If Democrats are able to pull off a blue wave in November, that wave will wash unevenly across the United States, leaving some areas knee-deep in Democratic representation and others barely touched, according to The Cook Political Report’s David Wasserman.
There are essentially two separate elections taking place in 2018, he argued in a recent New York Times op-ed — and the result could be a Congress more toxic than Americans have seen so far.
It’s almost Mars vs. Venus: The Senate hinges on red, rural states where Democrats are on defense. But the House will be decided by swing, suburban seats where Republicans are highly vulnerable.
This fall, Democrats are defending 26 Senate seats, with Bernie Sanders and Angus King (more than half of their caucus), including five seats that voted for President Trump by 19 points or more. Republicans are defending only nine seats (fewer than a fifth of their caucus); all but one are states Mr. Trump carried.
But in the House, where all 435 seats are up for election, Republicans are much more exposed: They must defend 25 districts Hillary Clinton carried, whereas Democrats must defend only 13 seats Mr. Trump won.
If Republicans are able to maintain majority in the Senate and Democrats succeed in retaking the House, the parties are liable to become “accountable to two almost entirely different sets of voters with boiling contempt for one another’s politics and little understanding of one another’s way of life”, Wasserman said.
And between the two chambers, the Senate is more unrepresentative:
Whereas most House seats have roughly the same number of constituents, a majority of the Senate now represents just 18 percent of the nation’s population. And this fall, the Senate will come down to seats that are much whiter, more rural and pro-Trump than the nation as a whole. In effect, geography could again be Mr. Trump’s greatest protector: After all, the Senate — not the House — would have the final say on any impeachment proceedings.