a legitimate shot

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Bombist

Member
Ukrainian
Hello!

Could you please help me understand what the phrase in bold mean?
Republicans are expected to maintain their grip on the House and have a legitimate shot at grabbing the majority in the Senate.

By Philip Elliott
Do Republicans want to hold their majority in the Senate?
 
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    They don't have a majority in the Senate. The writer believes they have a respectable chance of getting a Senate majority in the next election.
     

    Bombist

    Member
    Ukrainian
    The Green Bay Packers have a legitimate shot at the NFC North crown
    The Green Bay Packers won the game. What does "a legitimate shot" mean in these two different sentences?
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    The sentence is poorly designed, because to someone who is not au fait with the present political state of play, the first half, about "maintaining their grip", does suggest that they have a majority that they will probably hold on to. The second half, of course, contradicts this, because as Flo says, 'shot' means 'chance' and 'grab' means 'acquire'. We must therefore interpret their "grip" as meaning that, although they don't have an overall majority, they can still achieve a majority on individual issues when a handful of senators vote against the party line.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    What does "a legitimate shot" mean in these two different sentences?
    The same thing. A fair chance.
    By winning the game, they are one step closer to winning the North crown. Perhaps if they had lost the game, that would have ended their dream of getting the crown.
     

    Bombist

    Member
    Ukrainian
    It seems I've got the meaning of "a legitimate shot". It amounts to "a fair chance", "a respectable chance".

    Thank you very much for the explanations!
     
    Last edited:

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    The sentence is poorly designed, because to someone who is not au fait with the present political state of play, the first half, about "maintaining their grip", does suggest that they have a majority that they will probably hold on to. The second half, of course, contradicts this, because as Flo says, 'shot' means 'chance' and 'grab' means 'acquire'. We must therefore interpret their "grip" as meaning that, although they don't have an overall majority, they can still achieve a majority on individual issues when a handful of senators vote against the party line.
    No contradiction at all, because it is speaking of two different things: Republicans are expected to maintain their grip on the House and have a legitimate shot at grabbing the majority in the Senate.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    Oops. Well spotted, RM1. I thought the House was the Senate (as, no doubt, did the OP).

    The House is the House of Representatives, and the Republicans do have a majority there. They are expected to keep that majority and are also hoping to gain a majority in that other place.
     
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