The party that wins the White House will also control the Senate, but Republicans will retain control of the House regardless which party gets into the White House, political analyst Andy Friedman said Thursday.
Speaking at the Money Management Institute’s annual convention in Washington, Friedman of The Washington Update said that because the House will be controlled by Republicans for the next decade – and possibly beyond – a Hillary Clinton presidency will face the political gridlock that has plagued the Obama administration.
“No matter who wins [the presidency], legislation still has to go through the House, and they [House lawmakers] will be able to stop or starve any legislation.”
While 2016 is a presidential election year, both houses of Congress are up for election as well, Friedman noted.
While Republicans will retain control of the House, the Senate – where 34 seats are up for election, 24 of which are Republicans “trying to hold onto their seats” – democrats “look in pretty good shape” to retain control of the Senate.
As he has stated previously, the election will hinge on independent voters. Independents, Friedman said, “don’t feel as strongly about social issues,” they want to see “progress and they want a candidate that will compromise” and zero in on economic issues. “The candidate who appeals here will win their vote.”
He also opined that the party that attracts minorities “is going to do better in this election,” adding that negatives for Donald Trump going into the general election is that he’s “so polarizing people might vote against him.”
Friedman noted that eight in 10 Hispanics have said they’d vote against Trump as well as 67% of women, including Republican women voters.
Trump, however, “has done well” with white, non-college educated men who feel “their lifestyle is under siege—economically they are afraid and they feel disenfranchised.”
While Friedman said he’s confident that Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination, it’s either Trump or Ted Cruz that win the Republican nomination. Cruz is “closing the gap” and winning California would close the gap even more. The Republican nomination “comes down to how far behind is Cruz as they go into the convention.”
But Trump’s “unpredictability” would bring “tremendous volatility in the markets” if he became president, Friedman said, because “markets don’t like uncertainty.”
Clinton is “more pragmatic,” he said, and “has been pushed left” by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., along with her presidential challenger Bernie Sanders. If Clinton becomes president my feeling is “you wouldn’t see a slew of new regulations. I expect to see a continuation of the status quo on Wall Street.”
On the fiscal side, Trump wants to increase military spending and he wants to leave Social Security and Medicare alone, while Clinton is “against” Social Security reform and wants more spending on domestic programs as well as higher taxes for the wealthy.