Column: Republicans should be scared

The present is looking pretty good for the Grand Old Party. They control both houses of Congress, the presidency, 32 state legislatures and 33 governorships. It's open season on regulations, states are allowed to withhold money from organizations that provide abortions and there's a spry young conservative on the Supreme Court. They've had some dust-ups, sure, like the humiliating failure of the Obamacare replacement bill and their attempt at gutting the ethics committee, but for the most part they're sitting pretty right now with nice margins of control of every branch of government.

Their future, on the other hand, may not be so rosy.

President Trump is historically unpopular. And many of their present legislative priorities have been met with the same enthusiasm he is receiving — only 17 percent of voters wanted the American Health Care Act, only 31 percent want to defund Planned Parenthood and only 39 percent actually support deregulating business. Factors like these could combine to make midterms a dicey time for the GOP, who, as the party of the incumbent president, are statistically likely to lose seats in the midterm even without Trump's help and the help of their own undesirable agenda.

We see this in races like last week's special election in KS-04 — a deep-red district where Trump won by 27 points. Last week, Republicans held onto the seat, previously occupied by now-CIA director Mike Pompeo, but did so by the skin of their teeth: The Democrat lost by only seven points. In Illinois local elections, Democrats have been unseating Republicans. And this week, in Georgia's sixth district, which has spawned both current Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Democrat Jon Ossoff, who is polling at 45.3 percent in an 18-candidate field, will see how likely it is that Democrats claim that seat as well.

The 2016 elections were a benediction for Republicans in power.  But with the way 2017 is shaping up, 2018 may not be so kind.



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