Republicans are well positioned to take the House in 2022 Although we don’t 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 that’s 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 2020’s 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 president’s first term seems especially promising for the GOP, too. Following Bill Clinton’s 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.
On top of this, Republicans could very well benefit from the new district lines that will be drawn ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. The GOP is set to fully control redistricting for about two-fifths of all House seats, while Democrats will only hold sway over one-tenth of them, with the remaining seats are in states with divided governments or where redistricting is done by a commission system.
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