Farewell, Second Quarter

Republicans won four special elections but still face troubling metrics for 2018.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., left, and Senate Majority Whip Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas speak with the media after they and other Senate Republicans had a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House, Tuesday, June 27, 2017, in Washington.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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Kyle Trygstad
June 28, 2017, 9:48 a.m.

Elec­tion cycles are meas­ured in three-month fun­drais­ing in­ter­vals, and there are plenty of vari­ables to watch in the fight for con­trol of Con­gress as the off-year’s 2nd quarter con­cludes Fri­day.

The past few months have been a mixed bag for Re­pub­lic­ans, who won all four con­tested spe­cial elec­tions but now head in­to the Ju­ly Fourth re­cess with con­tin­ued delays to their le­gis­lat­ive pri­or­it­ies des­pite con­trol of Con­gress and the White House.

Hanging over their heads is Pres­id­ent Trump’s ap­prov­al rat­ing, which re­mains at a his­tor­ic low—he was at 41 per­cent in the RCP polling av­er­age on March 31 and 40 per­cent as of Wed­nes­day morn­ing. The latest poll, from NPR-PBS News­Hour-Mar­ist, found Trump’s ap­prov­al among in­de­pend­ents at 31 per­cent, down 9 points since Feb­ru­ary.

Keep an eye on the gen­er­ic con­gres­sion­al bal­lot, which Demo­crats led by 10 points in that poll.

Mean­while, the start of the 3rd quarter tends to in­vite an in­flux of cam­paign an­nounce­ments. Many House Re­pub­lic­ans already have mul­tiple Demo­crat­ic chal­lengers, but the wait may soon be over for Demo­crat­ic sen­at­ors still without an op­pon­ent.

Kyle Tryg­stad


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