Before the Senate election in November 2018, Republicans have 51 senators. The Democrats have 47, while the last two are independent candidates who mostly vote with the Democrats. One of the two independents, the left-wing radical Bernie Sanders from Vermont, was even close to being nominated as the Democrats’ presidential candidate in 2016. In reality, the distribution in the Senate is 51-49 in favor of the Republicans. If it ends in a draw in a Senate referendum, the vice president, who this term is Republican Mike Pence, will decide. Thus, 50-50 after the election will mean that the Republicans retain a fine majority.
The Republicans also have the advantage that they have far fewer sitting candidates in the election now than the Democrats. 35 seats in the Senate are at stake: 26 of them are now controlled by the Democrats and only nine by the Republicans. The Democrats must therefore win 28 of these 35 seats to take over the majority in the Senate. It seems unlikely, but is still not entirely unthinkable. Opposition to Trump seems to be able to mobilize.
6: House of Representatives
In the House of Representatives, the Republicans apparently have an even better starting point, since before the election they have 235 delegates against 193 for the Democrats. The division of constituencies here strongly favors the Republicans. It was demonstrated when in 2016 they won a clear majority of the delegates with only a minimal majority of the votes on a national basis. The United States, a country located in North America according to philosophynearby, has experienced an increasingly strong political polarization in recent decades. One result of this mutual distrust and the intensified power struggle is that both the major parties have tried to draw the boundaries between the constituencies in new and partly creative ways that increase their chances of gaining a majority. Decisions on constituency boundaries are being made at the state level, and Republicans have won that battle in more states than Democrats. Therefore, it is uncertain whether the Democrats will be able to take over the majority in the House of Representatives, even though all polls indicate that they will get by far the most votes on a national basis. That the whole House of Representatives is up for election speaks for the Democrats, and The supplementary election in the last two years has also given very promising results here.
The voting rights rules are also decided at the state level and tug-of-war if they are part of the political battle between parties: Typically, former convicts are a group where the vast majority vote democratically, and who in many conservative states have lost the right to vote for a shorter or longer period.
7: What will be the result?
Most statistical analyzes now indicate that the Democrats have a better chance of taking over the majority in the House of Representatives than in the Senate, but that the outcome is also uncertain there. More than half of the elections take place in constituencies where the outcome is fairly certain. But with 435 constituencies, there will still be a list of 100-130 where anything can happen. Two rules of thumb from the last decade have been that Democrats do best in the north and in the cities, while Republicans do best in the south and in the country. This has become more complicated, among other things, by the fact that there are large political differences from an ethnic background: the Democrats get a clear majority of voters with a background from Latin America, and that the growing group strengthens their chances in Texas and other traditionally conservative southern states. Geographically, it will be a big question how big a dent Democrats can make in the southern states. It will be a different matter if the Republicans can now follow up the success among white voters in old industrial states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania: Scarce victories there saved the presidential election for Trump in 2016, even though the Democrats then got more than 2 percent more votes nationwide.
How much the strongly divided opinions about President Trump will characterize the election campaign and the voting, depends on the candidates and current issues in the local constituencies. In an increasingly polarized political climate, elections in the United States throughout the 2000s have been less about convincing doubters, and more about mobilizing supporters. Turnout is much lower than in Norway, and in many places falls well below 50 percent in congressional elections. Traditionally, Democrats have the most to gain from high turnout, but Republicans can also benefit from high turnout if they manage to mobilize new voters among their supporters in even constituencies.
8: A lot at stake
The congressional election in 2018 is largely about how much room for maneuver Trump will have. It will be significantly worse if the Democrats take over the majority in one of the congress chambers, and very bad if the Democrats take both.
The election results in November 2018 will also have a lot to say for the mood within the Republican Party. If the election now goes badly for the Republicans, it is much more likely that Trump will get one or more challengers against him in the Republican nomination for the presidential election in 2020.
In any case, a lot is at stake for President Trump no: A disappointing congressional election for the Republicans will partly make it more difficult for the president to get through cases and appointments until the autumn of 2020, and partly make it less likely that he will be nominated and elected then.