GOP Sees Harder Fight in Taking Back Senate, House

Republicans still projected to win House, but that number is falling, and Senate now looks precarious
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 26, 2022 8:42 AM CDT
GOP Sees Harder Fight in Taking Back Senate, House
Stock photo of the US Capitol.   (Getty Images/Toshe_O)

In just 43 days, Americans will decide the makeup of the Senate and House. And with President Biden's tepid poll numbers earlier this year, as well as historical precedence that often has the party in power ceding ground during the midterms, it seemed a given just a few months ago that Republicans would take both chambers come November. But with Biden's approval rating on the rise and the GOP hit with backlash on abortion rights, Republicans are now "staring down an increasingly narrow path" in terms of claiming the Senate majority, while prospects for a House majority have also narrowed, reports the Hill. Battleground states such as New Hampshire and Arizona, where Democratic senators once seemed in peril, now appear to be "more of a stretch" for Republicans, who need just one Senate seat net to gain control of the chamber, a GOP strategist tells the outlet.

"If you look at those core states that we started with, the list has really been cut in half at this point," the strategist says of Republican prospects for flipping Senate seats, noting that Georgia and Nevada seem to be the GOP's best bets right now. In Georgia, Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock is running against the GOP's Herschel Walker, while in Nevada, Democrat Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto is facing Republican Adam Laxalt. The Hill notes that, in addition to the abortion rights blowback, many of the party's nominees are first-time candidates whose backing by former President Trump helped them in the primaries but hasn't given them a boost so far in their general-election campaigns.

Meanwhile, in terms of House numbers, Republicans are still favored to gain the House majority, but per CBS News' latest model, those numbers are dwindling as well: That estimate has the GOP winning 223 seats, down from 226 in August and 230 in July. Either party needs to win 218 seats to claim the majority. "Ever since we launched our election model in late June, it has moved entirely in one direction: toward Democrats," Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight wrote in his own analysis on Friday. "Pretty much every week, they've either gained ground in our forecast or held steady." Silver notes, however, that Republicans "could still have a pretty good midterm." The New York Times has more on the 11th-hour fundraising efforts of candidates from both parties in the mad scramble to claim the majorities. (Read more 2022 midterms stories.)

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