Former Trump White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon said November’s midterm elections are a referendum on President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE and said he thinks predictions of a blue wave are overblown.
“This contest for the midterm election … is Trump’s first reelect. This is a referendum on Trump … I think it’s tight. And the Senate … we’ll hold it — pick up maybe two or three seats. The House is a complete dogfight. It can go either way. Right now there are 25 seats that are clearly up for grabs … If Trump voters turned out, I actually think we’ll hold the House,” Bannon said on John Catsimatidis’s radio show.
“All this promise of this massive [blue] tsunami is over. This is going to be very hard fought. It’ll come down to a handful of districts. I think this is a very narrow gate that the Republicans have to go through. But I think there’s a chance to actually hold the House … Now, it’s incumbent that the Trump voters get out … because this thing is going to come down to the wire.” he added.
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A disadvantageous Senate map for Democrats has them defending 10 seats in states Trump won in 2016, with only a handful of opportunities to pick off seats from Republicans’ 51-49 majority.
But many election prognosticators predict Democrats will pick up the 23 House seats need to gain control of the lower chamber. FiveThirtyEight’s House forecast says the Democrats have about an 85 percent chance of flipping the House.
Bannon, who was ousted from the White House in 2017, also praised the president’s immigration plans in response to a migrant caravan that is making its way up from Central America.
“We have to get engaged down there. The problems of those people can’t be solved by the working-class people in Arizona and New Mexico and Texas. It has to be solved in Central America. And I think it’s going to require more engagement. … There has to be some sort of American leadership in order to sort this out, or we are going to be continually inundated with this problem. Trump is going to stop playing games with Congress after this election. And he’s going to force his border wall,” he said.
Trump has hoped to stoke the immigration debate less than two weeks ahead of the midterm elections, noting in campaign rallies that the midterm elections will be the election “of the caravan,” among other hot-button issues.