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HOUSE OF PAIN

Republicans will hold the House of Representatives for the next two years

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan
AP/Andrew Harnik
Mixed feelings for the Speaker of the House.
  • Tim Fernholz
By Tim Fernholz

Senior reporter

This article is more than 2 years old.

With preliminary election results flooding in on the east coast, ABC and NBC have projected that Republicans will retain control of the House of Representatives.

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.

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