Republicans have become “the early favorites,” to retake control of the House in next year’s midterm elections, a Cook Political Report election analyst told NBC News Tuesday.
“Based on all factors, you’d have to consider Republicans the early favorites for the House majority in 2022,” said David Wasserman, the Cook Political Report’s senior editor for the U.S. House of Representatives.
“But as we found out in 2020, surprises can happen, and it’s not a done deal,” he added. “Democrats’ best hope is that Biden’s approval rating stays above 50% and that Republicans have a tougher time turning out their voters without Trump on the ballot.”
NBC notes that Democrats hope to win over voters with their wide-ranging infrastructure plan and that Republicans will face a backlash over their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Democrats are delivering results, bringing back the economy, getting people back to work, passing the largest middle-class tax cut in history, while Republicans are engaged in frankly violent conspiracy theory rhetoric around lies in service of [former President] Donald Trump,” said Tim Persico, the executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
“The biggest challenge is emphasizing it so that folks know that the stuff that is happening is happening because Democrats fought for it and every single Republican opposed it,” he added.
GOP leaders note that the party managed to make gains in the previous election, slimming the Democrat majority in the House despite losing control of the Senate.
“House Republicans are in a great position to retake the majority,” said Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, “but we are taking nothing for granted.”
NBC reports that Democrats have expressed concerns about incumbents in swing districts not seeking reelection, such as Rep. Ron Kind of Wisconsin, who recently announced that he won’t seek another term in office after winning reelection last year by roughly 10,000 votes.