CNN’s Harry Enten Says Republicans Are In The ‘Best Position’ For Midterms In Over 80 Years


Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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CNN senior data reporter Harry Enten said Monday on “The Lead with Jake Tapper” that Republicans are in the “best position” to win seats in the midterm elections in over 80 years.

Enten collected public support for both parties at this point in the midterm cycle from 1938 to today and found Republicans are up by 2-points on the generic ballot, which asks a voter on the likelihood of voting for a generic candidate of either party. Historically, Republicans won a majority of seats in the House even when Democrats led the polls.

“Since 1938, the Republican 2-point lead on the generic congressional ballot is the best position for Republicans at this point in any midterm cycle in over 80 years,” Enten said. “It beats 2010 when Republicans were up a point, it beats ’14, 2002, [and] 1998 when Democrats led by a point.”

“Now of course, the election is not being held tomorrow, and we’ll see. Sometimes, history isn’t always prologue,” he added.

Enten predicted Republicans will host between 236 – 241 seats in the 2023 House of Representatives while Democrats will hold 194 – 199 congressional seats. The reporter based his predictions off a formula of historic race rating from the Cook Political Report and Inside Elections.

Host Jake Tapper pointed to President Joe Biden’s historically low approval ratings as a detrimental issue for Democrats going into the midterms. Enten said the “midterm penalty” is based on the president’s public approval ratings. (RELATED: ‘Really Bad Number’: Even CNN Warns Biden Is ‘In A Lot Of Trouble’ Over Historically Low Approval Ratings)

A FiveThirtyEight poll found Monday that Biden currently holds 41% approval and 53% disapproval among voters. The percentage stands significantly lower than the 1962, 1998 and 2002 midterm cycles, where public approval for the president stood between 63-72%, according to CNN. The poll sampled 1,500 voters between June 1-5 with a 4.3% margin of error.

Biden’s approval rating has sunk due to growing public discontent with the current economic conditions, Enten noted. He pointed to the net approval ratings on the economy near the first half of the presidency in the past 40 years, where Biden currently holds -26 points. The president’s net approval is significantly lower than former Presidents George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, and Donald Trump, who held +25, +9 and +6 economic net approval ratings respectively.

Enten cited an ABC/Ipsos poll finding that 48% of voters believe the most important issue in voting for congressional candidates is the economy. Gun violence trails in second at 17%, abortion at 12% and immigration at 6%. He also said 51% of Americans share similar views with the Republican Party on economic issues, while 31% align with Democrats.

“I think it’s the big drag,” Enten said. “Republicans lead on the issue that’s most important. No wonder they have an historic advantage on the generic congressional ballot.”

Enten previously said the American public blamed Biden and the Democratic Party for worsening inflation and other economic conditions, pointing to a CNN poll published in May finding that 77% of Americans believe economic conditions are bad, while 23% approved of the economy.