Republicans Have 20 New Reasons to Worry About 2018

Or 46. Or 58. Or 7.
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2017 11:36 AM CDT
Republicans Have 20 Reasons to Be Nervous About 2018
President Trump talks with House Speaker Paul Ryan in the Rose Garden of the White House Thursday.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

As Republicans voted to replace ObamaCare Thursday, Democrats were heard singing the sports-anthem taunt, "Hey, Hey, Hey, Goodbye." A new report from political forecaster the Cook Political Report shows why: In the aftermath of the vote, Cook downgraded Republican chances in 20 congressional races in 2018. The scary line for the GOP: "Republicans' willingness to spend political capital on a proposal that garnered the support of just 17% of the public in a March Quinnipiac poll is consistent with past scenarios that have generated a midterm wave." Related coverage:

  • Who's most at risk? Republicans who voted for the GOP's American Health Care Act who represent districts that went for Hillary Clinton in 2016 or Barack Obama in the two prior elections. In all, there are 46 of them, reports the Atlantic in a deep dive into the potential political fallout.
  • Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight has a different way of looking at the potential GOP trouble: He notes that 58 Republicans who voted for the AHCA won by fewer than 20 points in 2016—and Democrats suffered a 15-point "penalty" in 2010 over ObamaCare. In other words, those 58 have a right to feel nervous.
  • For those keeping score, the current House makeup is 238 Republicans to 193 Democrats, with four vacancies, per the Office of the Clerk. (Politico lists the 20 Republicans who voted no. One Republican missed the vote.)

  • Politico names seven GOP representatives at particular risk: Reps. Darrell Issa of California, Martha McSally of Arizona, Carlos Curbelo of Florida, Peter Roskam of Illinois, Erik Paulsen of Minnesota, Pete Sessions of Texas, and John Katko of New York.
  • A story in the New York Times finds a common sentiment among Democrats: "Republicans kicked a hornet's nest, and it is not too soon to begin saying goodbye to some of my Republican colleagues from moderate districts, because this will cost them dearly," said Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois.
  • As for the Democrats' singing (see a video here), Chris Cillizza at CNN thinks it was a cheap shot. "When House Democrats act like they did today—or President Trump acts like he does almost every day—we get further and further from even the possibility of finding common ground or even just talking to each other like human beings," he writes. For a counterpoint to Cillizza, see this post at Lawyers, Guns & Money.
  • A post by Paul Mirengoff at the conservative Power Line blog says the opposing party typically does well in the first midterm after the election of a new president, so he wouldn't be surprised to see that happen for Democrats. It's too early to say whether the AHCA will be the reason, but "Democrats' behavior confirmed they don't deserve to regain it," he writes, referring to the singing.
  • Republicans are clearly vulnerable, writes Aaron Blake at the Washington Post, but "it's likely that the backlash won't be quite as big if the GOP ultimately fails to turn this bill into law—or if it manages to somehow push through something more popular than the bill that passed today."
  • Indeed, the Senate is expected to make big changes.
(More AHCA stories.)

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