Donald Trump’s comments on women have left his campaign all but over. It’s not longer the Republican primary ,where he can exclusively rely on the infinite amount of deplorables who voted for him. The rest of America hates his guts and Hillary appears poised to easily grab the required 270 electoral votes.
But while all of us are fixated on whether Trump is dead in the water, we haven’t paid much attention to the effect this will have on the balance of Congress.
The RNC already let it be known that it’s halting its work on Trump’s campaign, clearly recognizing that the party still cares about self-preservation and wants to remain politically relevant beyond Trump.
However, the damage may already be done. Trump’s implosion could give the Democrats a chance to obtain a prize that was otherwise unthinkable — the House of Representatives.
Prior to “pussygate,” the House seemed far out of reach for the Democrats due to the efffects of gerrymandering. (In 2012, for instance, Democratic House candidates won 1.7 million more votes than their Republican foes — and still ended up with 33 fewer members of the House.) Now, in order to win the back the House, Democrats will need to flip 30 Republican-held seats. One political analyst feels this is possible.
Geoffrey Skelley, of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, argues that a Clinton victory of 6 points or more might be enough to give Democrats the House. Skelley believes that a 6-point Clinton win would have her also netting 50 GOP-controlled House districts. Skelley’s model contends that the distribution of the national popular vote margin to the congressional districts will be virtually the same in 2016 as it was in 2012. The only variable that could jeopardize this scenario is if Clinton voters support Republican congressional candidates. This is known as ticket-splitting.
What the hell is ticket-splitting and why should you care?
Ticket-splitting refers to the voters who back different parties for Congress and the presidency in the same trip to the polls. In 2012, only 8 percent of voters did so. Given how contentious Trump is, it is supremely unlike that many Democrats will go to him. And it’s entirely possible many Republicans would rather not show up at all than give a Democrat a vote. There’s a window of opportunity there for the Democratic Party to take back the House.
Make no mistake about it, Trump’s total inability to behave for 5 minutes is having a ripple effect.
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