The Big Picture


The Big Picture

By and large, the forecast of a “Red Wave” of Republicans being elected similar to 1994 and 2010 has not come to fruition. While Democrats and Republicans each only needed one Senate seat to achieve a true Senate majority, so far both parties have largely held their incumbent seats. The one exception to that is in Pennsylvania, where Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman has beaten Republican candidate Mehmet Oz for retiring Senator Pat Toomey’s (R-PA) seat. Ceteris paribus, this could turn out to be the crucial seat pickup needed for Democrats to take a true Senate majority.

Implications for the 118th Congress
At the 10,000 foot level, these midterms will be dissected for months to come, but initial key themes seem to be the resilience of Democrats, a rebuke of former President Donald Trump the week before he is set to possibly announce a 2024 bid, and a vulnerable mandate for Republicans and their leadership to govern if they win control of either chamber.

In the Senate, we anticipate the leadership of both parties to be nearly identical to this Congress, with the only change coming as a result of which party controls the chamber. Senator Mitch McConnell was elected leader of the GOP in the Senate, even though he was half-heartedly challenged by Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) who was joined by nine colleagues who voted against McConnell’s continued leadership.

As expected, the Republican Majority in the House is already turbulent and drama-filled. With a small majority of seats, Leader Kevin McCarthy and others in the down-ballot leadership races are facing resistance from disgruntled members of their conference, particularly the Freedom Caucus wing, in turn impacting their ability to secure their leadership posts, let alone move legislation through the House. That said, we still believe Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy will become Speaker. Congressman Steve Scalise has secured the number two spot, House Majority Leader. For House Majority Whip, Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), the current chair of the National Republican Campaign Committee; was victorious in his battle against Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-Ga.), who’s currently deputy whip; and Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), the head of the Republican Study Committee. Congresswoman Elise Stefanik easily won reelection to serve as the Republican Committee Chair.

As for Democrats, a major leadership has occurred. With the announcement that current Speaker Nancy Pelosi will not seek election to the Minority Leader post, but stay in Congress, her long-time deputies Reps. Steny Hoyer and Jim Clyburn, also declined to run for their current leadership posts. Thus the new Congress will see a new trio of Democratic leaders, with Hakeem Jeffries serving as Minority Leader, Katherine Clarke will serve as Minority Whip, and Pete Aguilar will serve as Conference Chair.


  • House Small Business — House Reps. Nydia Velazquez & Blaine Leutkemeyer are likely to return to leadership posts.
  • House Appropriations — Reps Rosa DeLauro (D,CT) and Kay Granger (R, TX) are expected to remain in leadership.
  • House Ways & Means — Congressman Kevin Brady, who announced his retirement late last year, is the current RM. With his retirement, we will keep a close eye on who Republicans will select to lead their Members on one of the most coveted committees in Congress. Congressman Jason Smith (R, MO) and Congressman Adrian Smith (R, NB) have indicated they will make a run to lead Republicans on the committee. Congressman Vern Buchanan (R, TX) is the most senior Republican on the committee following Brady. 
  • House Energy & Commerce — Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers is expected to lead the Committee for Republicans. Congressman Frank Pallone (D, NJ), the Committee’s current Chair will likely continue to lead Democrats.
  • House Financial Services — Congressman Patrick McHenry (R, NC) is expected to lead Republicans on the Financial Services Committee during the 118th Congress. 


  • Senate Small Business — Senator Cardin is likely to remain in leadership. Sen. Joni Ernst are expected to make a play for Republican leadership of the Committee. 
  • Senate Banking — Senator Mike Crapo (R-UT) will most likely lead Republicans on the Committee given that Senator Pat Toomey (current Ranking Member) is retiring. 
Senate Appropriations — With Chairman Leahy’s retirement, Senator Patty Murray (D,WA) is next in terms of seniority. If she wishes to lead Democrats on the committee, she would need to give up her Senate HELP Chair position. Ranking Member Richard Shelby is also retiring, with Senator Susan Collins most likely to succeed him given her seniority on the Committee.

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