It’s one of the most enduring rules of thumb in American politics.
Since 1862, the president’s party has lost seats in the House in every midterm election but three (1934, 1998, and 2002). Until very recently, it seemed like the 2022 midterms would provide one more data point to this long-standing trend. And that is still likely. But talk of a “red wave,” never mind a “red tsunami,” has given way to talk of a Republican “ripple,” as handicappers keep downgrading the GOP’s chances for big gains.
For many progressives, the GOP’s deteriorating prospects are directly attributable to a popular backlash against the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade. Others point to a string of Democratic legislative successes, better than expected job numbers, and a modest turnaround on high gas prices and a slowing of inflation generally.