CNN senior data reporter Harry Enten told anchor Jake Tapper on Monday that Republicans could be poised for historic gains going into November’s midterm elections.
Enten laid out the data specifically with regard to the U.S. House of Representatives, in which the Democrats currently hold a slim 12-seat margin.
“If you’re a Republican running for re-election, or trying to unseat a Democrat, things are looking pretty good, right?” Tapper asked.
“I would say they’re looking very good from the historical context. Basically, I took the best Republican positions on the generic congressional ballot at this point in midterm cycles since 1938, that generic ballot basically is, ‘Would you vote for the generic Republican or generic Democrat in your district?’” Enten explained.
“And guess what? Since 1938, the Republican two-point lead on the generic congressional ballot is the best position for Republicans at this point in any midterm cycle in over 80 years,” he continued. “It beats 2010, when Republicans were up a point.”
“Sometimes history isn’t always prologue, but my estimate for the 2023 House makeup if the election were held today — which again, it isn’t … would be Republicans, 236 seats to 241 seats. Democrats, 194 to 199,” Enten said, predicting a swing from Democrats +12 to Republicans +37-47.
“That is a stomping or that would be a stomping,” Tapper replied, and Enten agreed, “Yes, it would.”
“A lot of the Democrats’ problems, it seems, can be linked back to the president, right, who is severely underwater,” Tapper pivoted to address President Joe Biden’s low approval ratings and how that could impact the midterm elections.
“A lot of the Democrats’ problems, it seems, can be linked back to the president, right, who is severely underwater,” Jake Tapper says — and Harry Enten concurs. pic.twitter.com/Cnzds4ER6v
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Enten noted that the “midterm penalty” — that is, how many seats the party in the White House stood to lose in any given midterm election — often hinged on the sitting president’s approval rating.
“In 1962, the president’s approval rating, JFK, was 71%. Bill Clinton in 1998, 63%. In the 2002 cycle, 72% for George W. Bush. Joe Biden’s is just 41%,” Enten said, going on to ask, ” Why is his approval rating so low?”
Enten then brought up a slide showing approval rating in the context of the economy specifically — which a majority of American voters have said will be the most important issue heading into November.
“This is the net approval rating on the economy at this point in a presidency. Joe Biden’s minus 26 points. That is the lowest, tied for the lowest for any president in the last 40-plus years,” Enten explained.
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