Post-Election Analysis: RV Caucus Impact

Nov 7, 2018

Opinions on the midterm elections vary depending on who you ask or which side of Capitol Hill you are standing on. Results were split with Republicans increasing their majority in the Senate while Democrats have taken control of the House of Representatives.

In the Senate, with three races still to be called, Republicans are projected to gain three seats, giving them a 54-46 edge in the 116th Congress. Seats switching parties include Indiana, where Senate RV Caucus founder and co-chair Joe Donnelly fell to businessman Mike Braun by about 9 percentage points, Florida where current governor Rick Scott is projected to beat incumbent Bill Nelson, North Dakota where Congressman Kevin Cramer beat incumbent Heidi Heitkamp, and Missouri where state Attorney General Josh Hawley beat incumbent Claire McCaskill. One Republican seat flipped to the Democrats in Nevada where Congresswoman Jacky Rosen defeated incumbent Dean Heller.

With less than twenty races yet to be called in the House, Democrats are projected to pick up a net of 33 seats - 10 more than needed to take control of the House. They are projected to enter the 116th Congress in January with a 228-207 majority.

Heading into the 116th Congress, the House RV Caucus will be down several members due to retirements, members running for other offices and members who were unsuccessful in their reelection bids. The House and Senate RV Caucus Members are critical to the work of the RV industry—they serve as the champions for the RV industry and RV lifestyle on Capitol Hill by advocating on behalf of the industry on issues such as campground modernization, tax and trade.

Although we are losing some caucus members, this election will bring a whole new batch of freshman lawmakers to work with and educate on issues important to the RV industry. The RV Industry Association’s federal affairs team is already preparing to educate these new Members of Congress on the impact of the RV industry and the critical issues for the RV industry. Once the new Congress is sworn in, we will call upon RV Industry Association members to ask their newly elected Members of Congress to join the RV Caucus.

Caucus members who retired or ran for other offices include: retiring House RV Caucus Co-chair Dennis A. Ross (R-FL-15), Darrell Issa (R-CA-49) who retired, Luke Messer (R-IN-6) who ran in the Senate primary, Kristi Noem (R-SD-At Large) who won her race for Governor and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ-9) who is running for Senate in a race that has not yet been called. Caucus members who were unsuccessful in their reelection efforts include: Mike Bishop (R-MI-8), Rod Blum (R-IA-1), Mike Coffman (R-CO-6), Barbara Comstock (R-VA-10) and Erik Paulsen (R-MN-3). One other Caucus member, Steve Knight (R-CA-25) was trailing by about 2.5 percentage points as of press time with only some absentee ballots remaining to be counted.

In the coming weeks, we will continue our post-election analysis with what changes in membership will mean for House and Senate committees and the effect of the election at the state level.