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Political Experts Predict a Blue Wave is Coming in November: Onsite at GAC.

Byline: Peter Strozniak

WASHINGTON -- Political consultants believe a Blue Wave will crash the U.S. House of Representatives in November, but they disagree whether it will overtake Republican control in the 2018 midterm elections just nine months away.

During a CUNA GAC break out session Tuesday, former Democratic Senator, Mark Begich of Alaska, noted that Democrats won about 37 special election races in various state house or senate seats throughout the nation

"It's an unbelievable number, (but) what's happening is people are (saying) I gave you a chance, you didn't perform, you're out," Begich said.

He noted that in seven seats in Oklahoma in districts where Trump won by 40 points or more went to Democrats because there is so much voter frustration. But Begich is not so sure that these victories will carry over into the federal election nine months from now.

"There is a lot of this upheaval that is not clear yet," he said. "I have this little button that someone gave me that says, 'in elections every week is a lifetime.' And we got a lot of lifetimes between now and the elections."

Barry Jackson, a Republican who worked for the George W. Bush administration, noted that elected officials nowadays are one tweet away from being lit up like a Roman candle.

What he believes is going to have the biggest impact on the midterm elections is the grassroots efforts of getting voters out to the polls, especially in today's environment where people are sick and tired of the status quo. Whichever party does that the best will probably win.

"Here's how I look at the upcoming election: Historically, a president in his first off year, his party takes a hit," he said. "In this case, I think it's interesting. The big thing that he (Trump) has done is the economy. And it's really hard to imagine that come September, October, we're still not going to be in a very robust economy. So I think that is one of those things that is really different this time --- money matters."

But he acknowledged that the enthusiasm among Democrats is higher, which will make a difference.

"If I had to guess today and say it on the record, I assume we are going to lose maybe up to a dozen seats on the Republican side of the House, but I think we are going to hold the House," he said.

Begich, of course, thinks that Democrats will win the House, though by very a slim margin, because there are a lot of good candidates running for office.

"I think the way they win the House (is that) they use the anger, and the frustration and the fear (about) Trump to get to the door, but at the end of the day, you have to show an alternative," he said. "If it's we don't like President Trump, you're going to lose. If it's I don't like President Trump and here's what I have to offer differently, now the voter has a choice. Voters are ready to swing one way or another because their frustration is high, and if you show an alternative, you can win.'

Begich and Jackson believe that the Senate will stay in Republican control for a variety of reasons.

But there will be some races such as Florida, for example, that will be very interesting to watch in the aftermath of the Parkland school shooting tragedy and the gun rights issue.

"The Senate (race) map to me (has) a lot of unknowns," said Jackson. "I think it holds for us. I feel pretty good about that."

Begich noted that the gun issue is now being pushed from the youth perspective, which has never been done before, and it is an issue that will probably not go away.

"This (gun issue) could play a little different in a few of these states other than in Florida," he said.
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Publication:Credit Union Times
Date:Feb 28, 2018
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