US midterm elections: As Donald Trump ratings rise, Republicans' hold on Senate race tightens and Democrats forecast to keep House

New York: US President Donald Trump’s ratings and the Republicans’ poll forecasts for holding on to their US Senate majority are inching up steadily as the midterm elections near and this comes immediately after Trump’s pushback to the #MeToo movement in the wake of the sexual assault allegations against Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. This trend is surfacing at a time when American opinion is shifting against victims a year after the #MeToo movement began.

Democratic prospects in the Senate have fallen to about 1 in 5 and there’s almost no good news to come by. The most closely fought Senate races in the midterms are in extremely red states while the lion’s share of House races are in geographies which are more educated than the US average.

An ABC News/Washington Post poll is reporting 41 percent of adults approve of Trump’s job performance, up from 36 percent in late August. Real Clear politics' Senate forecast has the Democrats’ graph flattened out as the Republicans’ fortunes rise markedly after the Kavanaugh nomination chaos played out. A YouGov - Economist poll results out today show that the proportion of surveyed population which think that women who complain about sexual harassment cause more problems than they solve has grown from 29% to 31%. The same survey also shows that 18% of Americans (compared with 13%) now think that false accusations of sexual assault are a bigger problem than attacks that go unreported or unpunished.

Representational image. Wikimedia Commons

Representational image. Wikimedia Commons

While all those numbers seem to be moving to the Republicans' advantage in America, the House forecast, though, is going in the exact opposite direction. There, Democrats are in with a 4 in 5 chance of flipping the balance of power.

“While House battlegrounds are somewhat whiter, more suburban and more educated than the country overall, there are quite a few exceptions — enough so that Democrats could underperform in certain types of districts but still have reasonably good chances to win the House. This differs from Hillary Clinton’s position in the Electoral College in 2016, in which underperformance among just one group of voters in one region — white working-class voters in the Midwest — was enough to cost her the election”, explains Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.

Republicans have begun to concede defeat in the evolving fight to preserve the House majority. The party has begun shifting resources away from vulnerable Republican House candidates and reinvesting in those thought to have a better chance of political survival.

Democrats need a net gain of 23 seats to take control of the House. Generic polls point to at least 30 seats being toss ups in November. This is how tough the Senate race looks: Democrats will still need to win the lion's share of West Virginia, North Dakota, Missouri, Montana, Indiana, and Florida plus Republican-held seats in Nevada, Arizona, and maybe even Tennessee or Texas — to get to the 51 seats they need. Democrats always had an uphill climb for retaking the Senate. Ten Democrats are up for reelection in states that Donald Trump won in 2016. Republicans are clinging to a razor thin 50-49 majority in the Senate after Senator John McCain's demise.

The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the US Congress. Alongwith the US House of Representatives, these two chambers make up the US legislature. Each state, irrespective of population, is represented by 2 Senators in the US Senate who serve staggered terms of six years.

Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to and hit the Subscribe button.

Updated Date: Oct 15, 2018 23:20 PM

Also See