The Corner

How Will Senate Democrats Feel in 2017?

Enough speculation about Cleveland in July. Let’s speculate about Washington, D.C., in 2017 instead.

David Frum tries to think through how a President Hillary Clinton and a Democratic Senate would govern. The senators, he suggests, will want to go even further left than Clinton. “All of them will know that they have a relatively short time to implement an agenda before the Republican snap-back from the self-inflicted defeat of November 2016. They’ll try to move fast on an agenda that is passionately desired by their base, but unsupported by any broad national coalition.”

He could be right. But Democrats will have 25 Senate seats up in 2018 and Republicans only 8. (Republicans did poorly in the Senate elections of 2000, 2006, and 2012; their last successful election with these seats came in 1994.) Democrats are going to have to defend seats in Missouri, Indiana, North Dakota, West Virginia, Montana. . . . If you’re a Democrat, you do not want to go into a midterm election with this group of seats and a Democratic president. If you’re a Democratic senator, you might be a tad nervous in 2017 and 2018.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.


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