For a moment, it looked as though Republicans might have blown their chance to flip the House and Senate in the November midterm elections.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted Sept. 7-12 found that enthusiasm for voting in the midterms is almost the same among Democrats and Republicans.
The survey found that 63% of Democrats are certain they will vote in November, while 65% of Republicans said the same.
But keeping control of the House would buck historical trends going back to 1945 and mean that something went very, very wrong for Republicans. In 17 of the last 19 midterm elections, the party that controls the White House lost House seats in the midterms.
The two exceptions were in 1998, following the Republican-led effort to impeach then-President Bill Clinton, and in 2002 when then-President George W. Bush had seen an uptick in his support following the 9/11 terror attacks.
The average number of House seats lost in a midterm election is 27. If Republicans picked up even half of the average, they would flip control of the chamber.
Fox News’ “Power Rankings” released a forecast on Tuesday that took into consideration what seems to be building Democratic momentum and projected that Republicans will still flip the House.
In an article published on Tuesday, the outlet estimated that in a worst-case scenario, Republicans would come up short of a majority with just 216 seats — instead of the 218 needed for a majority. In the best-case scenario, Republicans would come away from the election with 246 seats and a 28-seat majority.
By contrast, Fox projects that the best case scenario in the House for Democrats is that they narrowly hold onto control with a two-seat majority, or 219 seats. And in a worst-case scenario, they are left with 189 seats.
POWER RANKINGS: Fox News’ latest Power Rankings still forecast that the Republicans are set to take back the house in November, whereas the senate remains a toss-up. Will abortion and voting issues be enough to get the Democrats over the finish line? pic.twitter.com/pFBLpzIAdR
— America's Newsroom (@AmericaNewsroom) September 20, 2022
According to RealClearPolitics’ average, Democrats currently hold an average 1.1-point lead over Republicans on the question of what party voters want to control Congress.
But even a fairly large lead on that poll question may not be a sign that Democrats are poised to keep control of the House. In 2020, RealClearPolitics’ average found Democrats held a 6.8-point lead over Republicans, and yet narrowly maintained control of the House. Republicans gained 12 seats in the House that year.
FiveThirtyEight also predicts that Republicans are favored to win the House.
But while the predictions look good for Republicans’ chances of taking the House, the Senate is a different story.
FiveThirtyEight projects that Democrats have a roughly 70% chance of keeping control of the Senate.
Meanwhile, Fox News labels the Senate a “toss-up” but predicts Republicans will wind up with 51 seats.
There probably is enough time left that some potentially unforeseen event could throw a wrench in either party’s prospects. But with less than two months to go until election day, the clock is ticking for both sides to win over voters.
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