How Many Seats Do Democrats Need To Flip The House? Probably Not As Many As You Think
Come Nov. 6, voters will have the opportunity to elect a new Congress right at their fingertips. Though Republicans currently have the majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, the two chambers have experienced their fair share of drama over the past couple of years, and it's looking like there may be some shakeups coming in the 2018 midterms. Early predictions for the upcoming race for the House imply that Democrats are expected to make some serious advantages, meaning a takeover could be soon to come. So, how many Democrats are needed to flip the House? Only a few, TBH.
According to The New York Times, Democrats must flip 23 seats in order to regain their footing in the House. Currently, Democrats have 193 seats in the 435-member House, while Republicans hold 235, and seven seats sit vacant (skewing the numbers slightly). A party needs to hold 218 seats to have a majority. And it's not an impossible task — the Times notes that there are more than 60 competitive races for seats currently held by Republicans.
Though it previously seemed unlikely that Democrats could reclaim the House — thanks in part to failures on key issues like getting an immigration deal with Republicans to protect “Dreamers" back in 2017 — things might be on the upswing. President Donald Trump has since hit historically low approval ratings, putting Republicans at a huge disadvantage, per USA Today, and traditionally midterm elections favor the opposite party of the president. According to a 2010 study from Gallup, for presidents with less than a 50-percent job approval rating, their party will lose an average of 36 seats in the House. Considering Trump's is at just above 40 percent as of the second week of October, it seems like there's a not impossible chance that Democrats can swoop in and take back control of the House.
In the event that that happens, several key issues are expected to be on the agenda. According to The Washington Examiner, Democrats want to raise the minimum wage, decrease the price of prescription drugs, stabilize President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act (ACA), pass gun control regulations, pass an infrastructure package similar in price to Trump’s $1.5 trillion proposal, and more.
A midterm victory would also earn Democrats investigatory and subpoena power in the House, which they could, in turn, use to investigate the Trump administration more aggressively. According to CNBC, experts expect Democrats to pry into Trump's financial dealings, and to further delve into the Russia investigation to determine whether the Trump 2016 campaign colluded with the country to influence the 2016 presidential election. Also, as noted by USA Today, Democrats could call an investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations that more than a dozen women have brought against the president. Trump has denied the allegations, and the White House did not respond to Elite Daily's request for additional comment. There's speculation that they could even begin impeachment proceedings against Trump, although it's unclear whether it would go anywhere in the Senate.
Despite the concerns of what could come from Democrats, a former senior Trump administration official, who spoke to CNBC under the condition of anonymity, reportedly told the outlet that the White House is prepared for what's at stake — and hasn't given up on the fight for control of Congress.
"One, I think the White House is bullish on winning the congressional election," the official reportedly explained. "Two, in the event that they don't win, in the event that Democrats take over Congress, oversight is something that the opposing party has used against administrations for years."
The polls open on Nov. 6 — save the date. The outcome could be stunning.