Republicans and Democrats alike face troubling signals from voters

Republicans and Democrats alike face troubling signals from voters
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Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Groups plan mass walkout in support of Kavanaugh accuser MORE should be alarmed, and Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiDems see Kavanaugh saga as playing to their advantage Democrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her Sinema, Fitzpatrick call for long-term extension of Violence Against Women Act MORE should be concerned. The election results this week delivered messages to both. A House held by Democrats would translate into endless congressional investigations that the administration is logistically and temperamentally not suited to handle. The White House nightmares would no longer be restricted to Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE or the specter of impeachment. Rather, Trump, his family, and his staff would all likely receive a full political body scan.

Picture Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossWilbur Ross ordered to give deposition in 2020 census case: report The seafood trade deficit is a diversionary tactic Wilbur Ross is wrong; the pain from the trade war is coming MORE getting grilled on his questionable actions by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Imagine Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpDershowitz: Trump's lawyers could force Rosenstein to recuse himself from Mueller probe On The Money: Trump signs first 2019 'minibus' spending package | Mueller probing transactions by Russian organizers of Trump Tower meeting | Stocks brush off trade fears Trump Jr. slams Rosenstein report: 'No one is shocked' MORE and Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerMueller investigating Russian payments made by Trump Tower meeting organizers: report The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh confirmation in sudden turmoil Manafort’s plea deal — the clear winners and losers MORE facing the music in open session before Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffKey House Dem's objections stall intel bill as deadline looms The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh and his accuser will testify publicly Russia probe accelerates political prospects for House Intel Dems MORE and the House Intelligence Committee. Think of Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsRep. Cummings: Will Kavanaugh take lie detector test and ask for FBI investigation? Graham to renew call for second special counsel Hillicon Valley: Sanders finds perfect target in Amazon | Cyberattacks are new fear 17 years after 9/11 | Firm outs alleged British Airways hackers | Trump to target election interference with sanctions | Apple creating portal for police data requests MORE, who would likely lead the House Oversight Committee if Democrats take the House, doing a deep dive on White House compliance with the emoluments clause. It would be a discomforting civics lesson. Then there is alleged abuse enabler Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanGOP set to move 4B spending bill despite Trump criticisms Hillicon Valley: Trump cyber strategy lets US go on offense | AT&T urges court to let Time Warner merger stand | Conservatives want wife of DOJ official to testify | Facebook, nonprofits team up to fight fake news | DC camera hacker pleads guilty FBI memos detail ‘partisan axes,’ secret conflicts behind the Russia election meddling assessment MORE defending Trump, just in time for the 2020 contests. In the age of Trump, “law and order” is a punchline invoked by the party faithful now with less fervor and sincerity than “lock her up” with indicted Chris CollinsChristopher (Chris) Carl CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh, accuser say they’re prepared to testify Indicted lawmaker angers GOP with decision to run for reelection Election Countdown: Trump confident about midterms in Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh controversy tests candidates | Sanders, Warren ponder if both can run | Super PACs spending big | Two states open general election voting Friday | Latest Senate polls MORE the latest poster child of our times.

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As for Pelosi, the results in Ohio indicate that Republicans are in trouble, but they also signal that she is a burden for Democratic challengers outside blue precincts. Midwest suburbanites are tired of Trump, but they are also weary of the longtime California representative. As a result, Democratic candidates in competitive districts may be forced to disavow Pelosi as their next Speaker. Such is the possible price for seizing the reins of power. On that score, watch Danny O’Connor equivocate as to whether he would support handing Pelosi the gavel.

His dithering may have cost him the seat. Prudence dictated that he should have followed the lead of Conor Lamb. In fact, prudence looks like it was frequently ignored, starting with Pelosi herself. Her infamous interview with the Washington Post last year fell somewhere between hubris and delusion. “I am a master legislator,” she said. “I have a loom, and I bring all these different threads together.” At that rate, why not just go full “Almost Famous” and scream that she is a golden god?

Still, both Trump and Pelosi have reasons to smile. In Ohio, Troy Balderson saved the president from the embarrassment of a loss. In Kansas, Kris Kobach, another Trump favorite and fabulist, pulled off an upset win in the race for the Republican gubernatorial nod. As for the Democrats, socialism is no longer looking like the flavor of the month. In Michigan, Democrats gave Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate Ben & Jerry’s co-founders announce effort to help 7 Dem House challengers Dems look to Gillum, Abrams for pathway to victory in tough states MORE the thumbs down and instead tapped Gretchen Whitmer as their nominee for governor. Party regulars can exhale until the next crisis or November.

In hindsight, the New York primary win of Ocasio Cortez might have been isolated, driven more by the demographics of her district than by policy. To put things into perspective, incumbent Joe CrowleyJoseph (Joe) CrowleyFor Capuano in Massachusetts, demography was destiny Carper fends off progressive challenger in Delaware primary Election Countdown: Fallout from Massachusetts stunner | In Delaware, Carper looks to avoid next progressive upset | Dem 2020 primary already in full swing | How a Dem ex-governor hopes to take red-state Tennessee | GOP challengers hit Dems over tax votes MORE forgot that he represented a majority-minority district, where nearly half of its residents are latino. Politicians, like house guests, can wear out their welcome. With less than three months left to the midterm elections, neither party will have much room for error. The Republicans live in fear of the president, his ever present shadow, and his underwater poll numbers. Meanwhile, the Democrats must continue to marshal their unruly coalition.

How it all ends up this year has yet to fully unfold, but the contours of a blue wave are coming into focus. When Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersGOP: The economy will shield us from blue wave Jordan hits campaign trail amid bid for Speaker Conservatives blame McCarthy for Twitter getting before favorable committee MORE, a top House Republican, stands in danger of defeat, the party has a problem. Last week, Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamHouse Judiciary chair threatens subpoena if DOJ doesn’t supply McCabe memos by Tuesday Rosenstein report gives GOP new ammo against DOJ Graham: There's a 'bureaucratic coup' taking place against Trump MORE posited that Democrats might even take the House with a margin of up to 12 seats to spare. Against this backdrop, Pelosi may even be secretly grinning. Trump? Not so much.

Lloyd Green was the opposition research counsel to the George H.W. Bush campaign in 1988 and later served in the U.S. Department of Justice. He is now the managing member of research and analytics firm Ospreylytics.