Tension has been building over the last month as Republicans and Democrats try to hold onto their majorities in the Senate and the House, where Democrats have the majority.
But now it appears a new trend could come to a head on Election Night, and it could be that some voters are getting impatient with the two parties and not just their leaders.
In the past week, a series of news reports has revealed some troubling signs of dissatisfaction with both the parties’ leaders.
The New York Times reported that “one in five Americans is dissatisfied with the way Republicans and the Democrats are handling the nation’s economic recovery,” and a new poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that “a majority of voters say that President Trump and Congress should have more control over the economy.”
On the other side of the political spectrum, the Wall Street Journal reported that more than half of voters have “serious doubts” about the GOP’s ability to handle the country’s economic challenges, and “a growing number are skeptical about the direction of the Democratic Party, especially with the 2018 midterm elections coming up.”
As a result, both sides are “reluctant to use the levers of government” to “make progress on the issues most important to them,” the Journal added.
The Times’ findings have prompted a number of analysts to speculate that the Republican Party could be “on the verge of collapse,” and that the Democrats could be the ones to finally get back in office.
The Wall Street Post wrote that “the two parties are likely to run neck-and-neck for the foreseeable future,” but that the next “difficult” election could come from either party, “even if it’s a long shot.”
The Post’s Jason Horowitz argued that “Republicans and Democrats should be truly brave” on Election Eve to push forward with their agenda and find solutions to some of the most pressing problems facing our country.
He said the two party system was “deeply flawed” and that both parties “need to embrace change” to regain power in Washington.
The Post noted that in recent weeks, both political parties have taken a “hard turn” to the right, and that it’s now the Republican party’s “job to be brave” to try to get its agenda passed.
But others are skeptical that Republicans can “reinvent” themselves from the last election, noting that it was the party that won that election in a landslide.
“The Republicans can’t change what they did last time, they can only move on,” wrote Michael Tesler of the University of Pennsylvania’s Hoover Institution.
“If they’re to keep winning in 2018, they have to change.”
The Wall Street JournoList’s Daniel Horowitz said that the “tension” between Republicans and “left-leaning Democrats” is not new, and has been going on for a long time.
In fact, Horowitz wrote that the parties have been “finally recognizing that voters want a change” for the past four years, and are now “taking a harder-edged approach to the challenges they face.”
Horowitz added that both the Republicans and Democratic parties “can and should be brave enough to try something new.”
But even those who believe the parties are “on a path to success” disagree.
“I don’t think the Republicans are in danger of going broke, and I don’t see any indication that either party is on a path toward collapse,” wrote Tom Jensen of The New Republic.
In fact, Jensen wrote, he is “very optimistic about the future of both parties.”
But as a political commentator, Jensen noted that “there’s no reason to believe that any of the two big parties are going to turn the corner.”
The GOP is “trying to change” the way it operates and is “looking at ways to win in 2020,” Jensen wrote.
“It seems like they have a chance to win.”
Meanwhile, the Democratic party is “still fighting the battle of the status quo,” Jensen noted.
“But this is a battle that both sides will eventually lose.
And that means they’re going to need to find new, innovative ways to change the way they run the country, so that they can win back the White House.”