The news stories of 2017 kept Americans on the edges of their seats, with constant twists, turns, and unexpected developments on the U.S. and world political fronts. One consequence is that Americans are heading into 2018 more politically polarized than ever. The two major American political parties are not only philosophically more distant from each other, but each of the parties is more deeply divided within itself.
Many started 2017 with a wait-and-see, win-some, lose-some attitude. Others felt particularly buoyed by the political wins, while still others saw them as a direct threat to freedoms, and possibly to the U.S. position in the world. As we head into 2018, though, we can all agree that our nation has never seen the likes of the roller coaster ride that was the 2017 political scene.
The Five Reflect on 2017 | Fox News [2017-12-31]
Morning Joe Looks to the Year Ahead | Morning Joe MSNBC [2018-01-01]
Should Democrats Be Optimistic about the 2018 Mid-term Elections?
In November of 2018, a total of 468 U.S. Congress seats (33 in the Senate and all 435 seats in the House) will be up for election. Thirty-four U.S. State Governor’s offices will be up for re-election in 2018, as well. This presents a huge opportunity for Democrats to regain ground and take the country in a new direction. Will 2018 see a “blue wave” in the political landscape?
Democrats, not unlike the GOP, are experiencing a divide within their party, though, and this could hurt them in 2018. Unity over what the party currently stands for may be the Democrats’ biggest hurdle in the 2018 elections.
Some see the passage of the GOP Tax Bill as a desperate act, and an indicator that Republicans are losing ground. Democrats, who loudly and unilaterally opposed the bill, could pick up support as a result. Others see the Tax Bill as a demonstration of GOP strength, and remain faithful that middle-class American voters will experience some of the promised tax relief, with renewed support for the Republican party.
Historically, midterm elections have rarely been good news for a sitting president and his party. Current polls indicate that 56 percent of American voters would be more likely to vote for a Democrat in the 2018 mid-term elections, and just 38 percent would rather vote for a Republican.
On the other hand, though President Trump’s approval rating hovers at around 35 percent, the economy is doing well, and the jobs outlook is good. In November, 2018, will Americans vote on the issues that are important to them, or will their vote be a statement for (or against) the President? Will it be more about loss of trust in the current administration, or more about renewed hope for what is possible for the future?
What does the political landscape look like in 2018? | Face the Nation [2017-12-24]
Will Republicans Lose the House? | Fox Business [2017-12-26]