Weekly Opinion Editorial
THE DEAL MAKER!
by Steve Fair
In 2018, 33 of the 100 U.S. Senate seats are up for election. Twenty three Democrats, two Independents, and eight Republicans currently hold those thirty three seats. Seven of the eight Republican seats are ‘safe’ seats, meaning they are in decidedly Republican states. Ten of the Democrat seats are in states that President Trump won in 2016, so many political insiders expect Republicans to gain seats in the Senate in 2018.
All 435 members of the U.S. House are up for re-election every two years. Republicans currently have 241 seats in the House, Democrats 194. FairVote, a non-partisan election reform advocacy group, says that 368 of the 435 districts (84%) are truly safe for incumbents. They project only 24 House districts are true ‘toss-ups,’ (only 5% of the total 435 seats). “Of the Republicans' 245 seats, we project 205 are virtually certain to be retained, just 13 short of an absolute majority. Democrats start with only 163 near certain winner,” FairVote says. FairVote has an amazingly accurate track record on election projections. In 2014, they correctly predicted 361 races in the U.S. House. But not everybody agrees Republicans will keep the House in 2018.
Gallup’s Jeffrey Jones says the job approval rating of the president is a major factor in mid-terms. "Since 1946, when presidents are above 50% approval, their party loses an average of 14 seats in the US House in the midterm elections, compared with an average loss of 36 seats when presidents are below that mark," Jones says. President Trump’s latest job approval rating was in the mid-30s according to Gallup.
Historically, the Party of the president in office loses seats in the mid-term elections. In the last twenty midterms, the Party that controls the White House lost an average of thirty three seats. But the political environment has changed. A true political outsider was swept into the highest office in the land by non-political people. Those people don’t watch fake news, read political commentaries, or attend activist meetings. They go to work, raise their family- and vote! Trump’s message resonated with them. If those same people show up in the mid-terms, and vote to send the president Trump the help he needs to get things moving in Congress, then Republicans will likely gain seats.Since January, Republicans have controlled the federal government, yet Congress has accomplished little. Sadly, some Members of Congress are content to get nothing done than something. Moderate and conservative Rs refuse to come to a consensus and neither dare compromise. Both loudly proclaim to their base they held the line and got nothing done. They should read “The Art of the Deal.” This president is a deal maker and will partner with whomever it takes to get the deal done, as evidenced by the funding bill for FEMA. He worked with Democrats, because some Republicans refused to help. Some conservative and moderate Rs better wake up. They risk losing a seat at the table when deals are being made. Gridlock and doing nothing is not Trump’s style.