Come Nov. 8, Republicans have a good chance to take control of the U.S. House of Representatives, retiring Nancy Pelosi as Speaker. The election forecaster Cook Political Report says 212 seats lean Republican and 188 seats lean Democrat, with 35 in the toss-up lane. The political forecaster says Republicans could gain between 12-25 seats.
“The scariest Halloween reality for House Democrats is the number of seats President Biden carried comfortably in 2020 that are at genuine risk a week out. And if you’re looking for House upsets, the best places to watch might be blue states where there’s no competitive statewide races driving turnout, Democratic governors are underperforming and GOP candidates have been able to seize on high crime and inflation,” writes David Wasserman for Cook Political Report.
“I’ve never seen an election where the signs are this divergent and…lumpy,” Wasserman quoted one veteran Democratic strategist familiar with polling in a wide array of races. “It’s less nationalized than we’re accustomed to, and there’s more weakness in the blue end of the battlefield,” including “late-emerging problems in California and New York districts that Donald Trump lost by between 14 and 20 points.”
Cook Political moved 10 seats in the GOP’s direction – “all in very blue states and all in districts Biden carried by between eight and 20 points in 2020. Three are open seats where the lack of an incumbent has allowed the GOP to remain.”
Alaska could be an outlier, with the Alaska Republican Party risking losing the House of Representatives seat to a Democrat, incumbent Rep. Mary Peltola. The two Republicans in the race, thanks to ranked choice voting, have created a conundrum for conservative voters who don’t like participating in what they see as a faulty election system brought to them by the loyalists of Sen. Lisa Murkowski. It’s unclear if the “rank the red” message to conservative voters is having enough of an effect to convince them to rank both Nick Begich and Sarah Palin on their ballot. Also, Libertarian Chris Bye is on the ballot, and his voters may or may not rank a Republican after they rank him.