— The Republicans are hoping to turn a presidential election year into an epic political spectacle, which will make it harder for President Donald Trump to govern in 2018.
The GOP will need to win seats in the House and Senate in 2018 to get a majority in the Senate and keep control of the House, where the party’s Senate majority was in jeopardy before the election.
The 2018 midterms will be a crucial moment for Republicans as they try to pass the Trump agenda, as well as make gains in statehouses across the country.
Trump won a record-setting 332 Electoral College votes in 2020, but lost to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton by nearly two million votes in the popular vote.
Republicans, who hold a 52-48 majority in Congress, are counting on a wave of voter enthusiasm, especially among working-class whites who helped propel Trump to victory.
A coalition of Republican leaders has vowed to use the midterms to force Trump from office.
“I’m very excited about what’s happening in 2018,” House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters on Monday, calling it a “historic moment.”
Republicans will need an electoral college majority to keep control.
But they need to gain a majority of the states’ House and two-thirds of the Senate to gain control of both chambers.
Ryan’s GOP allies will need Democratic support to make it happen.
Trump is expected to have a better chance of getting out of the White House in 2018 than his Democratic opponent, former President Joe Biden, who is expected in office in 2024.
The Democrats are hoping the mid-term elections will provide Democrats with a political boost that could make it easier to push their agenda through Congress.
Trump, who has never run for office before, said in February that he could be impeached.
Ryan said he would not “endorse any kind of impeachment” and urged the Senate Judiciary Committee to investigate allegations that Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to drop an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian ambassador.
Ryan called on the Judiciary Committee, which oversees the criminal division of the Justice Department, to investigate the charges.
The Senate Intelligence Committee is also investigating the matter.
Trump and Ryan are scheduled to meet Monday to discuss the midterm elections.
They have a history of feuding, but the two leaders have come together to try to avoid the kind of ugly fights that have plagued their relationship during Trump’s presidency.
Ryan is expected later Monday to say that the Senate’s Republican leadership will not “hold a press conference” about the investigation into Flynn and that the Democrats will not use the Senate impeachment process.
Trump has called the probe into Flynn a witch hunt, and he has repeatedly said that Ryan should step down.
The president has also called the investigation a “witch hunt” and has repeatedly accused Ryan of leaking to the press.
Trump’s Republican allies have called for a bipartisan investigation into the probe, arguing that it could have serious consequences for Trump.
Ryan has also repeatedly called for Comey to be fired, saying he has not done so yet.
The House Intelligence Committee has announced that it will conduct an investigation of the matter, which has been in the works for months.
Republicans have not said how they plan to proceed with the investigation.
A source familiar with the probe said the committee is looking into allegations that Flynn lied to the bureau about his communications with Russia.