SPOTLIGHT

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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