Tags: Donald Trump | senate | majority | 2018 | republicans | gop

Wash Post: GOP Has Chance for 60-Seat Senate Majority in 2018

Image: Wash Post: GOP Has Chance for 60-Seat Senate Majority in 2018

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (AP Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 20 Dec 2016 11:55 AM

Republicans have a chance to gain eight Senate seats in 2018, which would be a 60-seat, filibuster-proof majority, according to writer Stuart Rothenberg in The Washington Post.

In the 2018 Senate race, eight Republican seats and 25 Democrat seats will be on the line. Ten of those Democrat seats are in states won by Republican President-elect Donald Trump, Rothenberg pointed out.

"By any measure, Democrats are on the defensive," he said.

Changing over a large number of Senate seats has happened before, with at least eight swinging in 1958, 1986, 1994, and 2014, Rothenberg wrote — but in all those instances, the swing benefited the party that opposed the sitting president.

Rothenberg wrote that the possibility is still there, because "Donald Trump remains a wild card."

Likely targets for the Democrats include Nevada's Dean Heller, who got a narrow win, 46 percent to 45 percent, in 2012, as well as Arizona's Jeff Flake, Texas' Ted Cruz, and Utah's Orrin Hatch, who might retire, the Post writer said.

Democrats in some Republican-leaning states will be vulnerable as well, predicted Rothenberg: Indiana's Joe Donnelly, Missouri's Claire McCaskill, and Wisconsin's Tammy Baldwin.

Voter turnout will be key, and participation always decreases in midterm elections. Whites and older voters turn out more often then, which could be vital for Republicans, according to Rothenberg.

How Trump does as president will impact the midterms. If he is successful, Rothenberg said, his energy could push Republicans to wins. However, if he disappoints, 2018 could be a time for voters to express their dissatisfaction by slamming Republican candidates.

A Senate resurgence for Democrats in 2018 does not appear likely, but the question remains whether Republicans can increase their grip on Congress and in doing so, increase Trump's ability to execute his goals, Rothenberg said.

A unified front for Republicans is not apparent at this time; for example, some Republicans are joining Democrats in pushing for a committee to investigate Russian cyber attacks, while other Republicans in the Senate are pushing back against such a move, according to CNN

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Republicans have a chance to gain eight Senate seats in 2018, which would be a 60-seat, filibuster-proof majority, according to writer Stuart Rothenberg in The Washington Post.
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Tuesday, 20 Dec 2016 11:55 AM
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