For the past 6-9 months, we’ve heard predictions that Democrats would retake the majority in the House and possibly in the Senate, too. According to James Freeman’s latest column, that’s looking less likely.

According to Freeman’s column, “Mr. Trump remains underwater on the general question of his handling of the presidency, with a majority in virtually every poll expressing disapproval. But he is showing increasing strength on the issue of the economy, which just happens to be the issue that frequently decides elections. This week, the Economist/YouGov survey shows him ten points above water, with 49% approving of his handling of the economy compared to only 39% who disapprove.”

As more people notice bigger monthly paychecks and as people feel the effects of cheaper electric bills, Trump’s approval rating will strengthen. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, though. The latest Star Tribune-Minnesota Poll isn’t great news for the DFL:

Minnesotans are more narrowly divided on whether they are likely to vote for a Democrat or a Republican in November’s congressional elections than the rest of the country. A new Star Tribune Minnesota Poll found that 47 percent are now inclined to vote for a Democrat, while 45 percent said they’ll probably vote for a Republican — a statistical tie given the poll’s 3.5 percentage point margin of error.

That’s great news for the MnGOP. This will help them hold the seats they currently have while giving them a shot at flipping Tim Walz’s seat in Southern Minnesota.

I’d be surprised if Democrats weren’t counting on flipping MN-3 and MN-2 while holding MN-1. If the DCCC’s dream isn’t realized, that’s a major blow to them retaking the House.

Why should 2018 be any different? When lawmakers enacted the Reagan tax cuts in 1981, Republicans blundered by agreeing to delay the implementation of many provisions. Without the immediate pro-growth boost, the U.S. economy shrank by nearly 2% in 1982 and voters registered their displeasure.

This notion that the party that holds the White House loses seats is statistically accurate but it isn’t automatic. Patterns are patterns until they aren’t anymore.

Ninety-five percent of Democrats and the same percentage of Republicans said they’re inclined to vote for candidates from their own parties. Among independents, 43 percent said they lean Democratic and an identical percentage said they’re more likely to vote for Republicans.

Based on the fact that the Minnesota Poll consistently oversamples Democrats, I’d argue that the DFL ought to be worried. This isn’t good news for the DFL.

If the economy keeps improving nationally, that will help Republicans across the nation. Additionally, the RNC has pulverized the DNC in terms of fundraising and organizing:

Perez started off his tenure with some lofty goals and inspiring promises. In addition to funding the Democrats’ national efforts for the midterms, the new chairman recognized that their state-level organization was in disrepair. He pledged an additional ten million dollar fund specifically allocated for state parties to rebuild and staff up for the 2018 battles. Thus far, however, Vice reports that it simply hasn’t happened. In fact, not only have they not sent ten million dollars to the state parties, they don’t even have ten million on hand.

It’s still a long ways off and momentum can shift at least 20 times between now and Election Day. Still, the fundraising numbers and the popularity of the Trump/GOP tax cuts are things Republicans can feel good about heading into 2018.

Finally, the Schumer Shutdown is hurting Democrats. While they’re fighting for illegal immigrants, Republicans are blistering them with criticisms. This video is mild compared to some of the McConnell speeches:

This is the most recent year that Democrats insist that they’ll retake the House. While it’s their best opportunity to retake it, that isn’t the same as saying they’re guaranteed to win.

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