The GOP lost 40 seats in 2018, and needs to win 18 back to regain control.
And thanks to Bernie Sanders, that could be easier done than said.
According to Rollcall: Even before Sanders won the New Hampshire primary Tuesday, as expected, and came in a close second in the Iowa delegate tally to Pete Buttigieg, there were Democrats saying that nominating the senator from Vermont could threaten their House majority. They feared having the self-proclaimed democratic socialist at the top of the ticket could complicate efforts to win over the independents and moderate Republicans they need to win reelection.
“If it becomes a race between socialism and capitalism, yes, absolutely,” the majority is in danger, Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips said. Phillips has endorsed his home-state senator, Amy Klobuchar, who finished third in New Hampshire. Republicans were eager to tie vulnerable Democrats to Sanders. On Wednesday, the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC aligned with House GOP leadership, highlighted a report from The Hill in which Reps. Elaine Luria of Virginia and Haley Stevens of Michigan said they would support the eventual nominee, Sanders included.
Similarly, The Hill quoted a Democrat senator who wished to remain anonymous as saying of Sanders’ rise “I think there’s a substantial element of people worried about where we’re going.”
As of writing, PredictIt gives the GOP a 40% chance of retaking the House in November (which jumped five percentage points the day of the New Hampshire caucus). The odds previously were more-or-less flat since November (PredictIt only allows you to see the past 90-days of data).
Sanders just took the lead in the Democrat primary this week, and as he solidifies that lead, expect those stats to continue trending higher.
A GOP majority in the House would make it impossible for a President Sanders to pass any of his socialist agenda – but then again – he’s not going to defeat President Trump regardless.