By BETHANY BLANKLEY
THE PLACE DU CENTER CONTRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) – With less than a year to go until the November 2022 midterm election, Republicans are in a position to win more seats than expected after the constituency redistribution is finalized in the states and 44 members of Congress, including a majority of Democrats, are retiring or not running for re-election.
Soaring inflation and energy costs and declining poll numbers for President Joe Biden could result in Democrats losing dozens of congressional seats, political analysts say.
This month, six sitting members of the United States Senate and 38 members of the United States House are stepping down, according to Ballotpedia calculations. Of the 37 leaving the United States House, 26 are Democrats and 12 Republicans.
The majority – 28 – are retiring. They include six senators, including five Republicans, and 22 deputies, including 17 Democrats.
The others, 15, are running for another job. Eight members of the House are running for a seat in the US Senate, split evenly between Republicans and Democrats, with four each. They come from Vermont, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, and Alabama.
Three members of the House are running for governor – a Democrat and a Republican in New York, and a Democrat in Florida.
Others show up for state and local offices in Texas, Maryland, California and Georgia. They include a Republican running for secretary of state, a Republican and Democrat running for attorney general, and a Democrat running for mayor.
No US senator is a candidate for another office; all six are retiring. They include Republicans Richard Burr of North Carolina, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Rob Portman of Ohio, Richard Shelby of Alabama and Roy Blunt of Missouri, and Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont.
A Washington Post / ABC News survey found that Republicans hold a 10-point margin over Democrats in a generic congressional race. Close. Biden’s approval rating on the economy was 39% and his overall approval rating was 41% at the time.
A December survey by Rasmussen Reports also found voters preferred Republicans over Democrats by 13 points, 51% to 38%, at the time.
An even wider 22% margin was found among voters who identify as independents, who said they would choose a generic Republican over a generic Democrat with a 48% -26% margin.
Currently, Democrats hold a majority of nine seats in the United States House. The US Senate is divided, with 50 Republicans, 48 Democrats and 2 Independents, the Independents forming a caucus with the Democrats and the Democratic Vice President acting as a tiebreaker.
That could change with West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin considering leaving the Democratic Party. “I would like to hope that there are still Democrats who feel like me,” Senator Manchin told a local West Virginia radio station, as reported. by the Washington Post. “Now if there aren’t Democrats like that, then they’ll have to push me where they want me.”
Senator Manchin also told reporters last month that he would consider quitting the Democratic Party if he became “an embarrassment to my fellow Democrats” as a “moderate centrist Democrat”. He said he would still be in caucus with the Democrats, allowing them to temporarily retain a majority.
Historically, since the end of World War II, the incumbent president’s party has lost seats in almost every midterm election.
A total of 469 seats in Congress are awaiting re-election in 2022, including 34 in the Senate and 435 in the House.
As a result of the demographic changes reported by the 2020 census, six states won seats in Congress, with Texas winning two. Five states won seats: Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon. Seven states lost a seat: California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.