The tide is turning against the Democrats tonight. Republicans will keep control of the House of Representatives. And it’s looking unlikely that Democrats will take back the Senate either.
But most importantly for Democratic voters, Hillary Clinton’s path to the presidency is narrowing swiftly. And cable news pundits are starting to take stock of what a President Donald Trump, whose party is in control of both houses of Congress, will mean.
James Carville, a Democratic political commentator on MSNBC, put this realization in sober terms: “If Trump wins the presidency, the Democratic Party will have the least amount of power that I can ever remember a political party having both at national level and the state level,” he said. “It’s hard to overestimate what this means tonight.”
Carville might be right. At the very least, the Democrats will be at their weakest in a decade. Democrats were in a similar situation in 2004, when President George W. Bush was reelected and Republicans kept the House and added four seats to their Senate majority. In his second term, Bush appointed two justices to the Supreme Court, cementing its conservative tilt.
These days, things aren’t looking so good for Democrats at the state level. As Vox’s Matthew Yglesias has argued, Democrats are in “deep trouble” at the state level, even if Clinton wins tonight. He explains here: