President Trump hasn’t been successful with much that he’s set out to accomplish since taking office, but he has successfully accomplished at least one thing — maintaining what’s been a record low approval rating for a modern U.S. president only this far into their tenure.
At this point, between 3 in 10 and 4 in 10 Americans approve of the job that he’s doing as president.
There are serious indications of the president remaining this dramatically unpopular among the general population, and they’ve already become clear.
Come 2018, the GOP is going to be interested in maintaining their grip on power in both Houses of Congress, and not only is the president in basically no position to assist them in their efforts to maintain majorities, but his rise has coincided with a significant apparent downfall in the national GOP’s fortunes. Trump has helped cast the nation into an even more intense partisan polarization than before; those who hated Republican belligerence before have even more of a reason to hate it now, and come 2018, Republicans are facing the serious possibility of losing their majority in both Houses of Congress.
The seat held by Republican U.S. Senator Bob Corker in Tennessee has now had its rating changed to “Toss Up” by the political analysts at the Cook Political Report, with the change coming after former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen announced that he would run for the seat.
Now, three currently Republican-held Senate seats are rated as “toss-ups” by the organization, which is the precise number that Democrats have to pick up — in addition to holding onto the seats they already have — in order to take a previously more far fetched majority in the Senate come 2018.
Although there had been at least one other candidate in the Tennessee Senate race on the Democratic side before Bredesen entered it, Bredesen has significantly more political firepower than that other candidate, attorney and Iraq War veteran James Mackler.
Bredesen was the last Democrat to be elected to statewide political office in Tennessee, having served for two terms as the state’s governor, from 2003 through 2011. Before that, from 1991-1999, he spent two terms as the mayor of Nashville.
As Jennifer E. Duffy of the Cook Political Report described Bredesen’s appeal:
‘Many Democratic strategists believe that Bredesen can appeal to voters across party lines in a state that has become increasingly more Republican in recent years. He also has a demonstrated ability to raise money (and has plenty of his own) and the remnants of a political organization.’
As Duffy explained, although holding onto their own 25 seats that are up for grabs in 2018 and picking up every one of the “Toss-up” Republican held seats would be a “tall order,” there is a possibility that more GOP seats come into play between now and the 2018 elections.
As for the House of Representatives, Democrats need a net gain of 24 seats to take control of the chamber that they’ve been the minority in since 2010.
Democrats currently enjoy a healthy lead in generic Congressional ballot polling, with them about 8.3 percent ahead of Democrats with under a year to go until 2018 Election Day.
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