The people at Larry Sabato’s political group point to the fact there just ins’t that many places where Republicans can make gains in the November midterm elections….
Dave Wasserman also points to fact that despite the early media stories about redistricting going heavily in Republican’s favor?
That has not been the case…
The odds ARE that Republican could and will get the Democratic seats that give Nancy Pelosi the House Speaker gavel…
But some pundits on the technical side say that GOPer gains are NOT gonna be humangest…..
All this has something else to consider….
LOTS of them from House members of both parties…..
While the district lines are still being drawn, this hypothetical path to a historically large Republican majority is based on Republicans flipping a sizable number of seats that Joe Biden won in the 2020 presidential election. Of the Republican gains above, we estimate that a little over a third of them would have been won by Trump and a little under two-thirds were won by Biden (though only by single digits in many cases).
Using the current congressional districts, the median House seat is IL-14, which voted for Biden by 2.4 points (if you line up all 435 seats on a continuum based on their 2020 presidential vote, IL-14 would be exactly in the middle). Based on our estimates, Republicans could probably get about halfway to the historic net gain they need just by winning seats where Biden performed worse than that current median seat. Additionally, several of the light blue seats we mentioned are left of the median but would not necessarily require a GOP mega-wave to flip. We should note, though, that Republicans will also have to defend some of their own seats that are left of that median.
We mentioned above that this is not a projection. Reasonable people may either scoff at us for suggesting that some of these Democratic-held seats are vulnerable — or think that we should be mentioning even more Democratic-seats as legitimate Republican targets. We plan to revisit this “Drive to 35” as redistricting is completed and as the campaign progresses. And the race for the House is not over; Bloomberg Businessweek’s Joshua Green just went through how Democrats could hang on. From a Democratic perspective, the list above can serve as a guide to the kinds of seats they will need to largely hold in order to hang onto the majority.
One rough approximation of what to expect in the House comes from national generic ballot polling. In current averages, the generic ballot is roughly tied. However, the Democrats’ average share of the vote in such polls (in the low 40s) is very similar to Joe Biden’s average approval rating (also, on average, in the low 40s). One would expect Republicans to have a better chance to win over more undecided Biden disapprovers than Democrats would, which is why it’s so important for Democrats that Biden’s approval improves. Otherwise, we could see the Republicans building a more consistent generic ballot edge throughout the election year…