Republicans are going to win more seats in the Senate in 2018, President-elect Donald Trump told a cheering crowd at a Candlelight Dinner at Union Station in Washington D.C., where he also congratulated his top aides.
Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s pollster and most visible spokeswoman, “has been so great,” Trump told the allies, appointees, staff, and donors. “Wow. So there is no den she will not going into. When my men are petrified to go on a certain network… then she gets on it, she just destroys them.”
Trump also joked about his donors. “I want to thank all of our donors, the big donors, small donors,” he said. “There are donors that got really, really generous the day after the election was won. Oh, I have a couple, they got so generous. ‘Hi Don, I just want to tell you I just sent a big check.” Oh great. Should have sent it a week before. That’s okay. We love you too,” he added.
“We have an election coming up in two years,” Trump told the crowd after thanking his early and his late donors. “We’re going to get a lot of Senators and a lot of Congressmen elected, a lot … [Sen.] Mitch McConnell is here, he’s smiling so big, he loves those words.”
McConnell is the GOP leader of the Senate. In 2018, he will have the opportunity to push his narrow 52 to 48 majority up to a dominant 58 or even 60 seats. If the GOP reaches 60 Senate seats, then McConnell will usually be able to break the Democrats’ “filibuster” ability to block legislation.
Forty Senators are needed to maintain a filibuster.
Twenty-three Senate Democrats face re-election in November 2018, while only eight Republicans must face the voters. Among the Democrats, nine Senators are either freshmen or won less than 53 percent in their prior election, and four will face the voters in states won by Trump.
The GOP is expected to keep its majority in the House.