Gop Sees Path To House Majority In 2022
Republicans returned to the Capitol this week with a spring in their step after they defied expectations and gained House seats on Election Day, putting a GOP majority within their grasp for 2022.
GOP lawmakers rewarded House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyDonald TrumpPollsters confront tough survey landscape after 2020 flubsThe Memo: Will DeSantis’s star fall as Florida COVID numbers rise?Legal experts welcome sanctions of pro-Trump lawyers, say more neededMORE out of office but backed Republican candidates in the House and Senate.
It was a stamp of approval for divided government and gave Republicans a sense of momentum in their goal to recapture the lower chamber two years from now in the midterm elections, when the party that controls the White House historically loses seats in Congress.
The GOP has flipped nearly a dozen seats with a handful of Republican candidates leading in uncalled races. And while Republicans will fall short of the 17 seats needed to win back the House this cycle, Democrats will be holding the thinnest majority since World War II.
And we’ve already heard from some great candidates in places where we just came up short.
GOP leaders said they are cautiously optimistic about their odds in 2022, noting that while they feel good about their current position, they will still need to fight to take back the majority.
Scott Wong contributed. Updated at 4:12 p.m.
Graham Claims He’s ‘never Been Challenged Like This’ After Senate Victory
Democrats largely focused their campaigns on protecting the Affordable Care Act and stepping up efforts to combat the coronavirus. Republicans mostly focused on the economy and preventing a Democratic-led Senate that could pursue progressive legislation in a potential Biden presidency.
Two top Republicans Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Sen. John Cornyn of Texas will be re-elected, NBC News projects. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V., Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., will be re-elected, NBC News projects. All were heavily favored.
Republicans held open seats in Wyoming and Kansas with victories by their candidates Cynthia Lummis and Roger Marshall, respectively, according to NBC News projections.
And Democrat Ben Ray Lujan won an open seat in New Mexico, keeping the state for Democrats.
Opinion:the House Looks Like A Gop Lock In 2022 But The Senate Will Be Much Harder
Redistricting will take place in almost every congressional district in the next 18 months. The party of first-term presidents usually loses seats in midterms following their inauguration President Barack Obamas Democrats lost 63 seats in 2010 and President Donald Trumps Republicans lost 40 in 2018 but the redistricting process throws a wrench into the gears of prediction models.
President George W. Bush saw his party add nine seats in the House in 2002. Many think this was a consequence of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America nearly 14 months earlier, but the GOP, through Republican-led state legislatures, controlled most of the redistricting in the two years before the vote, and thus gerrymandering provided a political benefit. Republicans will also have a firm grip on redistricting ahead of the 2022 midterms.
The Brennan Center has found that the GOP will enjoy complete control of drawing new boundaries for 181 congressional districts, compared with a maximum of 74 for Democrats, though the final numbers could fluctuate once the pandemic-delayed census is completed. Gerrymandering for political advantage has its critics, but both parties engage in it whenever they get the opportunity. In 2022, Republicans just have much better prospects. Democrats will draw districts in Illinois and Massachusetts to protect Democrats, while in Republican-controlled states such as Florida, Ohio and Texas, the GOP will bring the redistricting hammer down on Democrats.
Lindsey Graham Wins Reelection In South Carolina Senate Race Cbs News Projects
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham won reelection, CBS News projects, after a contentious race. Although Democratic candidate Jaime Harrison outraised Graham by a significant amount, it was not enough to flip a Senate seat in the deep-red state.
Graham led the high-profile confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, and Harrison hit him for his reversal on confirming a Supreme Court nominee in a presidential election year.
Meanwhile, Republican Roger Marshall has also won the Senate race in Kansas, defeating Democrat Barbara Bollier.
House Districts That Flipped In 2018 Among Those To Keep Watching
New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District: Rep. Jeff Van Drew has arguably one of the most fascinating House races of this cycle. A freshman, the Republican is in a tight race against Democrat Amy Kennedy, whose family is a political dynasty.
Van Drew switched from the Democratic Party to join Republicans during Trump’s impeachment trial. The move was jarring given that Van Drew helped flip the district, which Trump won by nearly 5 points, over to Democrats.
His switch garnered praise from Trump, who invited him to the White House where Van Drew promised Trump his “undying support.”
More:How Jeff Van Drew went from being a Democrat to speaking at the RNC
California’s 21st Congressional District: Rep. TJ Cox, a freshman Democrat, is in a rematch against Republican David Valadao.
The pair went head-to-head in 2018, and Cox came out on top, defeating Valadao by 862 votes. Cox faces Valadao again in the aftermath of scandals over business dealings and unpaid federal taxes.
The district was won by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton by double-digit margins.
More:Democrats, White House spent months bickering over a coronavirus aid bill that never happened. Will it affect voters at the ballot box?
New York’s 11th Congressional District: Rep. Max Rose faces a bitter race against Republican Nicole Malliotakis a campaign that has included an assortment of curses, accusations of lying and name drops of New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio, who is unpopular in the district.
Democrats Keep House Majority But ‘republicans Defied The Odds’
The Democrats could wind up with the slimmest House majority in 20 years.
Nancy Pelosi praises Democrats for retaining the House majority
The Democrats will keep their majority in the House of Representatives, but after all the votes are counted, they could wind up with the slimmest House majority in 20 years.
The Democrats gained a majority in the House following the 2018 election in which they won 41 seats. This was the largest gain for the political party since the 1974 election, in which they gained 49.
Some of the popular freshman Democrats who came into office in 2018, including New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar, have been elected for a second term.
But Republicans appear set to make some gains, winning nearly every tossup and picking up at least six seats based on calls of races by The Associated Press.
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted Wednesday morning, “Republicans defied the odds and grew our party last night.”
He also tweeted to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, “You’ve been put on notice.”
Among the Republican victories is Marjorie Taylor Greene, who won Georgia’s conservative 14th Congressional District after publicly supporting the fringe conspiracy theory known as QAnon.
In videos unearthed by POLITICO, Greene is also heard spouting racist, Islamophobic and sexist views.
President Donald Trump has fully embraced Greene, calling her a “future Republican star” after she won her primary.
What Are The Odds That Republicans Keep Control Of Congress
Republicans donât exactly have the best odds of retaining control of Congress. According to PolitiFact, the party of the current president usually loses seatsin the midterm elections. This year, thatâs the Republican Party. The biggest question will be whether they lose enough seats for control of Congress to pass into Democratic hands.
Republicans Are Expected To Gain Seats In Redrawn 2022 Congressional Maps But Democrats Could Be Worse Off
U.S. Census data released Monday will shift political power in Congress, reapportioning two House seats to Texas and one each to Florida, North Carolina, Oregon, Colorado, and Montana and stripping a seat from California , New York , Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and West Virginia. Florida, Texas, and Arizona each controlled entirely by Republicans had been expecting to pick up an additional seat.
“On balance, I think this reapportionment offers a small boost for Republicans, but the bigger boost is likely to come from how Republicans draw these seats in Florida, Texas, North Carolina, and Georgia,” the Cook Political Report‘s Dave Wasserman tells Axios. “Reapportionment itself means little compared to the redistricting fights to come.” It won’t exactly be a level playing field.
“Republicans control the redistricting process in far more states than do Democrats, because of GOP dominance in down-ballot elections,”The New York Times reports. “Democrats, meanwhile, have shifted redistricting decisions in states where they have controlled the government such as California, Colorado, and Virginia to independent commissions intended to create fair maps.”
House seats broken down by final redistricting authority :
– Republican: 187
Dave Wasserman April 26, 2021
More stories from theweek.com
Four Flips For Democrats One For Republicans
Going into the election, the Democrats held 47 seats in the U.S. Senate while the Republicans held 53.
The Democrats have succeeded in flipping four seats: in Colorado, where former Governor John Hickenlooper easily ousted incumbent Cory Gardner, in Arizona, where former astronaut Mark Kelly defeated incumbent Martha McSally, and in Georgia, where Raphael Warnock defeated incumbent Kelly Loeffler and Jon Ossoff defeated incumbent David Perdue.
The Republicans have wrested back one previously Democratic seat in Alabama, where one-term incumbent Doug Jones was emphatically denied a second term by Tommy Tuberville, a former college head football coach, most recently at the University of Cincinnati.
Outgoing freshman Sens. Jones and Gardner were both considered vulnerable, as each was elected with less than 50% of the vote in 2018.
Republican Thom Tilliss victory over Cal Cunningham in North Carolinaby less than 2 percentage points according to the North Carolina Secretary of States latest tallyis one of several close Senate races that were not called until after election night. In addition to the seats from Georgia, close races also include the victories of incumbent senators Gary Peters and Susan Collins , which were not called until Nov. 4.
Pelosi Says American People Have Made Their Choice Clear In Voting For Biden
In a letter to her Democratic colleagues in the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed confidence that Biden would be elected president, even though several states have yet to be called.
“The American people have made their choice clear at the ballot box, and are sending Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to the White House,” Pelosi said.
She also praised House Democrats for keeping their majority, saying that the House will “now have the opportunity to deliver extraordinary progress.” However, she only obliquely referenced the heavy losses by several freshmen Democrats who had flipped red seats.
“Though it was a challenging election, all of our candidates both Frontline and Red to Blue made us proud,” Pelosi said.
Why Has Bidens Approval Rating Fallen
On the other hand, the fact that the size of the House hasnt increased in more than a century is a real problem for our democracy. For starters, there is an ever wider gulf between Americans and their representatives, as the average number of people represented in a district has more than tripled, from about 210,000 in 1910 to about 760,000 in 2020. Moreover, some states are severely over- and underrepresented as a result.
Increasing the size of the House would not resolve all the challenges facing the U.S., as any expansion would involve trade-offs. For instance, adding representatives could decrease day-to-day legislative efficiency, and it would undoubtedly increase the size of the federal government. Yet expanding the House is one of the more straightforward reforms that leaders in Washington could pursue in our era of polarized politics. The size of the House is determined by statute, not the Constitution, meaning Congress could pass a law to change it.
Its worth exploring, then, whether 435 is still an appropriate number of House members to represent our sprawling, diverse nation. Whether Congress will take up this issue anytime soon is another question entirely, but heres how we got stuck at 435 in the first place and what it would mean if we increased that number.
Democrats Also Fell Short On Many Offensive Targets
House Democrats set out on an ambitious agenda to flip many Republican-controlled seats, particularly in Texas and in many suburban districts around the country.
But Democrats have failed, so far, to flip a single GOP-held seat other than Georgia’s 7th Congressional District, located in the Atlanta suurbs, and two North Carolina seats that they were virtually guaranteed to flip because of court-ordered redistricting, according to DDHQ projections.
Democrats will not pick up competitive US House seats in Texas’ 2nd, 3rd, 10th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, or 24th congressional districts, DDHQ projected.
While Biden is projected to carry Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District’s sole Electoral College vote, the Democratic candidate Kara Eastman failed in her second bid to unseat the district’s congressional representative, Don Bacon, in this Omaha-based seat.
Also in the Midwest, GOP Rep. Ann Wagner won reelection in her district located in suburban St. Louis, over the Democratic candidate Jill Schupp. The Republican Victoria Spartz defeated the Democrat Christina Hale in the open race for Indiana’s 5th District, a wealthy seat in suburban Indianapolis that Democrats saw as a possible pickup opportunity.
In Michigan, the Republican Peter Meijer defeated the Democrat Hillary Scholten to succeed the retiring Rep. Justin Amash. And GOP Rep. Steve Chabot held off a challenge from the Democrat Kate Schroder in Ohio’s 1st Congressional District, located in the Cincinnati area.
Collins Says Gideon Called To Concede
Senator Susan Collins of Maine told supporters on Wednesday that her Democratic opponent, Sara Gideon, had called her to concede the race. Without taking Collins’ seat, Democrats have little change of claiming the Senate majority.
“I have news for everyone. I just received a very gracious call from Sara Gideon conceding the race,” Collins told supporters on Wednesday afternoon.
Collins, one of the more moderate members of Senate, was considered particularly vulnerable this year. If she had received under 50% of the vote, the race would have proceeded to a runoff, under Maine’s system of ranked-choice voting.
Gideon significantly outraised Collins, and hit the senator repeatedly for voting to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Cbs News Projects Mitch Mcconnell Wins Senate Race In Kentucky
CBS News projects that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has won his reelection race. McConnell was challenged by Democrat Amy McGrath, who ran unsuccessfully for a House seat two years ago.
CBS News projects Mitch McConnell wins reelection in Kentucky. https://t.co/T6GArkvEPf
CBS News November 4, 2020
McGrath had won national attention and significant fundraising when she entered the race, but she had to withstand a bruising primary challenge from the left. After defeating Charles Booker in the primary, McGrath sustained a fundraising advantage over McConnell in the closing months of the race, but was unable to translate those funds into in-person support.
CBS News also projects that New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, has won reelection.
How Republicans Pulled Off A Big Upset And Nearly Took Back The House
Analysis by Harry Enten, CNN
There seemed to be one safe bet when it came to the 2020 election results: Democrats would easily hold on to their majority in the House of Representatives. Not only that, but the conventional wisdom held that Democrats would pick up more than the 235 seats they won in the 2018 midterm elections.
Pelosi Says It Doesn’t Matter Right Now If She’ll Seek Another Term As Speaker Beyond 2022
In a press call, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shot down a question about whether this upcoming term would be her last as speaker, calling it the “least important question you could ask today.” She added that “the fate of our nation, the soul of the nation” is at stake in the election.
“Elections are about the future,” Pelosi said. “One of these days I’ll let you know what my plans are, when it is appropriate and when it matters. It doesn’t matter right now.”
After the 2018 election, Pelosi agreed to term limits on Democratic leaders that would prevent her from serving as speaker beyond 2022.
Races That Have Been Called
A pair of freshmen Democrats representing Miami-Dade County narrowly lost their seats Tuesday two years after winning GOP seats in South Florida.
Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, who ousted a GOP incumbent two years ago, found herself on the losing end Tuesday night in Florida’s 26th Congressional District. Rep. Donna Shalala, who won an open seat in 2018, lost in a rematch in the 27th Congressional District to the Republican she beat two years ago.
Broadcast journalist María Elvira Salazar unseated Shalala while Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez defeated Mucarsel-Powell in an area that has become one of swingiest of Florida.
Trumps message that electing Democrats would lead to socialism seemed to resonate in this South Florida district where Cuban Americans, many who fled Fidel Castros authoritarian regime, flocked to Trump. Salazar and Gimenez are Cuban American.
Today was a rejection of extremism. Today was a rejection of partisanship. Today was a rejection of socialism and the evils of socialism and communism, Gimenez said at a victory party Tuesday night. This country needs to start to work together because we have threats from outside and inside and for us to keep fighting, it makes no sense whatsoever.
New York’s 16th Congressional District: Jamaal Bowman won the race for New York’s 16th Congressional District, adding a new voice to the liberal wing of the party in the 117th Congress.
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Republicans Are Well Positioned To Take The House In 2022
Although we dont yet know the winners of some House races, we can already look ahead to the 2022 midterms and see a fairly straightforward path for the GOP to capture the House. Midterm elections historically go well for the party thats not in the White House, and the out-of-power party is especially likely to do well in the House, since every seat is up for election .
Since the end of World War II, the presidential party has lost an average of 27 House seats in midterm elections, as the chart below shows. No matter how many seats Democrats end up with after 2020s election at this point, they will probably end up somewhere in the low 220s a loss of that magnitude would easily be enough for Republicans to retake the House.
The recent history of midterms in a Democratic presidents first term seems especially promising for the GOP, too. Following Bill Clintons election in 1992, Democrats lost more than 50 seats in 1994, and after Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008, Democrats lost more than 60 seats.
If Democrats had added five to 10 seats this year, they could have survived a 20-seat loss in the midterms. Instead, Republicans will probably need to win fewer than 10 seats to gain a slender majority in 2022.
The Winding Road To Democratic Control
Following an anxious four days of waiting after the 2020 general election, nearly all major news networks declared that Joe Biden had exceeded 270 electoral votes and won the presidency. Democrats also retained control of the U.S. House, although their majority has been trimmed back .
But the U.S. Senate still hung in the balance, a tantalizing prize for Democrats dreaming of a trifecta, and a bulwark against a Democratic agenda for Republicans who seek to hold onto some power under the new Biden administration that will be sworn in on Jan. 20, 2021.
Republicans claimed 50 Senate seats after the November election, two more than the 48 seats claimed by the Democratic Caucus at that time.
The Senates balance of power teetered on the fulcrum of Georgias two seats, both of which were decided by the January 5th runoff election. Georgia law requires candidates to be voted in with at least 50% of the votes cast; if a candidate does not reach that threshold the two candidates who received the highest number of votes face one another in a runoff election.
Georgias runoff election featured these match-ups:
Incumbent David Perdue versus Jon Ossoff .According to Georgias Secretary of State, Perdue received 88,000 more votes than Ossoff, but came up just shy of the 50% needed to avoid a runoff. This is in part due to the 115,000 votes that went to Libertarian candidate Shane Hazel who will not appear on the January ballot.
Dems Keep House Gop Holds Key Senate Seats Nbc News Projects
WASHINGTON Democrats will maintain control of the House of Representatives, NBC News projects, but their path to taking control of the Senate has narrowed significantly as numerous Republican incumbents fended off strong opposition.
Democrats failed to pick up some of the Senate seats they were banking on to capture a majority. Their hopes for a big night were dashed up and down the ballot, as President Donald Trump outperformed his polls against Joe Biden in a race still to be decided.
In Maine, Republican Sen. Susan Collins was declared by NBC News as the apparent winner.
Other GOP senators who were Democratic targets hung on: Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, Montana Sen. Steve Daines and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham were all re-elected, NBC News projected.
Adding some uncertainty, the Georgia special election is headed to a runoff on Jan. 5 between Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler, NBC News projects.
Democrats will pick up a Senate seat in Colorado as John Hickenlooper is projected by NBC News to unseat Republican Sen. Cory Gardner, marking the party’s first gain.
Offsetting that, Republicans will pick up a seat in Alabama, where Republican Tommy Tuberville is projected to defeat Democratic Sen. Doug Jones, NBC News projects.
In Arizona, the Democratic challenger Mark Kelly leads but NBC News rates it “too early to call.”
Gop Holds Key Seats In Battle For Majority As Ernst Cornyn And Graham All Win; Democrat Kelly Unseats Incumbent Mcsally In Arizona
WASHINGTONRepublicans scored key Senate victories in Tuesdays elections, with wins in Iowa and Alabama, while Democrats flipped two seats, with former Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper unseating incumbent GOP Sen. Cory Gardner in Colorado, and Democrat Mark Kelly, a former astronaut, toppling Republican Sen. Martha McSally in Arizona, the Associated Press projected.
In the early hours of Wednesday morning, AP projected that Iowas incumbent GOP Sen. Joni Ernst had defeated Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield, a Des Moines businesswoman. Republicans picked up a seat by ousting Democratic Sen. Doug Jones in deep red Alabama, with Tommy Tuberville, the Republican candidate and former Auburn head football coach, winning.
Control of the chamber still remains in doubt as a number of other GOP-held races hang in the balance. Democrats now have a net gain of one seat. They need to gain three seats to win a majority if Democrat Joe Biden wins the White House or four if President Trump wins re-election.
Everything has to go right at this point in order for Democrats to have what is a very small shot to win the majority, said Jessica Taylor, who follows Senate races for the Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan outlet that tracks congressional races.
The races in North Carolina and Georgia were too close to call, and the outcomes in Michigan and Maine were uncertain. The Democrats opportunities to pick off seats dwindled as the vote counting deepened.