How did Democrats make it so close in the House midterm elections?

Though the GOP's win for the House majority was expected, the gap was surprisingly slim. We broke down why the Democrats were able to make it so close.

Since World War II, U.S. presidents have seen their parties lose seats in the House of Representatives in every midterm election but two. The losses have been, on average, 29 seats. And if the party has had control of the House, more often than not it has lost it. Add in low presidential approval ratings and rampant inflation and it’s easy to see why the 2022 midterms were seen as favoring the Republicans. While the GOP did still take the House, the close margin of victory was a performance well below what was possible. Here are eight perspectives from across the ideological spectrum on why the Democrats were able to make it so close.

Bradley Honan is the CEO and president of the Honan Strategy Group.

The GOP had all the downsides of former President Donald Trump, but without him specifically on the ballot, which meant that the pulling power of the Trump brand was limited — a significant plus for the Democrats.

But what also came in handy was the party’s surprising strength with the moderate and independent middle-of-the-road voters. Despite concerns that the Democratic Party has moved too far to the left (with the emergence of its progressive wing), when presented with a choice between President Joe Biden’s Democratic Party and many of the MAGA-aligned fringe candidates, swing voter groups chose the former.  

And this reality was essential given the defection of Black and Latino voters to the Republican Party and its candidates.

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