Axios Report: Midterm Outlook ‘Bleak’ for House Democrats

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) meets with reporters to discuss President Joe Bid
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

House Democrats have such a bleak outlook for the upcoming midterms even districts President Joe Biden won by up to 15 points are in danger of flipping red, according to a report from Axios.

Citing the Cook Political Report that predicts Republicans will gain a net 20 to 35 seats in the midterm, shifting 10 races in favor of Republicans while only two in favor of Democrats, Axios concluded that Democrats have “bleak” prospects for this November. Per the report:

23 House Democrats have announced they won’t seek re-election, compared to just 11 Republicans.

President Biden’s approval has been hovering in the low 40s for several months, with inflation driving down his popularity.

Polling shows Republicans are winning the generic congressional ballot  by an average of 1.9 points — and they have still room to grow.

Cook’s U.S. House editor Dave Wasserman said the most competitive races will be in states like New York, Michigan, Arizona, and California, states where “a court or commission drew a congressional map as opposed to a partisan one.”

“That’s where you’re going to see a lot of money spent,” Wasserman told Axios.

Wasserman referred to states with tight races and no competitive statewide election (as in Georgia) to drive turnout as “orphan states” that will be especially vulnerable come November.

“The only path to survival for those Democrats may be to go ‘scorched earth’ against still-undefined Republican challengers — which, at this point in the race, includes essentially all first-time candidates,” Axios noted.

The report comes after Democrats’ gerrymandering efforts have proven largely ineffective to secure them victories in November.

In the solidly blue state of New York alone, the GOP could win up to 11 U.S. House seats due to some recent court rulings, which resulted in Democrat Party leaders, such as House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and House Oversight Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), being forced into facing off against each other in primary challenges. Per Axios:

Democrats’ original plans in New York could have knocked out half of the eight GOP-held seats and boosted the party’s 19-member delegation to 22

Instead, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y), chair of the House Democrats’ campaign arm, will run in a district that includes his home — but is mostly represented by Black freshman Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.). Maloney’s decision has angered many in the caucus.

In a twist, Jones will avoid that primary by running in a different redrawn district — facing off against former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, among others.

Recently in Florida, an appeals court stayed a lower court decision that blocked a political redistricting map drafted by state Republicans, potentially granting the GOP an extra four U.S. House seats this November.

“To avoid uncertainty and confusion in the upcoming 2022 primary and general elections, it’s important to move forward expeditiously to implement the congressional map passed by the legislature and signed by the governor,” Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office said of the ruling.

This year, the Democrats held out some hope of putting up a solid fight in November with gerrymandering wins in New York, Maryland, Illinois, Alabama, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, but as election expert Dave Wasserman notes, recent court rulings have rendered that optimism moot.

“The legal setbacks and losses Democrats have suffered in the last three months have been staggering,” Wasserman said.



Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.