The following is an excerpt from Steve Benen | March 21, 2016 | msnbc.com |
It’s been clear for quite a while that the Senate is up for grabs in 2016. Republicans are in the majority, but they’re defending 24 seats to the Democrats’ 10, and Dems only need a net gain of 5 seats to push the GOP back into the minority. Given the various factors – recruiting, fundraising, turnout projections – Democrats are feeling cautious optimism.
And while the upper chamber is obviously critically important, we have plenty of experience in recent years witnessing Congress’ dysfunction at a time of divided control, with Democrats in the Senate majority and Republicans in control of the House. But thanks to 2010 redistricting, the GOP majority in the lower chamber is practically untouchable.
Or is it? The non-partisan Cook Political Report published a report late last week that raised some eyebrows.
Republicans are sitting on their largest majority since 1928 – 247 seats to 188 – meaning Democrats would need to pick up 30 seats, a daunting challenge given the GOP’s immense redistricting advantage and the vaporization of swing districts. But all cycle, Democrats have daydreamed about Republicans nominating an extremely polarizing presidential candidate, and suddenly it’s almost certain they will get their wish.
A Trump or Cruz nomination wouldn’t guarantee a down-ballot disaster for the GOP, but operatives on both sides admit it would inject much more uncertainty into races – especially if it were Trump…. David Wasserman, who monitors House races for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, says there is now the POSSIBILITY that the House of Representatives could flip with either Trump or Ted Cruz at the top of the ticket.
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