by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Democrats are poised to flip control of the House but fall short in an uphill battle for the Senate, one week before critical midterm elections gripped by a fear and loathing that have predominated American politics under President Trump.
The Democrats were riding a wave of resources and enthusiasm that threatened to overwhelm Republican defenses in House battlegrounds, as traditionally conservative, upscale suburbs rejected Trump’s culture war and teetered on the precipice. In the Senate, the Republicans’ partisan firewall was holding, with red states sympathetic to the president’s fiery anti-establishment populism prepared to boot centrist Democrats and pad the GOP’s slim majority.
The voters’ pending split decision on Trump’s first two years has unfolded in recent weeks amid a series of crises, real and imagined. …
… “The biggest dynamic driving the battle for the House right now is the sheer financial advantage the Democrats — candidates and outside groups — have to take advantage of an environment that is unquestionably in their favor,” Rob Simms, a Republican strategist with House clients and a former NRCC executive director, said in an interview.
Republicans are fairing better in the Senate and looking to add to their 51-49 majority.
A favorable map of contested seats in pro-Trump states is buffering the party from political headwinds, with a previously complacent GOP base nearly matching Democratic enthusiasm after being awakened by the explosive hearings to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, whose nomination was roiled by uncorroborated allegations of sexual misconduct from decades ago.