Some say that House Speaker Paul Ryan leaving is because he sees the House going to Democratic majority. Also some say that the Senate also is lost. This is Kabuki theater, too many balls are in the air to actually predict the outcome of 2018. The run up to the election tactics are:
We have the investigations of Obama administration corruption. If they start bringing up lots of evidence then the Dems will be labeled and so will their candidates. That includes Mueller and all of his staff. All are card carrying members of the Washington Leviathan. When acting in protective mode they form the 'deep state.'
If this new investigation shows that Trumps Attorney was his fixer then Mueller's swamp and Washington Leviathan will protect itself by leaking all of the dirt to the swamp media. The GOP candidates will be identified with immoral Trump and the christians will stay home.
The border wall, sactuary California my actully boster the republicans candidates.
Three 2018 election results may occur :
GOP retains both houses of Congress. Feckless congress will continue.
GOP looses the House and retains the Senate. Trump will be impeached in the House and not convicted in the Senate and will remain the President. The liberal or progressive Senate and now the liberal and progressive House will put bills supporting Democratic policy on his desk or we will have a do nothing Congress.
Republicans retains the House and looses the Senate but no giving a super majority. Trump would not be impeached in the House so would not be placed in the Senates hands, do nothing Congress.
- GOP looses both houses of Congress. Some say the President will not be convicted and thus remains in the White House. The removal of a President would boster the GOP 2020 get out the vote effort that they could repeat 2016. The Democrats would own everything that happens in Washington. Which will continue to be bad for the nation. Even if nothing happens they will be on the hook.
The Freedom Caucus, conservatives and libertarians, within both houses have attached themselves to the GOP. They have been blamed in the past and present for the failures of the GOP and receive no support from the war chests of the party and actually are attacked in primaries by the main branch candidates more vicious then the GOP attacks Democratic general election candidates. These pass two years The GOP Representatives and Senators have not kept the promises they have made for the term of Obama. The efforts to keep promises is lost for freedom caucus Representatives and Senators. They will by grouped with all GOP congressmen, they lie to those that put them in office. The GOP can only retain any level of support by tarnishing the Democrats, making them worse. That is why they may go after Obama administration corruption, the only reason.
Part of the Kabuki theater will be the choice made by the Freedom Caucus members. Stay with the GOP or separate themselves. Form a third party by word during the campaign and wait until after November to actually create a party. They need the GOP to be on a ballot. The barriers to a third party are very high. So it will take national figures that put themselves as supporting one to have any chance. Following the lead of the Republican Party it took the Kansas-Nebraska Bill of 1854. Does a new party have a mandate?
We have failures in the past of third parties.
Pre Civil War: William Wirt, Anti-Masonic, 1832 (7 Electoral votes); John Floyd, Nullifier, 1832 (11 Electoral votes); Millard Fillmore, American, 1856 (8 Electoral votes); John Bell, Constitutional Union, 1860 (39 Electoral votes) Note that John Fremont, Republican Party was a third party in the 1856 election and the William Douglas, 1860, Northern Democratic Party (~3 Eletoral votes)
Post Civil War: James Weaver, People's Party, 1892 (22 Electoral votes); Teddy Roosevelt, Progressive, 1912 (88 Electoral votes); Strom Thurmond, States' Rights Dixiecrats, 1948 (39 Electoral Votes); and George Wallace, American Independent, 1968 (46 Electoral votes).