Here's why the 2018 Senate election will be crucial for President Trump and his Democratic foes

In the partisan battle zone that is Washington, D.C., there is one conquest that could turn the fight decisively in Republicans ’ favor: winning 60 seats in the U.S. Senate.

With control of the House, a filibuster-proof Senate majority could empower President Trump and his congressional allies to push through legislation and approve high-level appointees, such as Supreme Court nominees, with Democrats in the minority powerless to stop them.

That is why the 2018 midterm election is shaping up as crucial for Trump and congressional Republicans, as well as Democrats fighting to protect President Obama ’s legacy and hold the line on further GOP advances.

After Democrats netted two seats in the Senate last year, Republicans hold a 52-48 majority, meaning the GOP would need a gain of eight seats to reach a filibuster-proof margin.

(That assumes party lawmakers stick together and vote as a bloc, which is never a certainty, as demonstrated by the withdrawal Wednesday of Trump’s nominee to head the Labor Department, Andrew Puzder, in the face of Republican opposition.)

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Chris Alexakisgovernment, U.S.A.