There is a big debate in Washington and throughout the country as to how the midterm elections are going to shape up. A lot of people are easily persuaded that this year’s midterms might look a lot like the midterms that occurred in 2010. There are some similarities between the setups for those two years, but there are also differences.
While Democrats got wiped out in 2010 after a popular Democratic President (Barack Obama) had been elected, Republicans might not face such a fate says The Hill.
It is a common belief among old hands in Washington that the party of the President always loses seats in midterm elections. This is due to a number of factors including the fact that many voters stay home for midterm elections and only the most motivated and the most driven come out to vote. Often the side that lost the last Presidential election is the most eager to have their voices heard. Thus, the opposition party often picks up seats in the midterms.
Currently projections suggest that Democrats will indeed pick up some seats at least in the House of Representatives, but exactly how many seats is an important question. It is entirely possible that Republicans could retain their majority in Congress if the economy remains as strong as it currently is.
Keep in mind that the 2010 to 2018 comparison has some flaws in it. For one, the Democrats had 256 seats in the House and 59 in the Senate when they faced 2010 challengers. The Republicans currently have 241 seats in the House and 52 in the Senate. They are already starting with lower numbers, so a big wave election is not likely to be as powerful as the 2010 was.
The approval ratings for the President have been ticking up slightly in recent weeks. Also, the Democratic advantage in the generic Congressional ballot has not been as high as it was just a few months ago. That range has been narrowing.
Given all of this, it is entirely possible that Democrats pick up some seats in the House but not enough to win the election outright. Republicans may hold on to their seats in the Senate or perhaps even pick up one or two. The bottom line is that the makeup of Congress may not be all that different at the end of 2018 than it was at the beginning. This could be a year in which there is very little in common with 2010.