Democrats Take The House Republicans Hold The Senate A Look At The Most Likely Outcomes Of The Next Congress
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, right, and Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer celebrate Tuesdays election result, which puts Pelosi in line to return to the speakership.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez addresses the crowd gathered at La Boom nightclub in Queens, N.Y., after she became the youngest woman elected to Congress.
Supporters of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez celebrate her victory.
Sen. Ted Cruz addresses his supporters as he declares victory at his election night headquarters in Houston.
U.S. Senate candidate Beto ORourke and his wife, Amy Sanders, take the stage as he concedes.
Sen. Joe Manchin III celebrates his reelection.
People react to Tuesdays election results during a Democratic election watch party in Washington.
Grace Scherrer, 86, is excited to cast her ballot as the polls open at the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel in Brentwood.
Maude, a 2-year-old English bulldog, waits as Danny Carinci votes at the Hermosa Beach Lifeguards headquarters.
Musicians Julie Mintz, left, Mindy Jones and Moby entertain the crowd during a campaign rally at Katie Porters campaign headquarters Tuesday in Tustin, Calif.
Rep. Adam Schiff and candidate Katie Porter greet the crowd during a rally at her campaign headquarters Tuesday in Tustin, Calif.
Rachel Mesa, 29, holds her son Madison Mesa, 1, as she votes at a polling site Tuesday in Stevenson Ranch, Calif.
Voters fill the booths Tuesday at Los Angeles County Fire Station No. 124 in Stevenson Ranch, Calif.
Republicans Keep The House; Democrats To Retain Senate
Democrat Elizabeth Warren takes the stage after defeating incumbent GOP Sen. Scott Brown in the Massachusetts Senate race on Tuesday. Michael Dwyer/APhide caption
Democrat Elizabeth Warren takes the stage after defeating incumbent GOP Sen. Scott Brown in the Massachusetts Senate race on Tuesday.
Republicans have easily maintained their hold on the House, while missteps from Tea Party favorites helped Democrats retain a majority in the Senate.
That means the two chambers of Congress remain deeply divided, with prospects for agreement on such big-ticket items as deficits, tax rates and climate change unclear.
In the House, Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, gloried in his party’s victory and laid down a marker. Saying he stands “willing to work” with his partners, Boehner added, “with this vote, the American people have also made clear there’s no mandate for raising tax rates.”
For his part, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said, “The strategy of obstruction, gridlock and delay was soundly rejected by the American people. Now, they are looking for solutions.”
‘miserable And Emboldened’: If Republicans Lose The House They’ll Be On Defense
House GOP leaders are expecting to oversee a more conservative conference next year, with many of their losses coming in seats held by centrists. That tilt to the right is likely to mean even more pressure by top leaders for members to stick together to vote on legislation that is closely aligned to Trump and his agenda.
Senate races in mostly red states benefited from Trump focus
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky talks to reporters after the Senate voted to confirm Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh on Oct. 6.hide caption
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky talks to reporters after the Senate voted to confirm Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh on Oct. 6.
Senate Democrats had faced a steep challenge as they fought to keep seats in states Trump won by double-digit margins in the worst battlefield for any party in modern history.
Just six Republicans were up for re-election; all but one of them ran in safely Republican states.
Democrats landed on a plan to allow each vulnerable Democrat to run an independent campaign without a unified platform. For example, Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota could stump on protecting farmers while Joe Manchin in West Virginia promised new health protections for coal miners.
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Election Senate Odds: Will Republicans Regain Upper Chamber
Democrats are narrowly in control of the U.S. Congress, but Republicans are licking their chops for next years midterm races because, over the last 30 years, the party out of presidential power has usually made substantial gains in midterm elections during a presidents first term, with the most substantial occurring in 1994 and 2010.
Given Democrats extremely slim margins of control, the prediction that the Democrats will lose at least one, if not both, chambers of Congress can be supported by historic precedents.
However, changes in the Senate have been less consistent than in the House. And given next years election trajectory in Congress upper chamber, the likelihood of a Republican takeover there deserves a second look.
Can Democrats hold their 50-50 majority in the Senate?
First, lets take a look at the collective odds for Congress.2022 Election Congress odds
Republicans only need a net gain of one seat to capture the Senate, but Democrats are well-positioned to make gains because the GOP will be defending more seats. Moreover, several seats are being vacated by Republicans in swing states where Democrats have experienced some electoral success over the past 5 years.
With the polarizing nature of the current American political landscape, neither oddsmakers nor bettors believe theres much of a chance that control of Congress will be split following the 2022 midterm elections but thats the most likely scenario at this point .
Democrats Can Keep The House In 2022 Really
Next year, promises to be tough but House Democrats can beat the usual trends of losing enough seats to hand the majority to the Republicans.
Last week, the Washington Posts Karen Tumulty asked House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer how he is feeling about the 2022 midterm election. After all, the presidents party almost always loses at least a few House seats and usually many more. Yet Hoyer insisted he is optimistic. He argued there are a couple of exceptions to the midterm rule, in particular, when the country was facing deep economic downturns. He also noted that Donald Trump wont be on the ballot and the Republican Party is deeply divided, which could dampen Republican base turnout.
Meanwhile, analysts have pointed out that Republicans are poised for a takeover of the House. As CQ Roll Calls Nathan Gonzales put it, Republicans should disband if they dont win back the House in 2022 because Democrats have their narrowest majority in more than a generation, and Republicans have redistricting and history on their side in the midterm elections.
But Hoyers optimism should not be treated as delusional or dishonest. History does show Democrats have a path forward.
Where hope lies for Democrats is in the exceptions to the midterm rule. However, Hoyers specific analysis is well off the mark; deep economic downturns are not good for the presidents party!
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Rising Violent Crime Is Likely To Present A Political Challenge For Democrats In 2022
But there are roadblocks to fully enacting Democrats’ agenda. Their thin majorities in both chambers of Congress mean nearly all Democrats have to get on board with every agenda item in order to push through major legislative priorities. And without adjusting or eliminating the legislative filibuster in the Senate, Democrats need 10 Republicans to join them for various legislation a near-impossible task.
Trump Sticks To Trump Country As He Pushes For Gop Wins In The Midterms
Trump personally played a significant role in tight Senate contests in the closing weeks of the election cycle. He traveled to Indiana, Florida, Montana, Nevada, Missouri and Mississippi and in some cases landed in dramatic fashion aboard Air Force One to crowds of supporters enthusiastically cheering his red-meat speeches focused mostly on immigration and warnings about what Democratic control meant for his agenda.
His visits included overt reminders to his base supporters that they weren’t just voting for any Republican on the ballot they were voting for senators promising to back his priorities.
“They want to raise your taxes, the Democrats do, restore crippling regulations, shut down your new steel mills, take away your health care, and put illegal aliens before American citizens,” Trump said in a closing rally in Indiana on Monday. “If you want more caravans, if you want more crime, vote Democrat tomorrow.”
A year of big money and big controversy
Democrats benefited from a flood of donations to official party organizations and outside groups working on their side. Democratic candidates and their outside supporters are expected to spend more than $2.5 billion on this year’s election, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Republican candidates and their backers are on track to spend $2.2 billion.
Fundraising in 2018 far outpaced what is normal for a miderm election.
NPR’s Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report
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The House of Representatives voted to pass legislation on Tuesday to prevent a government shutdown at the end of the month and suspend the nation’s borrowing limit, setting up a showdown with Republicans who insist Democrats should act alone to stave off a looming debt crisis. The party line vote was 220-211.
Gop Women Made Big Gains
While the majority of the Republican caucus will still be men come 2021, there will be far more Republican women in Congress than there were this year. So far, it looks like at least 26 GOP women will be in the House next year, surpassing the record of 25 from the 109th Congress. Thats thanks in part to the record number of non-incumbent Republican women 15 whove won House contests. And its also because of how well Republican women did in tight races. The table below shows the Republican women who ran in Democratic-held House districts that were at least potentially competitive,1 according to FiveThirtyEights forecast. As of this writing, seven of them have won.
GOP women have flipped several Democratic seats
Republican women running for potentially competitive Democratic-held House seats and the status of their race as of 4:30 p.m Eastern on Nov. 11
Results are unofficial. Races are counted as projected only if the projection comes from ABC News. Excludes races in which the Republican candidate has either a less than 1 in 100 chance or greater than 99 in 100 chance of winning.
Election : The Votes Are In Now Comes The Wait
After a smooth and largely uneventful Election Day, Americans are now waiting for results in key states. Both major-party presidential candidates addressed supporters overnight and foreshadowed a wait and, potentially, a fight.
The Senate outcome rested on a handful of states where Democrats still hoped to topple incumbent Republicans, but their pickup opportunities were dwindling fast on an unusually large battleground that stretched from Maine to Alaska and could tilt with the presidential results. At stake was the ability of the next president to fill his cabinet, appoint judges and pursue his agenda, and the two parties had waged a pitched battle to the end, pummeling voters with advertising backed by record sums of money, totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.
Republicans scored crucial wins in Iowa, Alabama and Montana, and were running stronger than expected in North Carolina and Maine, where the results were still too close to call early Wednesday morning.
Democrats needed a net gain of three or four seats to take Senate control, depending on whether former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic nominee, won the presidency, which would allow his vice president, Kamala Harris, to cast tiebreaking votes.
They flipped seats in Colorado, where John Hickenlooper, the former Democratic governor, easily defeated Senator Cory Gardner, and in Arizona, where Mark Kelly, a former astronaut, beat Senator Martha McSally.
Republicans Are Well Positioned To Take The House In 2022
Although we dont yet know the winners of some House races, we can already look ahead to the 2022 midterms and see a fairly straightforward path for the GOP to capture the House. Midterm elections historically go well for the party thats not in the White House, and the out-of-power party is especially likely to do well in the House, since every seat is up for election .
Since the end of World War II, the presidential party has lost an average of 27 House seats in midterm elections, as the chart below shows. No matter how many seats Democrats end up with after 2020s election at this point, they will probably end up somewhere in the low 220s a loss of that magnitude would easily be enough for Republicans to retake the House.
The recent history of midterms in a Democratic presidents first term seems especially promising for the GOP, too. Following Bill Clintons election in 1992, Democrats lost more than 50 seats in 1994, and after Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008, Democrats lost more than 60 seats.
If Democrats had added five to 10 seats this year, they could have survived a 20-seat loss in the midterms. Instead, Republicans will probably need to win fewer than 10 seats to gain a slender majority in 2022.
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Republicans Hold The House And The Senate
This outcome would be Republicans ideal, in part because theres a decent chance that they will widen their Senate majority on Tuesday given the number of Democratic seats that are vulnerable in states Trump won.
Its unlikely they would win enough new seats to give them a filibuster-proof, 60-seat majority. But even a slight boost from the current 51-seat majority would give them more cushion in those cases where only 50 votes are needed in the Senate.
The GOP effort to repeal Obamacare, which was pushed through using special budget rules, failed by just one vote. And the confirmation of Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court became a real nail-biter thanks to the doubts of just two or three GOP moderates.
Republicans have said they would try to resume their effort to repeal Obamacare and pass another tax cut. But even with government under one party as it is now such efforts wont be easy without gaining some measure of bipartisan support something Republicans have shown little interest in securing over the past two years.
One important new dynamic will be who takes over from retiring House Speaker Paul D. Ryan. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has been crisscrossing the country for months raising money and campaigning for Republicans. Hes the front-runner, though the partys hard-right wing appears unsold on him.
Iowa Montana And South Carolina
Though Iowa, Montana and South Carolina are all traditionally right-leaning, polls had shown tight Senate races in those states, and the Cook Political Report had rated each a tossup. But come Election Day, Republicans easily won each race.
In Iowa, Senator Joni Ernst, the Republican incumbent, dispatched Theresa Greenfield, her Democratic challenger, by 6.6 percentage points. In Montana, Senator Steve Daines, the Republican incumbent, won by more than 10 percentage points against Steve Bullock, Montanas two-term Democratic governor.
And in South Carolina, Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican and the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, survived a challenge by Jaime Harrison, a former chairman of the states Democratic Party, winning by 10.3 percentage points.
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What Is The New Balance Of Power In The House
House Democrats held onto their majority but lost seats to Republican challengers.
More than a dozen incumbent Democrats lost re-election bids, despite earlier projections they could gain up to 15 seats.
Democrats took the chamber after they netted 41 seats in the 2018 midterm elections, their largest single-year pickup since the post-Watergate midterms of 1974. But some of those new Democrats were among the partys losers in 2020.
Election Results : Veto
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Two state legislatures saw changes in their veto-proof majority statusâtypically when one party controls either three-fifths or two-thirds of both chambersâas a result of the 2020 elections. Democrats gained veto-proof majorities in Delaware and New York, bringing the number of state legislatures with a veto-proof majority in both chambers to 24: 16 held by Republicans and eight held by Democrats.
Forty-four states held regularly-scheduled state legislative elections on November 3. Heading into the election, there were 22 state legislatures where one party had a veto-proof majority in both chambers; 16 held by Republicans and six held by Democrats. Twenty of those states held legislative elections in 2020.
The veto override power can play a role in conflicts between state legislatures and governors. Conflict can occur when legislatures vote to override gubernatorial vetoes or in court cases related to vetoes and the override power.
Although it has the potential to create conflict, the veto override power is rarely used. According to political scientists Peverill Squire and Gary Moncrief in 2010, only about five percent of vetoes are overridden.
|Changes in state legislative veto-proof majorites|
The laws largely focus on tightening voter ID requirements, purging voter rolls and restricting absentee and mail-in ballots.
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Weakening Of The Investigations Against Trump
If Democrats dont control the House or the Senate, they cant initiate investigations of Trump or some of his more controversial cabinet members, such as Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt.
More importantly, after the 2018 elections, the electoral process will recede as a constraint on the president and GOP in terms of the Russia investigation at least for a while.
We dont really know why Trump, despite his constant criticisms of the investigation, has not fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, or why he has not directly tried to stop the probe by special counsel Robert Mueller. Maybe Trump, despite his rhetoric, has some real respect for the rule of law. I think its more likely that Trump understands that firing Rosenstein or making a drastic move to stop the Mueller probe would increase both the chances of Democrats winning the House and/or Senate this year, and the odds that the resulting Democratic-led chamber would feel compelled to push to impeach Trump. But if the GOP emerges from 2017 and 2018 without losing control of the House or the Senate, I suspect that, with the next election two years away, the president will feel freer to take controversial steps to end the Russia probe. And I doubt Republicans on Capitol Hill would try to stop him.