As Midterms Enter Homestretch, Dems, GOP Brace for the Unexpected

Twenty weeks before November’s midterm elections, Democrats and Republicans are cautiously eyeing a fluid political landscape, one that is likely to be dramatically altered by outside forces in the weeks and months ahead.

In interviews with about two dozen Democratic and Republican strategists, pollsters and political scientists, most agree on a few things: House Democrats are almost certain to pick up seats, and Senate Republicans are likely to add to their slim majority.

But a host of what Donald Rumsfeld might call “known unknowns” looms large over the midterm elections. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into President Trump shows no indication of nearing an end. The booming economy may be blunting Democrats’ advantage right now, but a burgeoning trade war with allies and competitors alike could dampen growth. And Trump’s high-stakes diplomacy with North Korea, Iran and others creates further uncertainty in an already dangerous world.

“We all think we have a handle on trends, but those are three really big possibilities out there that could alter a lot,” said Bruce Mehlman, a Republican lobbyist who closely tracks election data.

Read more at The Hill.