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Republicans are forecast to take control of the House this November with at least seven seats to spare, leaving Democrats in need of a dramatic turnaround to hold on to power. This edition of the Fox News Power Rankings also unveils the U.S. House model for the first time and sees gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, carving out a slight edge in Pennsylvania.
House: Republicans take charge as the Power Rankings predict the GOP will take 225-255 seats
With redistricting completed and the bulk of the primaries behind us, the Power Rankings model now reveals a clear advantage for the GOP in the House. With 218 seats required to take control, the GOP is forecast to take 225 seats to the Democrats’ 180 seats. Those figures include only the races in which one party has an advantage. The actual size of a GOP majority will depend on how many highly competitive “toss up” races each party wins, but the Republicans are expected to gain at least a seven-seat majority (225 seats) and as much as a 37-seat majority (255 seats) in their “best case” scenario.
The range of scenarios for the Democrats leaves the party with as much as a 38-seat deficit (180 seats), or just eight shy of a majority (210 seats). That is significant. In other words, even if Democrats win all 30 races currently marked as toss-ups, the party still does not have enough support to retain control of the House.
Eagle-eyed Power Rankings readers would know that these ratings are just estimates, and that even races assigned to a party (particularly those in the “Lean” columns) are still very competitive. Nonetheless, the current forecast looks very cloudy for congressional Democrats.
One factor above all else contributes to the gloomy outlook: President Joe Biden’s approval rating. A New York Times/Siena poll released Monday puts Biden’s approval rating at just 33%, and several high-quality polls now show Biden with a lower rating than former President Donald Trump had at the same time in his presidency. Just as Trump’s approval rating foreshadowed the Democrats’ solid victory in the House back then, so does Biden’s rating now.
Polling consistently shows voters have been frustrated about the rising cost of living, particularly in key categories such as food and gas. That frustration is reflected both in how voters feel about the issue and how they prioritize their concerns. Americans are punishing the president and, even if indirectly, congressional Democrats too.
As much as numbers explain this story, so does a peek into the decisions being made in battleground states. Senate candidate Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, skipped an appearance with Biden in Cleveland earlier this week, and Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams said she simply would welcome “anyone” to join her on the trail in a…