Democrats Still Face Steep Odds of Retaking House

Plus, what will become of Paul Ryan?
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 14, 2016 5:36 PM CDT
Democrats Still Face Steep Odds of Retaking House
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., listens to a question during an appearance with a group of College Republicans at the Masonic Center in Madison, Wis., Friday, Oct. 14, 2016.   (John Hart/Wisconsin State Journal via AP)

With scandal swirling around Donald Trump, do the Democrats have a chance at retaking control of the House of Representatives? An analysis at the Cook Political Report finds that it's still quite a long shot to think that Democrats could manage the 30-seat gain they'd need. David Wasserman lays out a multitude of reasons why this is, but the numbers speak for themselves: There are only 37 competitive House races, and six of those are seats already held by Democrats. Of the rest, 18 are "toss up" states and 13 are "lean Republican" states. Even assuming the GOP maintains its majority in the House, questions are also swirling about what will become of Paul Ryan—like, for example, if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency, will he even want to run for what could be a "miserable" term as speaker? More reading on both subjects:

  • CNBC concurs that winning back control of the House wouldn't be easy for Democrats, but argues that the hope of doing so "isn't so far-fetched."
  • Politico lays out the plausible scenarios for Ryan's future. One of them: If he does run for speaker again, he could have a hard time getting enough votes. There's also the chance, albeit slim, he could quit Congress entirely.
  • The Washington Post, however, talks to an assortment of insiders for a story suggesting that Ryan and a hypothetical President Clinton could find a way to work together.
  • Ryan himself spoke Friday in Madison, Wis., against that hypothetical president, the Wisconsin State Journal reports. He did not mention Trump by name once, but decried Democrats' "hubris" and focused on Republicans maintaining control of the Senate.
  • Speaking of the Senate, Bloomberg notes that though it's an easier shot than the House (a net gain of four seats is needed), it will still be challenging for Democrats to retake that chamber.
(This man could be president with just six electoral votes.)

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