One more to go: GOP on verge of clinching House majority


Kevin McCarthy
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., arrives as Republicans hold their leadership candidate forum, where everyone running for a post, including McCarthy, will make their case, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Nov. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) J. Scott Applewhite/AP

One more to go: GOP on verge of clinching House majority

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A week out from the midterm elections, Republicans are close to grasping power in the House — with just one seat to go.

Following incumbent California Reps. Ken Calvert’s (R) and Michelle Steel’s (R) projected victories, Republicans hold 217 seats, just shy of the 218-vote threshold needed to capture the lower chamber. Democrats have at least 204.


The GOP entered the midterm cycle as the clear favorite to capture the House on an anticipated red wave propelled by favorable historical headwinds, dismal approval ratings for the party in power, a bleak economic outlook, and myriad troubles for the party in power. But on election night, the prophesied red wave did not materialize.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) had crowed that the GOP was likely to snatch dozens of seats in the midterm elections, but so far on net, it gained about half a dozen. Stunned by the dismal outing, some Republicans have begun pointing the blame at poor candidate quality, backlash to the overturn of Roe v. Wade, and ineffective strategy.

Others have directed their ire at former President Donald Trump, who flexed his kingmaker role in primaries and is famous for a slash-and-dash style of politics. Trump is set to make a “very big” announcement at Mar-a-Lago Tuesday evening that some have speculated could be his 2024 debut.

The slim margins Republicans are projected to attain in the House complicate McCarthy’s pathway to the speaker’s gavel, something that he has pursued for years. Conservative firebrand Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has vowed to vote against him and hypothesized that he lacks the votes given that McCarthy needs 218 votes to win the gavel.

House Republicans are expected to hold a vote on party leadership Tuesday, and a candidate will need to cross the 218-vote threshold during a full floor vote with the new Congress to become speaker.


About a dozen races remain uncalled, according to the New York Times. Republicans lead on the popular vote count for House races, 52.6 million to about 48 million, per the Cook Political Report, but that edge is expected to narrow as further votes get tabulated.

One projection by NBC News has the GOP on track to win 220 seats in the House. The party has already lost its chance to retake the Senate, with Democrats securing 50 seats and holding the tiebreaker vote via Vice President Kamala Harris.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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