Stirewaltisms: Presenting Your 2022 House Race Ratings

Katie Porter is among the Democratic incumbents feeling the heat this election season. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)


Seven weeks ago, our House forecast pointed to expected gains of about 15 seats for Republicans—enough to give the GOP a hard-to-handle 10-seat majority in the lower chamber. But we also said that the winds were blowing in the Republicans’ direction. And boy, did they ever.

The 3.4-point shift in the average generic ballot since then has been enough to give Republicans a small but clear 1.3-point advantage on the question of which party voters generally prefer to control Congress. That wouldn’t be enough to deliver the kinds of 25-seat and 30-seat majorities the GOP won in 2010 and 2014, but certainly enough to give the red team some breathing room and make Democrats start thinking about a wipeout.

When it comes to what the overall composition of the House will be, it doesn’t really help to get bogged down in specific races. With 435 simultaneous contests, it’s better to think about the climate overall. The national mood will tell us what the range of seats will be, then we can drill down on specific races to try to put a finer point on the number.

Starting at generalities, Republicans appear to be on track for a net gain of between 15 and 25 seats compared to the 2020 election, so let’s drop the plumb line on a 20-seat gain for a majority of about 233 seats compared to 202 seats for Democrats. That would be a 16-seat majority, which looks pretty good compared to the Dems’ current three-vote margin. 

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