As the Republican tax overhaul nears a vote in Congress next week, there's buzz in the Capitol over what impact this week's U.S. Senate election in Alabama will have on the political climate.
In mid-term election years, political power tends to shift.
And now, leading into 2018, Democrats are hoping Doug Jones beating Roy Moore in Alabama is the sign of just such a trend.
"Look at 2009 and 2010 -- eerily similar,” says Chuck Todd, moderator of NBC News’ “Meet the Press.”
“In 2009 it was united Democratic control: House, Senate and the White House,” Todd recalled in a satellite interview Friday. “And throughout that year, just in the first year of the Obama presidency, you could feel the ground shifting to the right. And it really sort of culminated with the election of Scott Brown out of Massachusetts."
Consider the election of Doug Jones "out of Arkansas" -- a state that Donald Trump swept by 28 points a year ago.
Close as that race against Roy Moore was, could it have been the first splash in what might become a "blue" wave across the country next November?
Meantime, in Trump’s first year as Chief Executive, "unprecedented" has been a word that applies to so much that's happened since he was inaugurated.
It certainly applies to his disapproval rating.
And, as Todd points out, Trump doesn't put up with efforts to tame or contain him.
"It is all about his style,” Todd says. “He has found a way to undermine what could be a glide path for him, considering what the economy is. But he finds ways to overshadow any potential good news that could be written about his presidency."