There are varying levels of horrible results for conservatives in the upcoming election.
Based on current polling, it certainly looks like Hillary will be the next president. You can argue whether that is better or worse than the alternative for conservatives, but there is no serious argument that losing either the House or the Senate is horrible. In the case of the Senate, it will pave the way for Hillary to push through disastrous judicial nominations. And yes, expect Majority Leader Schumer to raise the nuclear option to the Supreme Court level if Democrats control the Senate by even a single (tie-breaking) vote. The Senate could go either way at present polling.
But the House is what stands between conservatives and the political abyss. Think of where we would be if in the first two years of his presidency, when Obama controlled both houses of Congress, he had focused on passing a wide-ranging legislative agenda rather than focusing on Obamacare. All of the executive orders and actions that have been questioned by the courts and can be reversed by the next president would have the force of legislation.
Assuming Hillary is the next president and wins in a landslide, Republican control of the House may be the last line of defense.
As of this writing, that line of defense is likely to hold even if there is a further implosion of Trump’s top-of-the-ticket polling. So reports Dave Wasserman at The Cook Political Report, Is the House in Play? What We Know Now:
Ever since last Friday’s Access Hollywood bombshell, Speaker Paul Ryan has treated Trump’s campaign as a sinking ship and has sounded an alarm to donors to shift resources towards saving the majority. Meanwhile, we have been inundated with questions about whether the majority is now in play. We’ve long been skeptical, but purposefully waited a few days to gather as much fresh data as possible before offering our view.
A week later, Donald Trump’s behavior towards women continues to consume the news. But there’s little evidence of a wholesale shift in the House landscape. The prospect that GOP voters staying home clearly increases the party’s downside risk, but neither side’s polling suggests the “bottom dropping out” for congressional Republicans.
Democrats need a 30 seat gain to retake the House, but that’s very difficult to do when there are only37 competitive races — including six already held by Democrats. Today, even if they won all 6 seats in Lean Democratic and all 18 seats in Toss Up, they would still need to win 11 of 13 races in Lean Republican to win the majority. By the time the Mark Foley scandal broke in late September 2006, the hill for Democrats was much less steep.
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Bottom line: A week ago we were about to revise our House outlook of a 5 to 20 seat Democratic gain downward because it looked like Republicans were on track to keep their losses to single digits. Trump’s “unshackled” antics could hurt GOP turnout and substantially increase the odds Democrats score a gain in the 10 to 20 seat range. But the playing field remains narrow, and 30 seats is still a reach today.
Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball website reaches a similar conclusion:
So our current House ratings show 228 seats Safe, Likely, or Leaning Republican, 193 Safe/Likely/Leaning Democratic, and 14 Toss-ups. Splitting the Toss-ups down the middle seven to seven would make the House 235-200 Republican, or a net gain of 12 for the Democrats. We’ve consistently suggested a Democratic gain in the 10-15 range, and that’s where we remain as we await more information on whether Trump is truly dragging down House Republicans or not.
Paul Ryan’s call for Republican congressional members to do whatever it takes vis-a-vis Trump to keep their seats in Republican hands makes sense in this environment. There is no one nationwide strategy, rather, it’s district-by-district where conditions will vary.
One thing that could tear down this House firewall is if Trump decides to burn the land by deliberately going after House Republicans and urging his voters to defect. To do so, however, would be an admission by Trump that he expects to lose.DONATE
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