House Democrats will almost certainly lose their majority in November’s midterm elections, as 11 more races have moved in favor of Republicans, according to the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.
Of the 11 rating changes, four became “safe Republican” districts, and one “leans Democratic” district switched to a tossup. Five “likely Democratic” districts in which President Joe Biden won the popular vote now “lean Democratic.” One formerly “safe Democratic” district in California—whose polling the Washington Free Beacon exclusively reported on April 1 as virtually tied—shifted a degree further toward Republicans. Democrats will likely retain 198 seats, whereas Republicans will likely win 210. Twenty-seven will be tossups.
“Given the political environment,” the author of the ratings, Kyle Kondik wrote, “we’d expect Republicans to do quite well among the tossup races.” The UVA Center for Politics released the findings as part of Sabato’s Crystal Ball, a nonpartisan political newsletter founded by Larry J. Sabato, a professor, pundit, and author of two dozen books on U.S. politics.
The news comes as Biden’s approval rating remains underwater. About 43 percent approve and 52 percent disapprove of him, according to the RealClearPolitics average. “If Biden’s approval continues to be weak, we would expect the Republican advantage to grow in the coming months,” Kondik wrote.
Polls in November and March showed burgeoning Republican support. A plurality of Americans want Republicans to win control of the House and Senate in 2022, and GOP voter enthusiasm is enjoying its highest levels since 2010.
“The last time the enthusiasm gap was this wide, in 2010,” Politico reporter David Siders wrote, “Democrats lost more than 60 seats in the House.”
Democrats in national polls lag double digits behind Republicans on law enforcement, the economy, and border security. As its policy priorities shift, the party has alienated once-reliable voters like Hispanic Americans, who now back Republicans by 9 percentage points.
The likely election losses are underscored by retiring Democratic members, who have decried the party for its inability to stand up to left-wing groups. In a parting shot in March, Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D., Fla.) inveighed against Democrats who pressed for unpopular policies despite the party’s narrow advantage in the House and Senate.
“I can’t tell you the number of times I said, ‘You can’t keep promising rainbows and unicorns when your political reality is such narrow margins in the House and a dead-even Senate,'” Murphy said. “They took the difference between rainbows and unicorns and political reality—which is anger and disappointment—and turned that anger and disappointment against their own members.”
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