House and Senate Democrats’ “wafer-thin” majorities are in trouble leading up to the 2022 midterms. According to a report, history, retirements, and redistricting will play a key factor for the Republicans in taking back the House.
The Los Angeles Times reports Democrats are “at high risk” of losing their partisan control of Congress in the midterms.
As the Times reports, the history of the president’s party “usually loses seats in Congress midterm.” The report noted the “big wipeouts”:
Under President Obama in 2010, Democrats lost control of the House in a tea-party fueled wave. In 1994, under President Clinton, Republicans took control of the House and Senate for the first time in 40 years.
In midterms over the last century, the president’s party gained House and Senate seats only twice, both in times of national distress — in 1934, during the Depression under Franklin D. Roosevelt; and in 2002, when President Bush was enjoying post-Sept. 11 popularity. Some Democrats hope for a 2002-like scenario if Biden succeeds in leading the country out of the pandemic.
Retirements also pose a big threat to the Democrat majority. The Republicans have seen this as the party’s opportunity to win back the majority. The Times reported there are currently already five Democrats in the House that have announced their retirement, like Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL), who announced she would be retiring. She was once the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Chairwoman and still one of the top lieutenants of Pelosi.
Additionally, there have been an increasing amount of vulnerable Democrats who have decided to exit the House to seek a higher office due to the overwhelming threat of the Republicans regaining control of the House and winning in multiple battleground districts. Florida has already seen Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) and Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) show they are unwilling to stick around.
Redistricting is known for always causing disruption during the uncertainty of the post-Census redrawing of congressional district lines that are supposed to reflect on the major population shifts. The Times points out: Both parties are usually given a chance to form “better” districts to fit their needs with gerrymander. But, this time around, “Republicans’ dominance of state legislatures 10 years ago gave them a huge advantage.”
According to the Times report, “This year, the process is somewhat less vulnerable to partisan gerrymandering because more states have, like California, taken the map-making job out of the hands of elected officials.” According to the Democrats’ redistricting committee, “173 House districts will be drawn by states with an independent commission or other nonpartisan process — up from 88 a decade ago.” But, Republicans have a “trifecta,” which is “control of both legislative chambers and the governor’s mansion — in four battleground states: Florida, Texas, Georgia and North Carolina.”
Those four states are set to pick up four seats in the House due to the rise in population. “Some analysts believe redistricting alone could clear the way for Republicans to pick up the five seats they need,” the report added.