By Jackson Richman
Despite headlines suggesting otherwise, Democrats might actually be in electoral trouble in this year’s midterm elections, according to a new Axios/Survey Monkey poll. Were this to be the case after November, assuming the Republican Party narrowly holds on to its majority in the House of Representatives, the party might be able to finally fulfill an almost-decade-long promise to repeal (and likely replace) the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as “Obamacare.”
The poll revealed if the elections were held today, five Senate Democrats — West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, Montana’s Jon Tester, North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp, Indiana’s Joe Donnelly, and Missouri’s Claire McCaskill — would lose to Republican candidates. Manchin, Tester, and McCaskill have approval ratings under 50 percent, while Trump’s is above that in their respective state.
Assuming none of Republicans up for re-election, like Nevada’s Dean Heller, lose, the GOP majority would go from 51 seats to 56 seats, were the aforementioned five Democrats to lose re-election. This increased majority, with the party maintaining its House majority, would enable some wiggle room and not be doomed by senators, like Kentucky’s Rand Paul or Maine’s Susan Collins, or Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, and Arizona’s John McCain — all of whom jeopardized at least one or all versions of last year’s proposals to repeal the healthcare law. (If another attempt goes through McCain’s wish of “regular order,” as opposed to again being crafted behind closed doors, it is likely the longtime senator would vote in favor because he voted in favor of tax reform, which went through the former.)
While the president’s party usually loses control of the their majority in either or both Congressional chambers, 2016 proved that conventional electoral analysis does not always become reality. And were that to be the case this November, expect to hear the calls for Obamacare repeal to only amplify.