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Bills, Investigations, Judges: What The Midterms Mean To Both Parties

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Bills, Investigations, Judges: What The Midterms Mean To Both Parties
Democrats and Republicans have already set the stakes for how the 2018 midterms will affect the next few years of U.S. politics.
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The midterm elections are going to shape a lot of what U.S. politics looks like for the next two years. Both parties are hoping to walk away from the vote with significant victories in tow. 

For Democrats, the main prize of the night is the House, which most predictions indicate will flip their way. Retaking control of the House will give Dems control over the chamber's investigative committees, and give them the power to probe into a raft of issues they have with the Trump administration.

It'll also give Democrats a big legislative check on Republicans' agenda. Last year, the GOP passed a tax reform law and nearly passed healthcare bill through Congress along party lines; they won't be able to do that with Democrats in control of the House. 

The Senate, meanwhile, is widely expected to stay in Republican hands. That means President Trump and Mitch McConnell can look forward to two more years of appointing conservative judges to vacancies around the country.

A GOP-led Senate could also help shield Trump from the consequences of Democratic investigations in the House. Any potential impeachment proceedings against the president would need a two-thirds Senate majority to take effect; Democrats are nowhere close to that threshold.

The midterms also put a lot of state and local offices up for grabs. Republicans currently have a lock on all branches of government in 26 states, while Democrats control eight states. That balance of power could change in the election.

 And since the 2020 Census is on the horizon, the winners of the state-level midterms get to set the Congressional borders for the next decade to come.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.