Major Pollster Increases Republican’s Predicted Midterm Advantage — Abortion Ruling Not Moving the Needle for Dems

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Mary Rooke Commentary and Analysis Writer
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Despite the all-out push by the Democratic Party to make abortion a top motivator for voters in the midterm elections, a major pollster predicted the Republican Party will gain even more seats in the U.S. House.

The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade did not make a “huge impact” on the House generic ballot polling, according to Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

“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,” the pollster stated.

The pollster warned that anything less than Republicans gaining 20 seats in the House could leave the party ‘vulnerable’ come the 2024 elections. 

“In a midterm environment such as this one, the opposition party has the clear advantage in terms of ‘nationalizing’ races, running on national themes like dissatisfaction with President Biden (whose approval rating is languishing in the 30s) and issues such as inflation and gas prices,” according to Sabato’s Crystal Ball. (RELATED: Another American Dream Clings To Life Under Biden’s Watch)

If the Democrats fail to make abortion a national theme for voters, Republicans could have a “strong showing” and pick up as many as 30 seats in the U.S. House, according to the pollster.

The assessment showed that nine out of the 10 U.S. House rating changes made in Sabato’s Crystal Ball went positive for the Republican Party.

Sabato’s Crystal Ball moved two U.S. House seats in Colorado further away from Democrats, flipping the 8th district from a “toss-up” district to “leans Republican,” and the 7th district from “likely Democratic” to “leans Democratic.”

Three Florida U.S. House seats (the 4th, 7th, and 28th districts) and Wisconsin’s 1st district were changed from “likely” to “safe Republican,” according to Sabato’s Crystal Ball.

The pollsters also changed North Carolina’s 13th district from a “toss-up” district to “leans Republican,” and Indiana’s 1st district from “leans Democratic” to “toss-up.”

The Democrats did gain in Georgia’s 2nd district, with the pollsters upgrading the district from a “leans Democratic” to a “likely Democratic.”

“Overall, these changes push the Republicans ever so close to the magic number of 218. We now rate 217 districts as Safe, Likely, or Leans Republican, while there are 191 rated as Safe, Likely, or Leans Democratic,” the pollster stated.