President Trump assumed office on Friday promising bold action and big changes in Washington, presenting his administration and his party with major tests ahead of the 2018 midterms.

Trump, in a concise, focused inaugural address vowed to rebuild crime-ridden inner cities, end the scourge of drug addiction afflicting portions of the country and create millions of jobs by reversing decades of decline in manufacturing.

In doing so, Trump is promising to solve persistent problems that could be beyond the control of any politician or government, involving economic and social trends that have for years stymied policymakers on both sides of the aisle.

Delivering on the promises sin under a year, when the midterm campaign kicks into high gear, could buttress Republican majorities in Congress. Failure could position the Democrats to reclaim power and put a check on Trump.

Trump’s risky agenda includes repealing Obamacare, tax reform and maintaining a hardline stance on illegal immigration.

“The number of seats Senate Democrats have to defend in red states, and the gerrymandered nature of House districts could make it difficult for us in 2018,” said Rodell Mollineau, a Democratic operative who advised Harry Reid when he served as the Senate majority leader.

“However, should Republicans fail to deliver on promises, overreach on their mandate, have ethical troubles or bungle a crisis, the pendulum could swing the other way,” Mollineau added. “Judging by the transition period, the latter is not a pipe dream.”

Congressional races at the outset of the election cycle favor the Republicans. Most Senate seats up for election in 2018 feature vulnerable Democratic incumbents. In the House, Republicans are protected by safely drawn districts.

Former President Obama faced a similarly friendly electoral terrain heading into the 2010 elections, his first midterm, before being rebuked by voters disappointed over lingering high unemployment and a backlash against his healthcare reform law.

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The Republicans won their largest House majority in generations and captured several supposedly safe Democratic Senate seats. The same could await Trump, if for no other reason than the party out of power in the White House typically gains seats in the midterm.

However, explained Republican strategist Brad Todd, an unusual political dynamic that has taken hold of the Democratic and Republican parties over the past eight years could protect Trump against the historical trends.

“The Democrats remade their platform to be completely oriented toward demographic trends of the least likely voters. Their entire theory of victory is that we have to turn out people that don’t vote often. That will be put to the test this time,” said Todd, who advises House and Senate candidates.

“Trump is the most popular with the people most likely to vote in midterms,” he added.

But there is precedent for presidents elected with a popular mandate to falter in their first midterm. And Trump entered the White House atypically unpopular for a new commander in chief.

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Ronald Reagan won a landslide in 1980, losing only three states; two years later his approval rating was underwater and Republicans lost 28 House seats. Obama won a strong victory in 2008 and entered office with particularly high ratings, only to get shellacked two years later in a historic GOP wave.

Trump lost the popular vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton and only narrowly won the states he needed to become the president. He was the first Republican to win Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in three decades.

That suggests Trump could be on a short leash with voters, broadly, as he sets out to fulfill his campaign promises.

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