Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich predicted the GOP could pick up around 70 seats in the House of Representatives during the 2022 midterm elections as Democrats have increasingly sounded the alarm about their prospects.
“I think we’ll pick up between 25 and 70 seats in the House. We’ll probably pick up about four seats in the Senate,” Gingrich told Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Features.”
Notably, Gingrich helped preside over the 1994 midterm elections known as the “Republican Revolution” that saw the GOP pick up 54 net seats in the House two years after Democrat President Bill Clinton’s victory. Gingrich, a Georgia Republican, was then elected as speaker of the House.
And during the 2010 midterms, Republicans took a net 63 seats in the House two years after former President Barack Obama’s election amid the height of the GOP-aligned Tea Party movement.
Currently, Republicans need to net five seats to take a majority, while the Senate is tied at 50–50 with Vice President Kamala Harris serving as a tie-breaker. Historically, the party of the president tends to lose congressional seats in the midterm elections.
Gingrich highlighted former NFL player Herschel Walker’s Senate campaign against incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), who narrowly eked out a win against former Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler during last year’s runoff election. “I think that people like Herschel Walker are going to do very, very well,” Gingrich told Fox News.
The former House speaker also said that he believes Hispanic voters are increasingly embracing Republican Party politics, claiming there will be a “tsunami” of Hispanic support for the GOP, adding, “I would say that if you’re in a district that Biden carried by less than 15 or 20 points, you’re in great danger as a Democrat.”
Meanwhile, a recent aggregate of polls has suggested that Americans largely disapprove of President Joe Biden’s job performance so far, coming amid record gas prices and increasing inflation.
Out-of-control inflation triggered a warning from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) last week, telling members of her party “get up off our rear ends” and work to bring down prices nationwide. Otherwise, she said, Democrats could face significant losses in November.
“I am glad to talk about what we’ve done, obviously, and I think the president deserves real credit, but it’s not enough. We’ve got less than 200 days until the election and American families are hurting,” Warren told CNN on April 24. “Our job, while we are here in the majority, is to deliver on behalf of those families.”
There have also been concerns that Democrats are losing to Republicans on social issues, namely their targeting of left-wing protected interests over abortion, transgender issues, and race.
Michael Stratton, a Democratic strategist who has worked in Colorado, said in mid-April that Democrats are facing a “perfect storm” ahead of the midterms: “Democrats need to you know, wake up here, smell the coffee, and start to get ready.”
But amid the warnings, White House officials have repeatedly stressed that their messaging and approach to hot-button issues are working. As Stratton issued his warning, press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at the time that the conflict in Ukraine has made it difficult for the administration and Democrats to have the right messaging on gas prices and inflation.
“We understand some realities happening right now, including the fact that there is a war happening in Europe, and that is dominating the airwaves, which we understand and fully expect,” she said in response to a question about how the administration is dealing with domestic economic pressures.
House Democrats last week took a loss after New York state’s top court ruled against a Democrat- and Gov. Kathy Hochul-backed redistricting map that would have given a significant advantage to Democrats. And last November, Republican Glenn Youngkin was able to defeat former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, in Virginia, while fellow Democrat New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy faced a tighter-than-expected race against little-known Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli.
Also during the interview, Gingrich predicted that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarty (R-Calif.) would be elected as speaker of the House after the midterms are over. McCarthy has faced internal criticism after leaked tapes of his comments during the Jan. 6 Capitol breach were leaked last week.
“I think he will do an amazingly good job,” Gingrich said.