Democrats Projected To Win Back The House Of Representatives

//Democrats Projected To Win Back The House Of Representatives

Democrats Projected To Win Back The House Of Representatives

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WASHINGTON ― After eight unforgiving years in the minority, Democrats will once again control the House of Representatives, with a deeply divided nation handing their party an advantage of at least a dozen seats in the House.

Even with substantial Democratic gains in the House, Republicans looked poised to pick up a few seats in the Senate, as Indiana, Missouri and perhaps even Florida ― states that voted for President Donald Trump ― sent their Democratic senators packing.

Still, both parties will be able to claim victories Tuesday. Democrats picking up the House effectively slows Trump’s presidency to a legislative crawl, while Republicans will cling to their gains in the Senate to say voters still prefer their stark vision of governance.

Even with Democrats looking likely to pick up about 30 seats in the House, it’s perhaps most notable how many GOP members were still able to survive. It took Republicans trying to undermine popular protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions, the passage of an unpopular tax cut bill, and the reality of Trump for Democrats to recapture the House. 

Democrats looked poised to pick up seats all across the nation. They already took three seats in Virginia, three seats in Pennsylvania, two seats in Texas, and a smattering of seats from New York, Iowa, Illinois and New Jersey ― with dozens of races to still be called.

While Republicans did better than expected in areas where Trump has remained popular, Democrats seemed to excel in one particular type of district: the affluent, educated, suburban areas where Trump struggled in 2016. Voters handed Democrats power in many of the districts that Hillary Clinton had won, and Democrats also made some pickups in surprising areas, like the Trump-friendly areas of Staten Island and even in Oklahoma.

The primary message from Democrats during the 2018 campaign ― that they would protect health care for the sick while Republicans would undermine it ― seemed to resonate across the country. Democrats used almost every opportunity they could to redirect conversations back to health care. They also channeled frustration with a historically unpopular president into grassroots energy that propelled them back to power in a number of districts that Democrats haven’t represented in years, in some cases even decades, like the Virginia district where Democrat Abigail Spanberger defeated Republican Dave Brat in a district that a Democrat hasn’t represented since 1970.

On the GOP side, Republicans initially tried to sell their tax cut package as a major victory for voters, arguing that the strong economy was a byproduct of their policies. But with polls consistently showing the legislation’s popularity in the low 40s, Republicans eventually began campaigning on more culture war-ish, racially tinged messages. The GOP bet it could withstand the worst effects of a Democratic wave by embracing Trump’s playbook and exciting its base voters. That strategy seemed to work, as Republicans held off the wave in states like Florida, helped by the victory of their Trump-like governor-elect, Ron DeSantis.

Ultimately, whether Pelosi can become speaker again will depend on the exact composition of the House and whether she can get some Democrats to go back on the soft promises they made to their constituents that they would not support her for speaker.

Still, recapturing the House is a huge achievement for Democrats as they look to curb the worst effects of Trump’s presidency.

Democrats almost certainly won’t go along with GOP attempts to gut the Affordable Care Act. They likely won’t make the tax cuts permanent as Republicans want. And ― as was already the case ― they won’t give Trump his signature border wall without major concessions on the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program.

Instead, Democrats have said, they’ll put forward an infrastructure package meant to tempt some moderate Republicans and the president. They’ll offer their own legislation on DACA and dare Trump to oppose it. And they’ll conduct more rigorous oversight of the president, though there are already questions about how far Democrats would push possible impeachment proceedings.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has made it clear that, under her leadership, impeaching Trump is “not a priority.” But that could change with new revelations from the Robert Mueller investigation or from congressional oversight ― and Pelosi’s position as the top Democrat in the House isn’t certain either.

A number of the Democrats who won Tuesday ― including Spanberger in Virginia, Jason Crow in Colorado, Mikie Sherrill in New Jersey and Anthony Brindisi in New York ― have said they won’t support Pelosi to be the next speaker. And with what could still be a narrow majority for Democrats, Pelosi’s grip on the speaker’s gavel is very loose. She’s long faced pressure from existing Democrats in her caucus ― such as Tim Ryan of Ohio, Seth Moulton of Massachusetts and Jim Cooper of Tennessee ― to relinquish her position as the No. 1 Democrat in the House.

Ultimately, whether Pelosi can become speaker again will depend on the exact composition of the House and whether she can get some Democrats to go back on the soft promises they made to their constituents that they would not support her for speaker.

There were still a number of races to be decided and called as of late Tuesday night, including most of the close California races. Many of those tossups will be crucial to determining the exact majority for Democrats and whether Pelosi can hold onto her position.

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2018-11-06T23:31:33-05:00November 6th, 2018|

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