|The Elephant (GOP) Kicks the Donkey (Democrats) -- Deja Vu All Over Again|
(These are symbols of both political parties which date back to the late-1800's)
The "conventional wisdom" as of today holds that the Democratic Party will gain control of the House of Representatives from the Republican Party for the first time since the 2010 election, and hold losses in the Senate to under 1 or 2 seats in the important midterm elections on Tuesday, November 6. Conventional wisdom also holds that the Democrats will also make inroads in governor races, perhaps picking up states such as Michigan and Florida, and winning over important state legislative chambers that were lost in the Obama years. All in all, the upcoming midterms will be a win for the Democratic Party.
But what will happen if the Democrats do not win control of the House of the Representatives, which will require a gain of 23 congressional seats, and will lose as many as 4 Senate seats in red states including Montana, Missouri, Indiana, and North Dakota, where incumbent Democratic Senators are facing tough reelection battles? What if the hyped "blue wave" fails to materialize - or, only turns into an ineffective "purple sludge"?
What is 2018 is a repeat of 2016, the year in which Donald Trump pulled off one of the most unexpected upsets in American political history? What could be some of the consequences?
Here are some things that probably will happen:
Donald Trump would become the unquestioned and most powerful leader the Republic Party has seen in a generation. He would almost certainly terminate Rosenstein and Sessions after January 1, and would use the results of the election as rationale for ending the Russia probe. A Republican controlled Congress would offer no resistance in this effort.
The Dow Jones industrial average would favorably respond to new tax cuts and social safety net cuts (Obamacare, Medicare, and Social Security cuts) that a Republican Congress would certainly deploy for Trump administration phase 2.
Trumpism as a political strategy - appeals to nationalism, nativism, and social conservatism would have been shown to work. The Republican Party will continue to pander to its right wing rather than its center.
Nancy Pelosi would almost certainly be replaced as the leader of the Democratic Party in the House of Representatives. A battle between moderate and progressive wings could ensue for control
The Democratic Party itself could enter into a civil war between moderate and "democratic socialist" wings as it enters into the Presidential Nomination process for 2020, making the 2016 Sanders/Clinton fight seem mild by comparison.
A third party could emerge from the chaos. The last time a third party made a real impact on Presidential Elections by winning a large number of electoral college votes beyond a specific region was Teddy Roosevelt's Bull Moose Progressive Party in 1912. We could see something like this emerge. Rapid news cycles and social media could heighten interest in this.
Get ready for the unexpected.