Between retirements, polling, and history, House Democrats realize they are likely facing massive losses, and will be the minority party following the 2022 midterm elections, insiders from both parties told the New York Post.
"If we don’t fix things now, we will get mauled in November," one battleground Democratic member of Congress told the news outlet. "Anyone in a tough district knows it. The rest have their head stuck in the sand."
A number of factors are building to what could be a "perfect storm" leading to a Republican tsunami in November including 29 Democrats leaving office, President Joe Biden's plummeting approval rating and historical precedent that the president’s party usually suffers losses during midterm elections.
Perhaps seeing the handwriting on the wall, 21 House Democrats announced their retirements at the end of this year, compared to just six Republicans, according to Ballotpedia.
"Democrats are retiring in droves because they know their majority is doomed," Mike Berg, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, told the Post.
A dip in poll numbers for Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are also an issue.
A recent Quinnipiac poll found that only 33% of those surveyed approved of the job Biden is doing one-year into his presidency, a decline of almost 30 percentage points since he took office in January 2021.
According to the poll, 57% disapprove of how he is handling the economy, 54% disapprove of his foreign policy, and 55% disapprove of how he handled the COVID-19 pandemic.
The numbers for Harris are not much better with just a 35% approval rating in a Jan. 13 poll by the political FiveThirtyEight.com website.
A Morning Consult poll on Jan. 24 found that 67% of the 6,400 U.S. adults surveyed feel the country is on the "wrong track."
"(President) Joe Biden and (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi’s radical policies have caused an inflation crisis, a crime crisis, a border crisis, and multiple international crises in Afghanistan and Ukraine," said House GOP conference Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., who has been floated as a possible Republican Speaker, the Post reported. "Republicans are united in our work to flip the House, fire Nancy Pelosi, and save America."
The third factor facing House Democrats is the historical precedent that the party of the president usually loses seats in the midterm elections.
The president’s party only gained a handful of seats four times during midterm elections going back to 1862, according to the Brookings Institute.
While those instances gained the president’s party up to nine seats in 1902, 1934, 1998, and 2002, the usual result is double-digit losses in most midterm cycles.
That was most recently noted by former President Barack Obama who lost 63 Democratic seats in what he called a “shellacking” in 2010.
"(Winning) twenty seats would be a great night," one GOP strategist told the Post. "Thirty seats would be a tsunami."
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