Despite an overwhelming majority of pundits either lamenting the possibility of a red wave to counter the new Democratic administration occupying the White House, or gleefully predicting it, the GOP was just barely able to flip the House – something they never would have been able to do if Democrats gained just five House seats back in 2020.
In fact, Democrats gained one seat in the Senate during a midterm with a Democratic president – the first time they’ve done that in six decades. In an analysis of what went wrong, I saw a few pundits say that Republicans would probably try to recruit candidates less unhinged than the crop they ran last year.
That has yet to materialize, so far. While Democrats were outperforming themselves in special elections leading up to the 2022 midterms, they’ve been doing it at an even greater rate than last year. On the heels of local election victories in Florida, Pennsylvania, and Colorado, Democrats are now over performing their polls by an average of 10 points. The last time they did that was in 2018, when anti-Trump fervor was at its peak and the party would go on to win 40 House seats.
It’s a solid sign that not only are polls underestimating us, but that we could win a solid number of House seats in 2024 if we put the work in. For now, however, we have pivotal races – with crucial midterm legislative races coming up in New Jersey, Virginia, and Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear up for re-election in Kentucky. Let’s get to work and win in 2023 and 2024.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making