Believe it or not, the 2018 midterm elections are right around the corner. With both elected branches of the federal government currently under the control of the Republican Party, Democrats are unsurprisingly aiming to wrest at least partial control of the government from the president’s party.
For now, the odds seem to be — somewhat unsurprisingly, considering the president’s massive unpopularity — in the Democrats’ favor. Democrats currently sit about 6.6 percent ahead of Republicans in generic Congressional ballot polling.
Only time will tell if that margin is large enough for the Democrats to be able to manage to take back control of at least one of the houses of Congress this fall, but in the meantime, the Democrats have now become the beneficiaries of a Supreme Court decision in their favor.
The Supreme Court ruled on Monday against Pennsylvania Republicans, who had been seeking to have a lower court’s order demanding essentially immediate redrawing of Congressional district maps in the state overturned. The Pennsylvania General Assembly has to submit a redistricting plan within the next couple of weeks or risk having a court decide the new, more fitting district lines for the state.
The ruling means that — pending how quickly the redistricting is accomplished — the formerly Republican favoring districts in the state will be made to be more even, correcting one of many electoral problems plaguing the country.
This ruling is notable, besides the obvious fact of it helping Democrats in their electoral ambitions, because of the fact that one of the current judges on the bench is a Trump appointee. Even though Trump had the opportunity early on in his tenure to inject his politics into the operations of the Supreme Court, that wasn’t enough to save the ambitions of his Pennsylvania party members.
The Supreme Court ruling in Democrats’ favor could have, as CNN notes, “massive ramifications for the 2018 midterm elections, where Republicans’ control of the US House is on the line and Democrats are targeting a handful of GOP-held seats in Pennsylvania.”
Among the seats currently being targeted by Democrats are those held by Reps. Charlie Dent and Pat Meehan, both of whom are retiring, the latter in the face of a bizarre sexual harassment scandal.
Other seats in Pennsylvania currently being targeted by Democrats are those held by Reps. Ryan Costello and Brian Fitzpatrick, both of which could be more in play than before, considering the Supreme Court’s upholding of the order for Congressional redistricting.
Democrats, according to CNN, have to pick up two dozen House seats in order to become the majority party in the lower Congressional chamber after the next midterm elections — and in Pennsylvania alone, they’re aiming to pick up at least four of those.
Democrats’ efforts have been buoyed by an array of Republican retirement announcements, ranging from Reps. Ed Royce and Darrell Issa to Reps. Frank LoBiondo and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
Should Democrats become the majority party in the House — if not the Senate as well — it would empower opposition to the president’s incendiary agenda, an opposition that currently has less potent legislative force than it could have.
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