This week has been rough for President Donald Trump, to say the least. He was trending on Twitter due to conversations about his perceived declining health. His approval ratings are sinking like a stone. The twin crises of the pandemic and widespread civil unrest have tested his administration and found it wanting.
In the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Roberts dealt the White House a double-barrel blast of judiciary prejudice. On Monday, Roberts was in the majority on a landmark case for LGBT rights. On Thursday he once again sided with the liberal wing of the court on a case supporting immigrants. What’s more, Trump faced harsh criticism over the original date of a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
As these major blows are dealt to him, can Trump bounce back from this rough week? The electoral map is swinging against him. There is a very real chance that Trump loses his reelection bid in November. Even worse for the GOP, there’s a solid chance that they lose power in the Senate, too.
How Bad are Things for the GOP?
Things have certainly been better for the current administration, and for Republicans in the Senate. When Trump assumed power in 2016, Republicans had control of both the House and the Senate. This led to a complete monopoly on power in Washington.
However, by 2018, the electorate dealt a stunning repudiation of the GOP, flipping the House to a Democratic majority.
Polling data currently shows Trump trailing his likely November opponent Joe Biden by some 13 percent. That’s a huge margin, and indicative of a major issue for the president. But what could be more concerning is the likelihood that the GOP loses the Senate in November. Even if Trump manages to carry the general election, if his party loses the Senate, it could be just as disastrous in the long run.
Why November is so Important
The electoral map is skewed far against Republicans this year. Currently, top advisors for the party aren’t considering what a November win looks like, as it’s far too unlikely. Instead, they’re trying to mitigate potential damage come election day.
Senate Republicans are defending some 22 seats this year, to Democrats 13. In order to seize control of the Senate, Democrats need to score at least three seats, or at most four.
If Biden wins the presidency, they just need three, whereas they need four should Trump win. However, neither of these numbers will be difficult to achieve.
As such, November is less of a question of “will Republicans win?” and more of a question of “how badly will Republicans lose?”