Republicans are jubilant, brimming with confidence about what Glenn youngkinGlenn Youngkin Democrats must stop infighting and four other lessons from the 2021 election Democrats feel new urgency on Biden’s agenda after Virginia defeat Republican optimism soars over Democratic debacle MOREThe governor’s victory in Virginia means for his hopes of 2022 to regain control of Congress.
Less than a year after being excluded from the White House and banished to the minority in both houses of Congress, Republican lawmakers are optimistic about their chances next year with the House and Senate at stake.
Republicans acknowledge that the political environment could change between now and the final stretch of the midterm elections, when most voters will begin to tune in. But they argue that the results in Virginia and the closer-than-expected results in the New Jersey gubernatorial race underscore that the pendulum is swinging back in their direction.
“I think this is an earthquake,” Sen said. Josh hawleyJoshua (Josh) David Hawley Emanuel nomination advances despite Democratic opposition Republicans challenge Biden vaccine mandate Gun control group alleges campaign finance violations in lawsuit against NRA MORE (R-Mo.).
Its. John cornynJohn Cornyn Green Card Recovery: Immigration Is America’s Edge Over China Hillicon Valley – Facebook Launches Rebranding Campaign Senate Panel Advances Election Of Biden To Lead Justice Department Antitrust Unit MORE (R-Texas), a close ally of the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnell Biden Denies Plan to Pay Separated Migrant Families Up to 0K Senate Republican Party Blocks John Lewis Voting Rights Bill Youngkin’s Shock Shows Trump Doesn’t Need to Win MORE (R-Ky.), He described himself as “euphoric”.
“The Biden administration and the Democrats have certainly given us a lot of issues to run on, and I suppose the question will be whether we can recruit and nominate quality candidates who can take advantage of that,” Cornyn said.
The optimism on the right comes as setbacks in Virginia quickly set off the sirens among Democrats, who worry it may herald a rough mid-term of 2022 unless the party’s course corrects and sharpens its messages.
“As a candidate for reelection in 2022, I need results that I can show the American people that Congress can achieve,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).
The first half is often tough for the party that controls the White House, and Tuesday night’s setback immediately drew comparisons to 2009, when Republicans won the Virginia gubernatorial race with the former President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaHouse Outlines Immigration Provisions In Latest Build Back Package Better Biden Says His Economic Agenda ‘Should Have Passed Before Election Day’ Democrats Point Finger After Virginia Defeat MORE.
Republican leaders believe they could see a wave in 2022 even bigger than the 2010 wave that handed the House over to Republicans and marked the rise of the Tea Party. Spokesman Nancy pelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money – Presented by Citi – Pelosi Plays Hard with Manchin Overnight Health Care – Biden Urges Parents to Vaccinate Children House Outlines Immigration Provisions in Latest Build Back Better Package MORE (D-Calif.) Lost 63 seats that year and House minority leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthy Democrats hit the panic button after Virginia collapse Democrats fear Virginia is the precursor to the beating of the House Republicans see education as a winning issue after Virginia successes MORE (R-Calif.), Who’s keeping an eye on the Spokesman’s deck, said the Republican Party could surpass that mark next year.
“There will be more than 70 [Democratic seats] which will be competitive. There are many who are going to lose their careers for walking off a cliff of Nancy Pelosi pushing them, ”he told reporters.
During an interview with Fox News, McConnell said Wednesday that the off-year elections in New Jersey and Virginia are often “a forerunner of what will happen next year.”
That’s what happened in 2009, the first year of the Obama administration and the second year of the Obama administration, they were crushed. That is likely to happen again in a year, ”he added.
Republicans are so optimistic in part because of President BidenJoe Biden Democrats pressed panic button after Virginia Manchin collapse says he won’t vote to override Senate MP Carville blames ‘stupid awakening’ for Democratic losses MOREMargin of victory in Virginia last year. The president led the state by about 10 percentage points and led New Jersey by nearly 16 points.
A Republican strategist working in the Senate elections who spoke about the background noted that there are several states where Senate Democrats are running for reelection next year where Biden had a narrower margin of victory than in Virginia. That includes Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, and New Hampshire, where Sens. Raphael warnockRaphael Warnock Five Things to Watch in Biden’s Reconciliation Frame of Virginia Governor’s Race Includes an Alternative Medicaid Solution, No Medicare Vision or Dental Benefits Senate Republican Party Ranks Behind Candidates Endorsed by Trump MORE (D-Ga.), Mark KellyMark KellyMcConnell criticizes possible payments to separated migrant families Democrats face anger from women over loss of paid leave Anti-Trump Republicans target McCarthy, Scalise and other high-profile conservatives MORE (D-Ariz.), Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoHouse Outlines Immigration Provisions in Latest Build Back Better Hillicon Valley Package – Feds Target Groups Critical to National Security Democratic Senator Introduces Data Privacy Legislation MORE (D-Nev.) And Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanBiden and Progressives Lead Democrats to the Wilderness Jean Rounds, Wife of South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds, Dies of Cancer Poll: New Hampshire Senate Race Tight MORE (DN.H.) are on the ballot. The source pointed to Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, which are currently Republican-held Senate seats for re-election, Biden narrowly defeated both states in 2020.
The strategist also noted that they are “further away” but “may justify adjusting … expectations” given Tuesday night’s results, including states like Colorado where Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand Bennet Democrats stand up to Manchin, make renewed push for family to step down Colorado Supreme Court signs new map of Congress Rebuilding better by investing in workers and communities MORE (D) is running and Illinois, where Sen. Tammy duckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy Duckworth Veterans are united in accountability for the war in Afghanistan Kinzinger’s retirement underscores that Trump’s dominance over the Republican Congress can help save pregnant women and mothers of color MORE (D) is also facing re-election. Biden outperformed those states in 2020 by 13.5 and 16.9 percentage points, respectively.
McConnell added that “the wind is going to be at our backs” in 2022 and that most of it goes through states like North Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Arizona.
“All of those states are getting redder every day,” he said.
McCarthy, speaking to reporters, sent his own warning shot saying that any House Democrat in the districts that Biden won by 16 percentage points are now in competitive races heading into 2022.
“You’re not safe anymore,” he said.
To regain the House, Republicans would only need to win five net seats, while they need one net seat to regain the Senate.
But a handful of Republican senators, including Lisa murkowskiLisa Ann Murkowski Schumer hints at filibuster reform after Republican Party blocked voting rights bill Senate Republican Party blocks John Lewis voting rights bill Protecting the freedom to vote should be a bipartisan issue MORE (Alaska), Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold Johnson Evers, Johnson See Lagged Approval in Wisconsin: Voting Gun Control Group Alleges Campaign Finance Violations in Lawsuit Against NRA Republicans Raises Concerns Over Biden’s Ambassador to Germany Candidate MORE (Wis.) And John thuneJohn Randolph Thune Democrats pressed panic button after Virginia collapse Republicans to challenge Biden vaccine mandate Night defense and national security: Frustration with NDAA delay grows MORE (SD) has not yet said whether they will seek another mandate. Johnson and Thune, McConnell’s second number, characterized Youngkin’s victory as a positive sign for Republicans.
“I think it’s a really good environment and I think the Democrats have gone too far,” Thune said.
“I think what it showed was that a positive message that focuses on issues that concern people in their daily lives is more powerful than doing it on anyone,” he added.
However, Republicans also face bloody primary struggles in which support for former President TrumpDonald Trump Democrats pressed panic button after Virginia collapse Department of Defense and Homeland Security Justice seeks nearly four-year sentence for former MMA fighter who struck officer on January 6 MORE it has been a key factor. That’s a change from Youngkin, who effectively kept Trump at bay.
It is a strategy that is in line with McConnell, who has signaled that he wants the next election to be a referendum on Biden and not a repeat of the 2020 election. McConnell called Youngkin’s strategy a “good model.”
He thanked President Trump for his support, but went on to make the choice on Glenn Youngkin and his plans for Virginia and the broadcastThat is what divided the two parties, ”he said.
“Republicans are happy to have the support of President Trump, but in the end we are going to lead our own people and our own positions and focus on the 2022 elections,” he added.
Cornyn speculated that Trump would be a “factor”, but “not the dominant factor” in 2022.
“Obviously, he’s already endorsed people like Herschel Walker,” Cornyn said, referring to the leading Republican candidate in Georgia. “[But] we certainly have a lot of problems to work on. “