As expected, U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise had an early night. And as expected, he probably won’t get a great night’s sleep.
Scalise, now the House Majority Whip, has landed a big win in his own, overwhelmingly Republican district centered around the New Orleans suburbs. It also looks like he’ll lose his chance at the brass ring, the hope that he could become House Majority Leader or even Speaker of the House.
News networks have now projected that one of the trends of the night will hold and Democrats will take over the majority in the House. The Republicans will keep the Senate, which may be some comfort to Scalise as a supporter of President Donald Trump. But Scalise himself will no longer be a key player in shepherding the president’s agenda.
Instead, he’ll watch from the sidelines as Democrats launch an avalanche of investigations on everything from Trump’s business conflicts to Russian election meddling to cabinet official ethics.
Scalise’s next move will be interesting to see. There’s been some speculation that he could still come back to Louisiana and challenge Gov. John Bel Edwards next year, despite his flat denial that he’s thinking about it. He could wait a while and see if the tide turns and a future chance at the House’s top post rolls around again. He’s still young.
But this much is already clear: It’s going to be a whole new ballgame on the House side of the Capitol. Scalise may be a big sports fan, but this isn’t going to be much fun for him.