Democrats are trying to poach half as many House seats from Republicans in 2022 as they did in 2020, “trimming their target list from 39 to 21,” Axios reported on Tuesday.
“The narrowing map — which reflects where Democrats see their best chance of flipping seats — is the latest datapoint showing the challenging political landscape the party faces in the crucial 2022 midterms,” according to the report.
For Democrats, 2022 presents a perfect storm: the party already holds an extremely thin majority in the House, combined with redistricting — a once-in-a-decade process in which Republicans maintain the advantage. Even more so, President Joe Biden has not been polling well in the aftermath of the Afghanistan withdrawal. Democrats have also been scrambling to save face on issues like rising crime, the immigration crisis, inflation, and a pandemic Biden swore to end.
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told Axios his party must be “flexible and nimble,” considering districts are still changing.
“What’s going to determine the size of the battlefield is how far down these dark paths of racism and denying a woman’s reproductive freedom the Republican Party goes,” he continued.
Former Virginia Republican Congressman Tom Davis told Axios “Dems’ should focus on protecting the seats they have.” He said:
Democrats are on defense, there’s no question about that. In 2002, we had a five-seat majority in the House, and I was campaign chairman. I didn’t get aggressive, I just wanted to take seats off the table. We ended up picking up eight seats. That ought to be their strategy.
“Biden was elected because people didn’t want Donald Trump in their living rooms for four more years,” Davis continued. “But they didn’t vote for all this other stuff that’s coming with him, and they’re gonna react, they’re gonna pump the brakes.”
For the 2022 midterms, Democrats are targeting:
Arizona’s 2nd (open seat) and 6th districts; California’s 21st, 25th, 39th and 48th districts; Florida’s 26 and 27th districts; Iowa’s 1st and 2nd districts; Indiana’s 5th district; Missouri’s 2nd district; Nebraska’s 2nd district; New York’s 2nd, 22nd and 24th districts; Ohio’s 1st district; Pennsylvania’s 1st and 10th districts; Texas’ 23rd and 24th districts; and Utah’s 4th district.
“But nationally Republicans hold the redistricting edge. Of the 12 states with DCCC target districts, Democrats are only in charge of drawing the new maps in one (New York). Republicans control that process in 8 of the other states, comprising 11 of Dems’ 21 targets,” according to Axios.
States such as South Carolina, Missouri, Indiana, North Carolina, Florida, Utah, and Texas, will be key for the Republicans, according to Politico. The new lines should help the Republicans to an easier path of victory with the redistricting, especially in places like Texas. In Texas, Democrats tried to win over ten of the Republican seats in the last election but were unsuccessful in all of them.
The GOP has repeatedly been projected to take back the House is 2022. According to a Rasmussen poll, most voters are optimistic the GOP will succeed in the midterms, with 60 percent of voters saying it is somewhat likely “Republicans will pick up the five seats they need to regain control of the U.S. House of Representatives next year.” Even by far-left CNN’s estimates, congressional Democrats are not in very good standing.
Overall, Maloney told Politico it is up to Republicans to win seats.
“We already hold the majority,” he said. “So my job is to hold the ones I got, and to beat a few of them. And we’re going to do that, and I can do that with a tight disciplined battlefield.