Poll analysts are widely predicting that the GOP is poised to take not only the House of Representatives but also the Senate. The new predictions come at a key point for President Joe Biden, who is faced with crisis after crisis and a Senate and House on the edge.
“The national environment doesn’t look good for Democrats,” reads poll aggregate FiveThirtyEight’s interactive election tool, “which is why we expect Republicans to make gains in the House — even though those gains might not be historic.”
Momentum behind the Republican party taking back the House has existed since the 2020 election, where Republicans gained a number of seats but no majority. The new turnaround in the Senate, on the other hand, is not in line with President Joe Biden’s election successes.
Most analysts — yours truly included — thought Republicans would lose more ground in the last round of congressional elections, falling deeper in the minority as then-President Donald Trump dragged the GOP down at the top of the 2020 ticket,” writes POLITICO analyst Steve Shepard. “Instead, Republicans surprised even themselves, nearly toppling Democrats’ majority.” Shepard cites gerrymandering as a major factor in the new backwind for the GOP.
“Both parties gerrymandered abundantly where they had the power to do so,” he says. “Republicans wielded the pens in more states.”
In addition to new opportunities for gerrymandering, the source of this new optimism for Lincoln’s party is obvious: the economy. Rising inflation, rising gas prices, and a general downturn in the economic prosperity that was expected coming out of the coronavirus pandemic are large factors in driving voters to support Republican candidates.
Biden’s party cannot seem to lose the ire that the rising inflation and rising gas prices are all their fault. Special elections such as Mayra Flores’ success in Texas, flipping a long-Democrat-controlled seat, are already reflective of the dire status of the President’s party.
Although the Senate currently leans red by many analysts, most are noting that the lead is very small.
“Republicans’ national tailwinds might not take them as far in the battle for the 50-50 Senate,” continues Shepard. “Republicans only need to net one seat in what is expected to be a favorable environment — not a particularly tall task. But their path is filled with landmines, especially in primaries across the map.” Shepard points out that Republicans lack a number of incumbents in these important races, only having one to rely on.
“Republicans are substantial favorites to take over the U.S. House of Representatives following this November’s midterm elections, but the U.S. Senate is much more competitive,” writes analyst Nate Silver. “The split diagnosis reflects the difference between macro- and micro-level conditions. The national environment is quite poor for Democrats. Of course, this is typical for the president’s party, which has lost seats in the House in all but two of the past 21 midterm elections. But Democrats are also saddled with an unpopular President Biden and a series of challenges for the country.” Silver cites inflation and the COVID-19 pandemic as major factors for the Democratic party’s current dilemma.
It’s still early and November is a ways off, so anything is possible. However, it certainly does not bode well for the Democratic party. They have a weak hold on the American Congress, which might motivate the left aisle to make moves while they still can.
In addition to the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, the new pressure from media analysts could contribute to a change in attitude by Senators such as Joe Manchin of West Virginia on the filibuster. If Dems do not act now, they may never get the chance to act in the next two-to-four years.
Originally published here.