Overlooked Victories Give Republicans Huge Advantage

The Republican Party is poised to win the House majority in 2022, boosted by the rare combination of President Trump’s ouster and down-ballot victories that put the GOP in command of the decennial redrawing of district boundaries.

House Republicans flipped nearly a dozen Democratic-held seats in the Nov. 3 elections, a surprising gain that left them a handful shy of the majority. With such a thin margin, there is loose speculation redistricting could effectively deliver Republicans the speaker’s gavel before a single Democratic incumbent is defeated. The GOP preserved control of key state legislatures and governor’s mansions, a crucial advantage in the partisan battle over reapportionment.

“We start in a great position,” said Dan Conston, who runs the Congressional Leadership Fund, the super PAC affiliated with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California. “But the last thing Republicans should be doing is measuring the drapes.”

Democrats captured the House two years ago in a 40-seat swing, riding voter dissatisfaction with Trump to the majority after eight years out of power. Public opinion polls suggested the Democrats would flip as many as 15 more GOP-held districts this year. Instead, Republicans picked up 11 seats, giving them a total of 212. If the Republicans come out on top in an unresolved contest in upstate New York, that number would climb by one.

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