Former Obama Officials Eye House Seats in 2018

Pete Sessions a Republican ran unopposed in 2016. This year he will have competition for his seat

Support for President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans in the all-important battleground state of Iowa is slipping, leaving the state's progressive leadership feeling confident entering the new year.

The parallels between the off-year elections in 2017 and those in President Obama's first year are striking. (Roy Moore ain't walking through that door in Tennessee and Texas.) While a flip is possible, it's just not realistic to expect Democrats to run the table in red states like North Dakota, Montana and in - plus the pickups.

There are more similarities.

Speaking of which, Trump has not ruled out another stab at repealing and replacing Obamacare, an effort so unpopular that it thrice failed in 2017. The emergence of the #MeToo movement was fueled in part by allegations of sexual misconduct by Moore and Trump.

The dust may be settling now, but make no mistake, the Republican tax bill passed in Congress this month represents a brazen attack on CT.

What followed in the 2010 midterm elections were Democratic losses of 63 seats in the House and six Senate seats, enabling Republicans to block Obama's legislative agenda for the remainder of his presidency.

Will history repeat itself in 2018? At any rate, a downturn would make the tax cut that was supposedly going to generate massive, new growth look like a really bad idea. But this tax legislation reduces taxes by tens of thousands of dollars, on average, for those most able to pay (the top quintile). A lot of them will challenge Republicans that the Democrats view as "potentially vulnerable to a challenge". While there already was a Democratic candidate, Nashville attorney James Mackler who has since dropped out, Bredesen's bid is drawing national attention. But voters are not so easily manipulated: they have seen through the trick, and are rightly convinced by the numerous studies, from sources in and out of government, showing that the lion's share of the tax cut goes to corporations and the very rich. Historically, midterm elections are keyed to public approval of the president, which usually declines over time, and the greater motivation of presidential antagonists to vote.

After finishing second in the Iowa caucus, presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives to address his supporters in West Des Moines on February 1, 2016. "It's 2018 - only data-driven campaigns will deliver reliable wins #GetPrepared". Though we again will see a large number of incumbent-less U.S. House campaigns - the current number is 43, ballooning after a spate of retirements and resignations as a result of numerous sexual harassment allegations - the competitive configuration within this campaign category is different in 2018. "I want to do a trillion-dollar infrastructure bill, at least", Trump told the New York Times last week, but it isn't clear how much of that he will propose covering through direct spending.

We should not ignore unpredictable forces that could affect American politics between now and next November. This year just might test that notion. More female candidates than ever before are seeking office.

Republicans can easily brush aside Democratic conjecture that the electorate is already sending signals that a 2018 wave election is coming.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller appears ready to indict Trump's family members on collusion-related charges, and he may name Trump as an unindicted co-conspirator for obstruction of justice.

Former State Department employee Sara Jacobs didn't think she would won, but chose to join the race against Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA). President Lyndon Johnson declared his War on Poverty in 1964, and there has been little reduction in poverty rate, from 19 percent to 14 percent of the population.

"Iranians are watching the way he engages with North Korea, and vice versa". But that's not deterring newcomers, who are raising their hands for the Democrats well before all 50 Senate seats and all 120 House seats go up for grabs November 6.

"If the investigation gets wound up too quickly, the minority report would be largely about outstanding questions that were never examined", Himes told me, though he stressed that he hopes this does not happen. Stoking the culture war helped the president in 2016, but it may have the opposite effect this year. Capital watchers say this is just a first step toward Senate Majority Leader Phil Berger's stated goal of 'merit selection.' Under it, state judges would be appointed ... by the legislature.

"I think one thing you can say about this year - it was pretty partisan".

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