House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., spoke positively about his party’s prospects of holding the House of Representatives in the fall, arguing recent generic ballot polling showed the GOP where it was the day before the 2016 elections.
Appearing on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo,” McCarthy said, “When you look at what this election is going to be about, it’s about results versus resistance, Pelosi’s resistance.”
He contended that the Democrats’ agenda for the midterm elections is hurting the party’s chances of retaking the majority. That agenda, he said, includes abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement, impeaching President Donald Trump, and setting up a single-payer healthcare system.
By contrast, the Republicans can point to many achievements, first and foremost being a booming economy. He noted during the last 49 years that the employment rate has only been under four percent for eight months in all, and three of those months were this year.
Further, unemployment claims are at a 44-year low.
“The last time there was a party in power that had economic growth at four percent, they actually gained seats,” said McCarthy.
He did not identify which election he was referring to, but the last time the nation experienced annual growth in the Gross Domestic Product of four percent or greater was in the late 1990s.
The Republican Party held the House during the 1998 and 2000 elections. In 1998, the GOP lost just four seats, thereby maintaining 223-to-211 majority.
In 2000, the Republicans lost two more seats to keep a 223-to-211 edge.
The GOP currently has a 237-to-193 advantage in the House.
“Two weeks ago, the generic ballot was at the exact same place it was the day before the election in 2016,” McCarthy pointed out. The GOP lost five seats in that election.
These results are similar to polling in the final week before the 2016 election, with multiple surveys showing the two sides nearly tied or having as much as a three-point lead on either side.
The Cook Political Report rates 182 current Democratic seats as solid holds heading into the midterms, while Republicans have 150.
However, when those rated likely to lean toward a party are factored in, the advantage shifts in the GOP’s favor, 202 to 192. Forty-one seats are rated as a toss-up.
Two hundred and eighteen seats are needed to gain the majority in the House.
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