Heading into 2018, Republicans in Congress are unloved and endangered. Their continued control over the House and Senate after the November midterm elections appears precarious. Democrats hold a commanding 13-point lead over the GOP in the generic congressional ballot, according to Real Clear Politics. But Republicans can retain control of Congress.
Looking at the map and the calendar, a Democratic takeover of the House and Senate is not inevitable.
In the Senate, Democrats are defending 25 seats, including 10 in states that President Trump carried in 2016. Five of those states favored Trump by 10 points or more.
Sounds good for the GOP, right? Well, not exactly.
After the Republicans’ recent loss in an Alabama special election, the Senate will now have 51 Republicans and 49 Democrats. That means Democrats will have to pick up just two more seats in November to win the majority. And Republicans are in danger of losing seats in any of the following states: Arizona, Nevada, and Tennessee.
As for the House, things are more in doubt, as each seat is up for election every two years. A national wave election could easily move the House into Democratic hands.
But it’s not too late for Republicans to turn things around. Here’s how.
First, they need to stop talking about entitlement reform. That translates to cuts in Social Security and Medicare – which harms their aging base. It is political suicide.
Second, Republicans need to quit nominating candidates who are crazy or offend women. Women made the difference in the Alabama election. Republicans lost Deleware in 2010 by running a candidate who repeatedly proclaimed, “I’m not a witch.” It seems Delawarians wanted more from their next senator than not being a witch.
Third, Republicans must embrace the positive news about the economy. Unemployment has hit a 17-year low. Black unemployment has dropped the most. The economy is humming. And President Clinton’s words still ring true – “It’s the economy, stupid!”
Republicans, it’s your job to turn lemons into lemonade and tie the current economic boom to the pending tax cuts. Bottom line, if you can sidestep missteps, smile enough, and stay off Twitter (I’m talking to you, Mr. Trump), you may still be Kings of the Hill in 2019.
About the Author
Lloyd Green writes for FoxNews.com.