Republicans hope the approval of their tax bill improves the party’s standing with voters by November.
It could. But for now the party is heading into the election year with a string of generic ballot polls showing Democrats up by double digits, a historically low approval rating for President Trump, a surge of Democratic candidates and money, and 2017 election results showing a consistent enthusiasm gap in the Democrats’ favor.
For more clues about the House landscape as 2018 unfolds, keep an eye on retirements, which Hotline tracks on our Midterm Elections Hub. We’re still just below the recent historical average, and further indications of a wave could lead to more exits.
Also watch the House race ratings at Inside Elections and Cook Political Report, among others, for context on the size of the House map. Six months into Trump’s presidency, Cook rated 47 Republican seats at some level of competitiveness, including six Tossups and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s open seat in Florida, which was and still is rated Leans Democratic.
While the number of competitive Democratic seats has been static, the Republican number had hit 64 by Dec. 15, including 17 Tossups and the Ros-Lehtinen seat.
— Kyle Trygstad