Do you believe in miracles? Yes, here too. What about political miracles? Yes, how could we not – after 2016. No, not talking about the presidential election, which is looking better by the week, nor the Senate which may stay Republican – against the odds. Talking about the US House, which wrongly impeached President Trump, brims with Socialists, and disrespects what many died for, our freedom. Yes, there is a chance – just a chance – the House could flip.
First, forgive the jargon, emphasis on numbers and game theory. What matters most is love of country, freedoms of speech, worship, assembly, self-defense, and avoiding government overreach. Keeping faith with the past matters. But now, with deference – consider the game.
Here are new numbers, that suggest a sea change. They imply possibilities that did not exist a few months ago. They suggest Americans are tired of lawlessness, attacks on Trump, endless spending, loose talk about socialism, and burbling anti-Americanism.
The surprise may be how many Americans do love this country. We may find Americans voting their hearts, stunning the opposition. Numbers show the spirit lives. Coincidentally, 40 years ago Americans stunned the Soviets in that “Miracle on Ice.” Socialists may be stunned again.
No one in the media is predicting Democrats lose the House, or Pelosi resigning, but it could happen. Politics in the Heartland, suburbs, and cities are churning. People are edgy, unhappy, suddenly do not trust Democrats. Gun sales, Republican registrations, and public disaffection are up. If the disaffected vote, things could tip. They did in 1994 – Republicans took the House.
Here is why, how, and which races might flip the House. Note: Democrats retook control in 2018 by winning 30 House seats Republicans had won – two years earlier. One reason is low voter turnout in every non-presidential year. Turnout rises in presidential election years.
Concern raises turnout, too. People are teed off. Biden’s faltering capacity, Harris’s opportunism, spreading riots, economic distress, Supreme Court, China, border, taxes, prescription drug prices, and protecting America’s seniors – may change this cycle.
Republicans need is a “net gain” of 17 seats to retake the House and reverse socialism’s rise. News is good, as 13 needed seats are “ruby red” – districts Trump won by six points in 2016.
If Democrats have millions on hand, principles also matter. Democrats are on the wrong side of history, law and order, economic growth, taxes, and national security. They have a record.
Changes on the fly show Republicans have depth Democrats do not. In May 2020, California’s 25th district was won by Republican Mike Garcia, US Navy fighter pilot, son of a legal Mexican immigrant, and unabashed patriot. His victory lit the horizon, presaging thunder in the fall.
Republicans need 17 seats – and 30 are in play. Some must be held, others retaken. Angle of attack is different for each shot, but odds are rising – for Republicans. In open seats, most retiring Republicans should be replaced by Republicans. Alabama’s 1st district is solidly Republican, by 26 percent. Likewise, Alabama’s 2nd is solid Republican, by 23 percent. Other races look good, like California’s 8th, Florida’s 3rd and 19th, Georgia’s 7th, that Trump won by 6.
Solid too are Georgia’s 9th, Illinois’ 15th, and Indiana’s 5th, along with Kansas’ 1st, Louisiana’s 5th, Michigan’s 10th, and Montana’s “at large” district. In many, early Democrat leads vanished; trends are now red. Same is true in New York’s 2nd, which Trump won by 9 points.
Rounding out open seats, watch North Carolina’s 2nd and 6th districts, Texas 22nd, 23rd, and 24th. These are possible losses, but Republican prospects are rising. History matters. Trump won the 24th by 6 points. Republicans are solid in Oregon’s 2nd, Tennessee’s 1st, Utah’s 1st, and Wisconsin’s 5th.
All that is what you might call the “defensive line” – and it is strong. If it holds, the game turns on how many seats Democrats lose. Toss-ups are shifting red. As of mid-September, a dozen toss-ups are tipping Republican, according to Real Clear Politics. See, https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2020/house/2020_elections_house_map.html.
At the same time, a few of the remaining 19 toss-ups – currently Democrat-leaning – must go Republican. Several factors could make that happen. First, if Trump gains in these states, that helps down-ticket, as moderates and Independents may give him a House he can work with.
Second, some Democrats in toss-ups are vulnerable. In California’s 1st, the incumbent won by less than a point in 2018. Media outlets now endorse the Republican. See, e.g., https://www.fresnobee.com/opinion/editorials/article240603301.html.
Likewise, in Georgia’s 6th, the Democrat won by a point in 2018. The Republican opponent has a history of winning against odds. See, https://www.businessinsider.com/georgia-house-6th-district-election-lucy-mcbath-karen-handel-2020. Another district to watch is Iowa’s 2nd – where the Republican leads and is riding a wave. Trump won that state by four points in 2016.
Surges are appearing. In New Mexico’s 2nd, the Democrat incumbent won by less than two points in 2018. The Republican challenger is closing – down by two. A similar scenario marks New York’s 22nd – where the Democrat won by 1.8 points in 2018, but the Republican challenger formerly held that seat, and won it by 15.5 in 2016. He may again.
In South Carolina’s 1st, where the Democrat won by 1.4 points in 2018, Trump walked away with the district by 13.1 points in 2016. If turnout is high, history could repeat. Republicans are also on the march in the OH 1st, VA 5th, AZ 6th, PA 10th, NJ 2nd, TX 21st, and MO 2nd. See, https://cookpolitical.com/ratings/house-race-ratings.
Where does all this lead? Hard to say. Tallying seats that hold Republican, flip Democrat, hold Democrat, or flip Republican – is like mindreading or throwing dice, not real science. But these races and national trends suggest change is possible. People are not happy with Speaker Pelosi, virulent socialism, or Democrat-fanned riots and violence.
Put differently, predicting who will control the House is like predicting an Olympic victory from past wins. By that account, the Soviets should have won in 1980 – as they had more Olympic hockey medals, individual honors, and Soviet Socialist credentials than the ragtag gaggle of American patriots, unstoppable believers in the possible … America’s Olympic hockey team.
A foregone conclusion can be undone by belief in the miracle, and hard work. America’s political destiny is not about who controls things right now – but who will fight for our values and the future. By that measure, anything is possible. Could the House flip? Long shot, but …