The news, while not unexpected, confirms that this will not be a wave election for the Democrats. Currently, Hillary Clinton is still the favorite to win the presidential race, but the balance of the Senate also leads towards the GOP after one key challenger, Evan Bayh, lost a race to reclaim his Indiana Senate seat.
What isn’t clear is the margin that Republicans will have in the House. Pre-election projections by UVA’s Center for Politics suggested that Democrats would gain at least thirteen seats in the House, leaving the Republicans with just a 33 seat margin instead of their current 49 seat advantage.
The news suggests that regardless of the result in the presidential election, we can expect gridlock in a legislature where neither party will hold an overwhelming advantage over the other.
Even the likely future of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is on the line. While his party controlling the House would normally guarantee him reelection, concerns with his waffling support of Donald Trump could cost him support among his caucus. If Democrats pick off Republicans in more moderate districts who are likely to back Ryan, it could make the House Republican caucus more conservative and deliver a new Speaker more in line with Trump—especially if the New York developer wins the White House.