Political prognosticator Larry Sabato has updated his House ratings for the November midterms, and Republicans are doing extraordinarily well.

Sabato’s Crystal Ball — a political prediction website with a dedicated following — made ten ratings changes for House races this week, and nine of them favor Republicans. Significantly, there appears to be no impact at all from the abortion decision on House races overall.

As I’ve been preaching since the Dobbs decision came down, as much as that case impacted the pro-abortion movement, it also energized the pro-life movement. Every poll that’s come out since the decision was published shows that neither side benefitted politically from the decision.

Sabato’s best guess about the size of the GOP “red wave”? A GOP gain somewhere in the 20s looks likely.

Some individual surveys, such as recent ones from Fox News and CNN, have shown Democrats and Republicans expressing roughly equally high motivation to vote, although other polls show a clear GOP motivation edge: The Marquette University Law School poll — known for its Wisconsin polls but polling nationally in this survey — found an 18-point edge for Republicans on being “very enthusiastic” about voting (although the same survey only showed a narrow GOP edge on a question about certainty to vote). These motivation questions are important as we try to assess who will actually show up in November. Most generic ballot polls at the moment are only reporting results for registered voters, a larger universe of people than likely voters.

“Voter enthusiasm” is mostly measured using witchcraft. And the “generic ballot” almost always skews away from Republicans. In late July 2014, “Democrats actually led in the RealClearPolitics generic ballot average. That lead did not last, though, and Republicans went on to win 247 House seats, their biggest majority since the Great Depression,” according to Sabato’s partner Kyle Kondik.

Our topline assessment of the House picture has not really changed since the Dobbs decision. We continue to see the Republicans as very strongly favored to win the majority with seats to spare, as they only need to win 5 more seats than they won in 2020 (213) in order to flip the House. Our best guess is a GOP net gain somewhere in the 20s. Something lower than that would be, in our view, not that bad for Democrats given how we see the political environment, as it would put them in the position of holding the Republicans to a relatively small House majority (low 230s or even 220s) that could be vulnerable in the 2024 election. If Republicans get over 30 — which is certainly within the realm of possibility and would represent a strong showing — it would give them a bigger cushion for 2024 and beyond. A 35-seat net gain would put the Republicans at 248, surpassing 2014 as the biggest modern Republican majority. The GOP continues to have a path to such a majority even if we wouldn’t project it at this point (we looked at that path earlier this year, and we will do so again).

A pick-up of 30 House seats would be massive. That’s because the hyper-partisan nature of our politics has made reapportionment a far less competitive undertaking. House districts are drawn in ways that give members of both parties large potential majorities — 55% or above in almost every district. It’s why competitive districts are disappearing across the country.

Some districts may become competitive because of the national political environment or the incumbent being tied to an unpopular president. That’s what may happen in 2022. Instead of flipping House seats from blue to red in the mid-20s, the GOP may flip 30-35 seats.

Of course, the Senate is different and far less predictable. Many analysts rate the Senate as a toss-up at this point. But Republicans have far more opportunities for pick-ups than Democrats, bringing a Senate majority well within reach.

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