This week's Congressional recess has officially turned in to a big, long playback loop of heated town hall exchanges between (mostly) Republican members of Congress and unpaid activists (almost entirely) about the future of health insurance. Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Tom Cotton (R-AK), and House Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R, UT-3) are just a few of the Republican party leaders whose uncomfortable town halls are being painfully broadcast across the mainstream media. But where is this all heading? While there is a definite chance that the passion and persistence of these events may well impact how legislators make policy - it has a lot of work to do if it’s going to translate into a winning 2018 Senate strategy for Democrats. There is a chance though. To regain control of the Senate, Democrats need to flip at least 3 seats. But of the 34 Senate seats up for election in 2018 (23 Democrats, 2 Independents, 9 Republicans), it’s the Democrats who are fighting to hold on in states that Trump handily won last year. Moderate Democratic Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN) are all in tossup, two-way races against challenges from Republicans and likely challenges from a progressive left primary opponent. Democrats will be hard pressed to hold all three of these seats. There's only three Republican seats that are even considered in play at all, and they all lean heavily Republican - Sens. Cruz (R-TX), Flake (R-AZ), and Heller (R-NV). Can town halls be impactful on these three critical states? Definitely. To date, Senator Flake has refused to host a town hall, Sen. Cruz has similarly refused, and Heller has angered activists by saying he will only hold a town hall if there is "no booing." The missing Senators haven't slowed down the protests - but their calculation (so far) to skip out of public events and trust that they still have majority support in their state might further fire up their opponents. As always, the Democratic tossups and the most beatable Republicans will each come down to voter turnout. While there is definitely boo'ing in democracy, there will also be votes.

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