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Public Lecture Slides (11.14.2018): After the Midterm Elections - US Politics/Society and Japan


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US Midterm Elections: What Happened, Why it happened, and What it means
Speaker: Paul Sracic

Lecture video is available here:

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Public Lecture Slides (11.14.2018): After the Midterm Elections - US Politics/Society and Japan

  1. 1. U.S. Midterm Elections: What Happened, Why it happened, and What it means Paul Sracic Chair, Department of Politics and International Relations Youngstown State University Visiting Fulbright Lecturer Waseda University
  2. 2. Part 1 • What Happened?
  3. 3. U.S. House of Representatives -435 members/need 218 members to control. -193 current Democrats + 2 Democratic vacancies = 195 current Democrats -195 + 23 = 218. Democrats needed to gain 23 seats in the House to have a majority -Democrats gained at least 35 seats -Democrats will likely have won 53% of races
  4. 4. So Far (likely): • Democrats won 22/26 seats at risk (85%) • Republicans won 7 out of 9 seats at risk. (78%) • Republicans net gain will be 2 seats • 116th Congress = 53 R – 47 D - U.S . Senate
  5. 5. BlueWave?
  6. 6. Legislative Outcomes 1. Democratic House/Democratic Senate 2. Republican House/Democratic Senate 3. Democratic House/Republican Senate 4. Republican House/Republican Senate
  7. 7. Part II Why Did it Happen?
  8. 8. Midterm Rule
  9. 9. “Midterm Rule” Why? • Presidential party “overperforms” in prior election due to “presidential coattails” Coattails • ”Weak partisans” stay home during midterm elections. Surge and Decline • Voters are evaluating the president. This nationalizes elections. Referendum • Last election’s losers more motivated than winners. Also, some voters always want to “balance” presidential power. Presidential Penalty
  10. 10. Gender Gap
  11. 11. Record Number of Female Candidates in 2018 A total of 256 women were on the ballot in House or Senate races • 197 Democrats • 59 Republicans 234 women running for the House 22 Women ran for the Senate.
  12. 12. Record Number of Females in Congress At least 112 Women will Serve in the 116th Congress 10 Female candidates have won election to the Senate (where 10 Women already serve) So Far, 92 Female candidates have won election to the House of Representatives
  13. 13. Young Kim would be the 1st Korean- American Female elected to Congress Republican running in California - 39
  14. 14. Gerrymandering • January 2018, Pennsylvania Supreme Court found Republican Gerrymander in violation of State Constitution • Summer of 2018, U.S. Supreme Court rejects challenge to Pennsylvania action, but sends back cases from North Carolina and Wisconsin
  15. 15. Suburban Switch The richest House districts (median household income, 2017) in 10 states flipped from Republican to Democratic in this election: (CO-6; GA-6; IL-6; IA-3; KS-3; MI-11; MN-3; NJ-7; PA-7; SC-1) UT-4 is likely to join, making 11.
  16. 16. Education Gap?
  17. 17. Education or Gender Gap?
  18. 18. Part III What Does it Mean?
  19. 19. 2020 Presidential Campaign
  20. 20. 2020 Presidential Campaign
  21. 21. Who will run?
  22. 22. Impact on Trade and Foreign Affairs • Since Democrats won a majority of seats in the House of Representatives, all committee chairs will change.
  23. 23. Was it a Foreign Policy Election?
  24. 24. Foreign Policy
  25. 25. Immigration
  26. 26. November 12, 2018
  27. 27. Most Important Change in the 116th Congress? Committees in the House of Representatives. Functions of Committees? • Oversight • Policy Focus
  28. 28. House Armed Services Committee • Current Chair: Mac Thornberry (R TX 13) • Worked to moderate President Trump’s policies • Advocated for both increased military spending and reforms of the Pentagon’s “4th Estate” • Outspoken supporter of Secretary of Defense Mattis • New Chair: Adam Smith (D WA 9) • Has been critical of Trump’s use of the military, particularly in the Middle East • Wants to cut Pentagon Budget • Wants to audit the Pentagon • Opposes modernizing nuclear arsenal • Supports a round of base closings and reduced presence of the U.S. around the world
  29. 29. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence • Current: Devin Nunes (R CA 22) • Outspoken defender of President Trump in Russia Investigation. • High profile critic of Department of Justice and Russia Probe. • New Chair: Adam Schiff (D CA 28) • Outspoken critic of President Trump. • Likely restart probe into Trump campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 elections.
  30. 30. House Foreign Affairs Committee • Current: Ed Royce (R CA 39, did not seek reelection) • Criticized for not demanding that the White House defend its National Security Strategy • Wife was nominated as Asst. Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs • New Chair: Eliot Engel (D NY 16) • Prominent critic of Trump on U.S. Foreign Policy • Will schedule hearings on whether President Trump’s international properties represent a conflict with U.S. foreign policy • Focus on Russia and Saudi Arabia
  31. 31. Senate Foreign Relations Committee • Current: Bob Corker (R-retiring) • New James E. Risch (Idaho) but possibly Rubio • Risch is thought to be more compliant with Trump than Corker. He supported escalation in North Korea and Trump’s withdrawal from Paris Accord. Risch may want Energy and Natural Resources, because he’s from Idaho. • Next in line, Marco Rubio (FL). He is a major supporter of Japan. • If Democrats had won: Bob Menendez (New Jersey) • Menendez was indicted on Federal corruption charges but jury couldn’t reach a decision. Had been removed from SFR during trial • Menendez has been very critical of Trump, accusing him of damaging the State Department. • Menendez is considered a “hawk”. He was among the most ardent and vocal opponents of Obama’s policy toward Iran.
  32. 32. Effect on Trade Policy USMCA Negotiated under "fast track rules" Will need approval from both houses of Congress China Trade War Section 301 Tariffs No formal role for Congress Trade Agreement with Japan Administration following 'fast track" rules October 16th letter to Congress “Intent to begin negotiations” no later than January 16, 2019. October 26th letter to U.S. International Trade Commission
  33. 33. House Ways and Means Committee • Current: Kevin Brady (R TX 8) • Has expressed concerns about trade war. • Would have supported USMCA • New Chair: Richard Neal (D MA 1) • Will likely try to make Trump hand over tax records. • Neal voted against NAFTA back in 1993, and would cause trade difficulties for Trump. • Referring to enforcement provisions, said “Bar for supporting the new NAFTA will be high” • Voted against giving President Obama Trade Promotion Authority for TPP negotiations (June 2015)
  34. 34. Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade • Current Chair: Dave Reichert (R WA 8) (retired) • Strong supporter of TPP arguing “You can’t roll back the clock on a global economy” • New Chair: Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ 9)
  35. 35. Senate Finance Committee • Current: Orin Hatch (R-retiring) • New: Chuck Grassley (R-IA) or Mike Crapo (R-ID) • -Grassley is a farmer who supports free trade, but may want to stay on Judiciary Committee. • -Crapo voted against NAFTA back in 1993, but has moderated on trade. • If Democrats had won: Ron Wyden (D-OR) • -Wyden was prominent supporter of free trade agreements
  36. 36. U.S. Midterm Elections: What Happened, Why it happened, and What it means Paul Sracic Chair, Department of Politics and International Relations Youngstown State University Visiting Fulbright Lecturer Waseda University