Skip to content
Ramesh Ponnuru

Republicans Have a Lot to Fear in November

The stakes are high because the Democrats have both grand legislative ambitions and possession of the White House.

Who’s really driving the agenda?

Who’s really driving the agenda?

Photographer: Samuel Corum/Getty Images North America

How much do next month’s elections for the US House and Senate really matter? If merely asking the question sounds like a betrayal of civic duty, it shouldn’t. The cliché is that the next race is always “the most important election of our lifetimes.” But some elections have more far-reaching consequences than others.

The midterm elections in 2018 had high turnout. Emotions ran high concerning President Donald Trump and recently confirmed Justice Brett Kavanaugh. But while the results affected court appointments and symbolic impeachments, they had little effect on legislative outcomes. With Trump in the White House but his party uninterested in passing major legislation, the range of potential policies that could realistically be pursued was narrow. As it turned out, Democrats won the House but not the Senate.