Most political analysts believe the GOP will retake the House in 2022. I concur. Republicans control redistricting in significantly more states than do the Democrats. By redrawing the districts to disadvantage Democratic incumbents, the GOP could easily pick up the handful seats needed to retake a majority in the U.S. House. As I noted on these pages, I think the Republicans in the Indiana General Assembly will eliminate the Democratic leaning nature of Congressman Frank Mrvan's northwest Indiana district. That would make Indiana's congressional district 8-1 instead of 7-2.
Then you have the heavy weight of history. In midterm elections, the party not winning the White House tends to pick up a significant number seats in the House.
Three things though counterbalance, somewhat, those Republican advantages. 2020 was not a typical year for a party winning the White House. While Democrats won the Presidency, Republicans picked up seats in the House, winning virtually every race that was deemed as close. So, in other words, many, if not most, of the competitive districts have already been won by Republicans. Much of the historical mid-term gains for the party opposing the President has involved flipping back districts the President's party won during the presidential election.
The second factor weighing against Republican gains in the House are the rural voters which increasingly make up the GOP's base. Recently released census figures shows a significant migration of people from rural to suburban areas. Because of the requirement that districts be equal in population, mapmakers are going to have to include more suburban voters into districts than they would like. Suburban voters, often wealthy and well-educated, are increasingly voting for Democrats.
The third factor is the uncertainty of those rural voters. Turnout among rural voters spiked whenever Donald Trump was on the ballot. In trying to making districts favorable, Republicans drawing the maps may include in their calculation rural voters who may return to their previous habits of not voting, or worse, voting for Democrats.
Nonetheless, I think the odds strongly favor Republicans to retake the House. (I would say 85% chance, maybe 90%.) They are 9 seats short of a majority in the U.S. House, which only requires the GOP pick up 5 seats for a majority. At this point, I would predict the Republicans flip 12-15 seats, which seems like a lot but is actually significantly less than is usual for the party out of power.
Next up: As GOP senatorial candidates push to become more Trumpy, the odds decrease that Republicans will retake the Senate.
OOP's short takes:
- While other Democrats were losing in 2020, Joe Biden won the Presidency because he presented the voters with a contrast to the highly-unpopular President Donald Trump. Biden seemed to be a competent leader, someone who would take responsibility for things that happened, wasn't afraid to apologize when he made a mistake, and displayed a great deal of empathy. Trump had none of those traits.
- Both Trump and Biden both wanted to end the Afghanistan war ASAP. Given his previous bungling of military initiatives, it is doubtful that Afghanistan would have turned out any different if President Trump were in the White House, including especially the bungled evacuation of American personnel and our Afghan allies. But that is exactly the problem. Biden wasn't supposed to be Trump 2.0. All those positive traits on which he was judged favorably against Trump have gone out the window.
- It appears the United States has righted the ship somewhat when it comes to the evacuations. But Biden has not yet righted judgment on how he has handled them. He still refuses to accept blame or to admit that things did not go as planned. In other words, Biden has taken a Trumpy approach to governing. Again, not a good look.
- A man named Floyd Ray Roseberry showed up at the U.S. Capitol yesterday announcing he had a bomb in his truck that he intended to detonate. Roseberry live-streamed what he was doing (until it was taken down). Roseberry announced he was frustrated that Trump's election victory had been stolen and said he was there to kill Democrats if they didn't resign. He called himself a "patriot" and said he was in Washington, D.C. to help return the country to what it used to be.
- Rep. Mo Brooks, a candidate for Senate in Alabama, tweeted support for Roseberry's convictions. “Although this terrorist’s motivation is not yet publicly known, and generally speaking, I understand citizenry anger directed at dictatorial Socialism and its threat to liberty, freedom and the very fabric of American society, The way to stop Socialism’s march is for patriotic Americans to fight back in the 2022 and 2024 election.” Ugh. Can we stop pretending political violence is not a very real possibility?
- Newly announced Jeopardy host Mike Richards announced he was stepping down before the first taping. As producer on The Price is Right, Richards, as had been previously accused of sexual harassment, discrimination and wrongful termination by a litany of former employees, allegations that were included in at least two lawsuits. Turns out that's not a deal breaker, however. What killed Richards' Jeopardy hosting gig is someone dug up an old podcast of his in which he made derogatory remarks about little people, Jews, people receiving unemployment benefits and women. Apparently saying bad things is worse than doing bad things.
- Not sure where Richards lives, but I expect that he will soon announce that he is a Republican candidate for Congress.
- Recently I wrote about the lawsuit legendary song writer Bob Dylan faces based on his supposed sexual assault of a 12 year old girl in 1965. The incidents were alleged to have taken place during April and May of 1965. Turns out that Dylan may have been on a prolonged European concert tour during that time. Alibi city.
- Immediately people accused the now 68 year old plaintiff of lying. To which I raise my hand. First, aren't we supposed to always believe a woman's accusation of sexual assault is true? Second, couldn't it just be that she was simply mistaken on the dates? It was 56 freaking years ago, after all. I can't remember where I parked my car at Costco's, much less remember what I was doing more than half a century ago. Third, did I mention it was 56 freaking years ago? Shouldn't we be blaming the idiots in the New York legislature who effectively repealed the statute of limitations on sexual assault allegations and thus opened the door to these types of ridiculous lawsuits?