PoliticsMidterm Elections


Democrats Are Likely To Retake The House. What's At Stake?

If Democrats retake the House, they'll have investigative power. That could be bad news for President Donald Trump.
Posted at 12:49 PM, Nov 02, 2018

It's like a game of pick-up-sticks out there in the last dash to Election Day. Each party is scrambling for as many seats as it can get. 

The House is the main battleground, since it's the chamber most likely to flip on election night. If Democrats win, they'll gain control over investigative committees and can use that power to go after the Trump administration.

"We would be able to get Donald Trump's tax returns to see if he's being influenced by foreign entities," Rep. Ted Lieu told The Hill. "We can call in the secretary of Homeland Security to ask her why she still has hundreds of children that she has not reunited that she ripped away from parents at the border."

A quick fact-check: The government said in mid-October it still had 245 kids in its custody that were separated under the zero-tolerance border policy. It says 175 of those kids have parents who've already been deported.

So that's one area where Democrats could press forward if they gain control. And that's pretty likely to happen. They need 218 seats to have a majority. Most analysts agree the House will end up in the blue. 538, for example, gives Dems about an 85 percent chance of controlling the chamber.

Of course, that's all based on money raised, past voting and, yes, polls. Nothing is a sure thing until the polls are closed, the results are in and, well, it's a sure thing.

When it comes to making it a sure thing, Democrats are focusing a lot of energy on some key, competitive races.

There's Minnesota's 3rd District, where Democrat Dean Phillips is trying to replace incumbent Republican Erik Paulsen. Republican Andy Barr is fighting to keep control of Kentucky's 6th District, despite a tough challenge from Democrat Amy McGrath. She's the fighter pilot who made history in the Marines before jumping into politics. And it's a close competition in Ohio's 12th District, where Democrat Danny O'Connor is hoping to unseat Republican Troy Balderson.

One more point: The president's party usually loses seats in a midterm election. That's exacerbated when a president's approval rating is below 50 percent. President Donald Trump's approval rating has never broken a 46 percent average.