No matter who loses today, will Trump win?

Every two years, television pundits drill the idea that, “This is the most important election in American history since the last one!” But with 2018, this is the most, most important election since the last one.

And given the expected level of record-crushing voter turnout, America seems to be in agreement.

But that’s about all we agree on. There are too many variables this year to rely on traditional prediction. An above-average level of voter turnout is just one of them. The economy is doing better than it has in 50 years. Trump’s approval rating is 51 percent in one poll (Editor’s note: The FiveThirtyEight average puts Trump’s approval at 41.9%, and a CNN/Gallup poll published Monday put Trump’s approval at 39%). None of these things point to a wipe-out – unless there’s one we couldn’t predict, like last time.

Either way, Trump will salvage a victory out of this.

If Republicans keep the House and don’t do too bad at the state level: It will validate Trump’s rejection of globalism – something victories abroad, most recently in Brazil, have already done. It will validate the way Trump has slashed taxes and government regulation – which the economy has already done. It will validate Trump’s total rejection of the political correct/social justice warrior culture – something most Americans agree has gone too far.

And Trump will skate into re-election in 2020.

But if Republicans lose the House: Democrats and their friends in the media have talked an enormous amount about the subpoena power, and how they could overwhelm the Trump Administration with paperwork and investigations that bring his agenda to a halt.

Yet given the excesses of the modern, resisting, senator-harassing Democrat Party, this is likely not going to go well. If Democrats overplay their hand (which is the only way they play their hand these days), they create two problems for themselves.

  1. Open themselves up to blame if things go south. The Democratic House will be led by a group who basically are the Injustice League for conservative media – the same people who have been openly calling for violence/harassment of political opponents. If the economy starts to turn, Trump will easily be able to point to their obstructionism as the reason.
  2. Help Trump the one way he can’t help himself. The one thing someone as arrogant as Trump can never do for himself is engender sympathy. As we saw with Republicans’ overzealous attacks on Clinton in the late 90s, aggressive investigations can backfire. Given Trump’s stance toward Russia, for example, no one really believes that he’s in cahoots with Putin – and that’s how they’ll impeach him? Could you imagine how dangerous Trump could be to the Dems if some people actually felt sorry for him?

Furthermore, every Republican staffer in the House who loses their job tomorrow is going to need a new one – and the most inviting place to go would be the administration. Any staffing shortage in the administration is going to be filled by seasoned Republican operatives who know how Congress works and have every reason for revenge on Democrats.

And Trump will skate into re-election in 2020.

Either way, the next two years is going to be a civil war for Democrats trying to become their candidate – they can unite around Trump as a villain, but not when 20 different people are all trying to become the hero. They will cannibalize resources, all while Trump adds to his $100 million war-chest. They will relentlessly stoke the fires of identity politics – which remember, most Americans are sick of – while Trump stokes up his base.

Win or lose today, Democrats are probably not going to learn the lessons they need to. And 2020 will be an even more, most, most important election in American history.