections that saw power change hands. 
  • Democrats outperformed their norms in turnout, and in total votes, in all seven 2017 elections. This is a clear indicator of energy. 
  • Record number of Democratic women voting and considering running for office. This, more than anything, is a reaction to Trump and the #MeToo movement. 
  • In polls, voters prefer Democrats for Congress by a 10-point margin. There is no way to spin this: +10 is terrible in a 50/50 nation.

This could be more significant for Republicans than just failing to pass items on their legislative agenda, he argues. “With a Democratic House, Trump faces not only a high risk of impeachment proceedings, but hostile chairs with subpoena power who can tie up the administration with hearings and document requests,” Allen warns.