Midterm elections are rarely met with the same interest or enthusiasm as their Presidential counterparts.But the 2018 midterms in the United States are a little different.
To say the presidency of Donald Trump has woken up a lot of people’s interest in politics would be an understatement.And the midterm elections do represent a tangible opportunity for both parties to get much closer to achieving their goals.
Here are three ways the upcoming elections could change American politics for the next few years.
- Trump Gets His Mandate
If the Republicans were to retain the house and make further inroads in the senate, it would be a huge win for President Donald Trump. It would give him a mandate to enact a lot more of his agenda in the coming two years.
While the party will struggle to get the 60 votes to pass bills with ease, if they can get close to that number they may be able to convince vulnerable Democrats to vote for bills they could stomach.
Policies related to immigration, trade and healthcare would have a lot more chance of passing a senate that had 55 or 56 Republicans, compared to the narrow majority the party currently enjoys.
- The Next Two Years Are a Standstill
Most pollsters and pundits expect the following outcome: a Democratic House and a Republican Senate. Such an outcome would also mean that the next two years would be an effective standstill.
While President Trump could continue pushing through some policies through executive orders, his powers to enact meaningful legislation would be very limited. Getting anything out of a Democratic House in the current climate would be a near impossibility.
The only possible legislation that could make it through in such a scenario would involve infrastructure spending.
- Democrats Lay the Foundations for 2020
The third scenario would see the Democrats win both the House and the Senate. While it would be impossible for them to have enough votes for impeachment, they could still lay the foundations for the next Presidential election.
Having the House and Senate under opposition control would make life very difficult for President Trump. It would likely be two years of constant investigations and zero legislation getting signed by the President.And it might give the Democrats the momentum they need to put up a real challenger to the President in 2020.
There are many scenarios for the upcoming midterm elections, with each having wide ranging consequences.
If the Republicans could somehow hang onto the House and win key Senate races, they have a real chance of pushing through more of the President’s agenda. It would also set up Trump for a successful reelection campaign.
But a divided House and Senate, or complete Democratic control of those chambers, would leave the President and his agenda in a very vulnerable position.
The excitement of Presidential elections is hard to beat. But it is not an understatement to suggest that midterms may be even more important when it comes to either party being able to enact meaningful change to the nation’s political agenda in the coming years.