Pence: Republicans Will Maintain Majorities in House, Senate After 2018

VP notes that ‘conventional wisdom’ didn’t play out in 2016

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Karen Pence, Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker Paul D. Ryan to members during the GOP retreat in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday predicted Republicans would maintain their majorities in the House and Senate after the midterm elections, but urged GOP lawmakers to tout last year’s conservative victories to constituents.

Pence, who was speaking here at the annual Republican retreat said the White House would be with the members “every step of the way in 2018.”

“We’ve got an incredible story to tell,” the vice president said, citing specifically the record amount of appellate judges the Senate confirmed last year.

Republicans will discuss the 2018 political landscape during this week’s policy retreat. Midterm elections are historically not kind to the party in power and Democrats are hopeful they can flip the House and retain, and possibly gain, Senate seats.

Why Does Congress ‘Retreat?’

Pence said that despite predictions to the contrary, the GOP would keep its majorities in both chambers.

“Conventional wisdom holds that the upcoming midterms are going to be a challenge, but I think you all know what President [Donald] Trump thinks about conventional wisdom,” he said. “The conventional wisdom said in 2016 that Hillary Clinton was going to be elected.”

“We made history in 2016 and we’re going to make history again in 2018 when we re-elect Republican majorities in the House and Senate,” Pence added. “We’ve got our work cut out for us but we’ve got a story to tell.”

House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer said Wednesday during an Axios event that he expects Democrats to pick up 30 seats or more in November.

“I think 30 is a minimum frankly,” the Maryland Democrat said.

Twenty-six members of the Senate Democratic Conference, including independents Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine, are up for re-election. Several of them face competitive races.

Watch: Six Midterm Candidate Intro Videos Worth Watching

Lindsey McPherson contributed to this report.  

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