How Republicans can ride the blue wave

Republicans allowed a crucial farm bill that renewed major agriculture programs to ...

Posted: May 21, 2018 3:57 AM
Updated: May 21, 2018 3:57 AM

Republicans allowed a crucial farm bill that renewed major agriculture programs to fall apart over immigration on Friday, in the most recent demonstration of why the party should be worried about losing control of Congress in the 2018 midterm elections. Each special election brings more evidence that Democrats are motivated, enthused, and prepared.

The large number of successful Democratic female candidates suggests that the women's vote might be unusually large. The turbulence in the Oval Office has taken its toll on Republicans. This presidency has given Democrats the best opportunity since 2008 to recapture Congress.

But in American politics, opportunity does not automatically translate into success. Opportunities can be botched. And while the odds are very strong that Democrats will eat into the size of the Republican majority -- after all, most midterm elections involve the party of the president losing seats -- there are ways in which the GOP can contain the damage from the "blue wave."

Republicans have a number of serious political assets that make them a formidable foe to the Democrats.

In the crucial battle for voter turnout, the GOP will count on three constituencies who have been very pleased with President Donald Trump's absolute loyalty to their agenda: gun rights advocates, evangelical Christians, and anti-immigration hardliners. Despite all of the craziness from this administration, the President has been very consistent and predictable in giving his support to these core groups.

The reason that their loyalty matters is that all three groups tend to be well organized, well financed and to command sizable numbers. As the reality of the midterms approaches and Republicans amplify the threat of a Democratic Congress that will move forward on impeachment, these groups of voters will likely accelerate their efforts and drive to get out the vote.

And if fatigue sets in among Democratic opponents of President Trump, they might not be able to deliver on their turnout. There have been so many scandals and provocative moments since January 2017. Democrats could become so tuned out -- tired of being angry or watching more arguments -- by the time we reach November that their enthusiasm may not be as high as expected.

Democrats will also have to contend with the perceived successes of the GOP. Barring any unexpected downturn, Republicans can benefit from the economy. If current trends continue, by most standard measures the economy could be doing well, come November. Unemployment is low, stock markets are booming and consumers are feeling more confident. Some voters might decide that the status quo is worth it, irrespective of all the eye-rolling presidential tweets.

Although most midterms revolve around domestic issues, foreign policy is something that could become part of the election mix. Despite the current fallout from Trump leaving the Iran nuclear deal and the tensions in Gaza, Republicans are anticipating the potential of a major diplomatic breakthrough with North Korea. Each of those could have the capacity to sway the electoral playing field, much as the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 helped Democrats maintain strong majorities in the House and Senate.

Finally, Republicans still have some built-in advantages that make the election an uphill climb for the Democrats. In the Senate, Democrats still have to knock off a significant number of GOP-held seats while defending a few vulnerable ones. Gerrymandered safe seats also offer the GOP some insulation in the House by limiting the number of seats that are really in play. Republicans also have significant fundraising powerhouses to count on. Massively wealthy donors like the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson are pouring money into campaigns to make sure that the deregulatory direction of policy under Trump is not brought to an end.

None of this means that Republicans are in great shape. They are not. Democrats have history on their side and they will benefit from the unpopularity of Trump.

Yet the size of Democratic gains will matter, because it can determine the difference between continued unified government or a divided Washington. As difficult as it is to believe, given the controversial presidency of Donald Trump, Republicans still have more than enough reason to believe that they stand a chance to ride rather than drown in the blue wave.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 259117

Reported Deaths: 5668
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17436187
Hinds16524328
Harrison13876199
Rankin11000217
Jackson10652187
Lee8981141
Madison8413168
Jones6552112
Forrest6101121
Lauderdale6034189
Lowndes5463119
Lafayette507393
Lamar496465
Washington4877124
Bolivar4068109
Oktibbeha401681
Panola378380
Pontotoc372155
Monroe3628105
Warren3619101
Union350563
Marshall349569
Neshoba3433152
Pearl River3380104
Leflore3079108
Lincoln300687
Sunflower289272
Hancock285360
Tate276762
Alcorn268854
Pike266580
Itawamba266261
Scott253448
Yazoo250156
Prentiss249552
Tippah245850
Copiah244549
Coahoma243654
Simpson240069
Leake234367
Grenada221171
Marion218473
Covington216972
Adams210170
Wayne206432
Winston205267
George202739
Attala195761
Newton195745
Tishomingo192461
Chickasaw186144
Jasper176038
Holmes169868
Clay162735
Tallahatchie154935
Stone148424
Clarke143562
Calhoun138021
Smith125825
Yalobusha120234
Walthall113437
Greene112129
Noxubee111425
Montgomery110936
Carroll105922
Lawrence104317
Perry103231
Amite99926
Webster94324
Tunica87621
Jefferson Davis87327
Claiborne86825
Benton84023
Humphreys83624
Kemper79120
Quitman7029
Franklin68716
Choctaw62313
Wilkinson58825
Jefferson55920
Sharkey44217
Issaquena1606
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 432536

Reported Deaths: 6379
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson63523957
Mobile30967562
Madison27627201
Tuscaloosa21122268
Montgomery19495326
Shelby18941126
Baldwin16798188
Lee12901102
Morgan12447129
Etowah11911178
Calhoun11365205
Marshall10322119
Houston8813156
Limestone823176
Cullman8159106
Elmore8056104
DeKalb7796102
Lauderdale773399
St. Clair7705122
Talladega6347109
Walker5993174
Jackson590341
Colbert543274
Blount541186
Autauga527061
Coffee454160
Dale405482
Franklin371948
Russell345712
Chilton340972
Covington334168
Escambia328344
Dallas310196
Chambers297370
Clarke290536
Tallapoosa2665107
Pike258830
Marion250155
Lawrence249150
Winston231442
Bibb219848
Geneva206946
Marengo205229
Pickens198631
Hale180842
Barbour177836
Fayette174528
Butler171358
Cherokee162530
Henry157523
Monroe150718
Randolph143236
Washington139527
Clay128546
Crenshaw121644
Cleburne119724
Lamar119621
Macon119637
Lowndes112536
Wilcox105822
Bullock101428
Perry99118
Conecuh96320
Sumter89726
Greene76723
Coosa62215
Choctaw51624
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