Connor Lamb’s victory in the 18th Congressional district race in Pennsylvania must be a wake-up call for Republicans heading into the 2018 mid-term elections. After suffering losses through much of Virginia, in Alabama, and facing a steep enthusiasm gap, Republicans risk losing their majority in the House of Representatives. Despite recent losses, however, Republicans have both reasons for hope and reasons for despair entering 2018.
Republicans can breathe a sigh of relief regarding 2018 Senate races. 33 Seats are up for grabs and Democrats are on defense in twenty-six. Of those races, Democrats are behind in seven races and dead even in two. Where Democrats do have a lead in their Senate races, the advantage is down to one point in five of those races. What this means is that Democrats could lose nine seats in the Senate with the potential to lose a total of fourteen. Democrats can lose no more than eight seats before handing a filibuster-proof majority to Republicans.
Republicans, however, are far less optimistic in races for the House of Representatives. The generic ballot gives Democrats an eight-point edge. That eight-point advantage, however, has shaved down from a high of thirteen points. The reasons behind the shrinking of that gap hold the keys to understanding the potential success or downfall of Republican electoral fortunes in 2018.