Ghost of Election 2018 Looms Ominously for Republicans

Departing GOP lawmakers have warnings for own party to move to avoid 2018 losses
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 25, 2017 7:32 AM CST
In this Oct. 31, 2017, file photo, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., asks questions during a Senate Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

(Newser) – Departing Republican lawmakers are playing the Ghost of Christmas Future, and they're warning their own party of grim results come Election Day 2018, reports the Washington Post. "When you look at some of the audiences cheering for Republicans ... you say, ‘Those are the spasms of a dying party,' " Sen. Jeff Flake said Sunday. "By and large, we’re appealing to older white men, and there are just a limited number of them." Flake thinks President Trump is "drilling down hard on a diminishing base," and could see not only an independent challenger in 2020, but one from within his own party—and the Arizonan did not rule himself out of the running. "Clearly the Republican Party is going to experience losses. It remains to be seen whether we’ll lose the majority," adds Rep. Charlie Dent. "I tell my colleagues ... you’ve got to be prepared for the worst. ... It’s going to be a very tough year."

Not that the president is buying that argument: Trump tweeted on Sunday that "The Fake News refuses to talk about how Big and how Strong our BASE is." But the size of the base may not be the only complication, reports the New York Times, which notes that there are scores of Democrats running for office, many in heavily Republican districts where the GOP often ran uncontested. “I started seeing changes to US policy that concern me,” says one political newcomer who practices immigration law. "To me that is not the America I know and love." Politico has a list of the top 10 House races to watch in 2018—and also sees trouble in GOP land. (Read more Election 2018 stories.)

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