The GOP’s strong 2016 election showing raises a crucial question: Do Republicans have any chance of netting eight Senate seats – and a filibuster-proof majority – in 2018?
The upcoming Senate class is unusually unbalanced. Only eight Republican Senate seats are up for election in 2018, compared to 25 Democratic seats (including two independents who caucus with the Democrats). Ten of those Democratic seats are in states carried by Donald Trump.
By any measure, Democrats are on the defensive in the next fight for Senate control. A three-seat Democratic midterm gain, which would give the party a majority, looks virtually impossible given the seats up this cycle.
Republicans turn out better than Democrats in midterm elections, we are on a K-course right now, and we have the Master Persuader in the Bully Pulpit.
The only thing standing in the way is the fact that Trump’s skill and competence may trigger a burst of high resource availability. It is not insurmountable if he does. But he will need to grasp the importance of using K-stimuli to develop amygdalae, such as highlighting dangers and threats, uniting the country against a common enemy, and out-grouping the rabbits as traitors to create a social pressure to be a K-strategist. My suspicion is he already has a better grasp of it than anyone else in the country.
All in all, it is far better right now to be a K than an r.