Optimism is growing among Congressional Republicans that the 2022 midterms could bring a red wave, flipping both chambers of Congress to a GOP majority.
“I’ve been telling Democrats, especially Democrats in targeted seats, enjoy the holidays, and you got a decision to make: retire or lose next fall,” said Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN), the chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Speaking to The Hill, Emmer said that while a Republican majority in the House isn’t guaranteed, as many as 70 Democrats could lose their seats, warning “in this environment, no Democrat is safe.”
Several factors are contributing to the GOP’s optimism. Historically, the party in the White House loses seats in the midterm elections. Besides that, President Joe Biden’s declining approval ratings could point to an overall advantage for Republicans.
“I’m very confident that we’re gonna take back the House,” Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) said. “I think that on the key issues right now, all the energy is on our side. And when I look at all the polling data, it matches what I see in the district, voters are concerned about inflation, crime, the border, Afghanistan, and all those issues are in our favor.”
Some Democrats concede that their House majority is on shaky ground.
“The environment is particularly dour, both because of rising prices, economic anxiety, frustration about feeling stagnant when it comes to COVID, that it is not behind us despite the fact that we’ve been living with it for two years,” Democratic pollster Molly Murphy said. “If this environment holds, it’s going to be pretty damning.”
The pollster thinks Democrats should stop praising their previous accomplishments and instead acknowledge that “people are pissed off.”
“I think understanding that people are pissed off and that that’s OK and that there’s an understanding of what those lives are like and a desire, and the goal is fixing those things and looking in touch with people, those are the things that Democrats can do tonally,” Murphy said. “I think pointing to, ‘Hey, things are actually great’ just sounds totally tone deaf.”
Roughly two dozen House Democrats announced they’re retiring, with some running for another office and others leaving politics entirely.
“They’re running for the hills,” GOP pollster Robert Blizzard said. “I think they see the writing on the wall.”