Is the House 2022 Election now Competitive? Will Democrats Buck Historical Trends?
Think Piece/Open Discussion
The current consensus surrounding the upcoming midterm election is that Democrats have gained a significant amount of ground since the Supreme Court’s overruling of Roe v. Wade. Before the decision was leaked in May, Republicans led the generic ballots by 2.6%. Now, Democrats have surpassed them, overcoming the deficit to pull ahead of Republicans by 0.5%. Not only is the polling itself a, sure enough, sign that the political field is becoming more competitive, but recent Democratic performances in special elections — such as a victory in the NY 19th District.
Since the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, there have been four elections and Democrats have outperformed Biden by an average of nearly 5.5%. In the national popular vote, that would translate to nearly 10%. That’s obviously unlikely to be the case come election day, but it is compelling enough to raise the question of whether the media is wrong and if the “Red Wave” will even take over both congressional chambers.
According to RactotheWhiteHouse, a very accurate forecast that made its name in 2020, shows Democrats now with a 35% chance of winning the House. FiveThirtyEight shows Democrats with a 25% chance. There are obvious advantages for the Republicans as Biden remains fairly unpopular in the United States. But many still ask: Is the House 2022 Election now Competitive?
Democratic chances have definitely improved over the past few months. However, Republicans still hold the advantage due to institutional factors such as gerrymandering, etc. The forecasting also makes projections based on trends and past election history. If the positive trend continues moving in favor of the Democrats within the next one to three months instead of receding — as multiple models predict — then chances will also move in favor as well.
If the economy remains strong, if inflation gets flattened, and if gas prices continue to drop (currently on 72-73 days in a row of declines), it will hurt the Republican messaging that has been tossed around so vibrantly. There is no longer the boogie-man issue they’ve painted out of President Biden due to the economy anymore. People will continue, however, to point to past elections and say it’s a foregone conclusion that the President’s party will lose seats. This should not, and does not, mean that it is a for sure certainty.
For example, people spoke about Vigo County Indiana early in the 2020 election. The historical consensus was that it would swing to Trump due to it being a GOP hotspot since the 1950s. Well, they got that wrong, because the historical precedence only holds until it just doesn’t anymore. The odds are still against the Democrats, I am not denying that. However, I am warning, and I am saying, that the chances of Democrats bucking the trend are more likely than anybody is making it out to be.
Keep in mind:
Deeply engaging social issues
No Trump on the ballot to drive out low-propensity voters
People are quick to forget, but the Democratic and Republican voter compositions are much different than they were in the pre-2016 eras…