By Paul Bedard, Washington Secrets Columnist
Voters socked by inflation and underwhelmed by President Joe Biden now favor Republicans in the 2022 midterm elections by a historic margin, prompting predictions of the largest gain in House seats in the modern voting era.
The latest Rasmussen Reports survey just out said likely voters favor Republicans over Democrats by 13 points, 51%-38%. The survey found that Democrats are only favored over Republicans among younger voters, black people, Democrats, and liberals.
However, there is a huge 20-point gap among independents who would choose a generic Republican over a generic Democrat by a margin of 48%-26%.
While the questioning is a bit different in the new Rasmussen survey than in past years, the gap is apparently historic and even stronger because the latest survey offered the alternatives of “some other candidate” and “not sure,” said the polling outfit.
Newt Gingrich, who rode an earlier GOP wave to the House speakership in 1994, has been bullish on the chances Republicans would take back control of the chamber. He just upped his prediction to a GOP gain of 40-70 seats. That would top the 63-seat gain by Republicans in 2010, the height of the Tea Party movement and the highest for both parties since 1948.
Citing the winning formula used by Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin, Gingrich recently wrote, “I believe an immediate, consistent, and effective Republican application of the lessons of 2021 could lead to a 40- to 70-seat gain in the House; at least a four-seat gain in the Senate; and gains in governorships, state legislatures, and local offices including school boards next year.”
What’s more, former President Donald Trump has stepped up his endorsement of candidates. He has a winning record in elections that he has endorsed candidates in. He is also quickly helping to nationalize the 2022 midterm elections as a vote on Biden’s performance.
Republicans expect that as the polling settles in among House Democrats, older members will retire rather than face a tough election and loss. Just this morning, California Rep. Jackie Speier, a friend of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and survivor of the Jim Jones murder field in Guyana in 1978, announced she is retiring.
Yesterday, eight-term Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy announced that he, too, will leave in 2022.
“Think we are going to see a wave between now and before Christmas,” said a GOP campaign official.
The new data and retirements are driven in part by poor polling for Biden, congressional Democrats, and their spend-and-tax plans that are landing as inflation and supply chain concerns are surging.
A memo from the National Republican Campaign Committee, for example, showed weak support for the president’s “Build Back Better” plan to spend $1.75 trillion on social programs.
The survey detailed in the memo shows that voters are more focused on the economy and immigration issues and favor GOP policies over Biden’s.
“Among these economy-focused voters, a generic Republican leads a generic Democrat by a 2:1 margin (58%-29%). When it comes to border security, Republicans hold an astonishing 83-point advantage, 87% Republican to 4% Democrat,” said the memo, posted below.