House Republicans celebrated GOP gains Tuesday in New Jersey and Virginia elections and said they point to a national wave in 2022 that ousts House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) predicted a midterm election landslide that rejects President Biden’s policies and sends Pelosi (D-Calif.) into retirement.
“It’ll be more than 70 Democrats that will be competitive. There’s many that are going to lose their race based upon walking off the cliff and Nancy Pelosi pushing them,” McCarthy said at a press conference.
“She may not care if she loses. She lost 63 [Democratic seats in 2010] the last time she was speaker moving policy that the country didn’t care for. Many believe she won’t stay around,” he said.
McCarthy even claimed that he’s been in touch with House Democrats who are open to switching parties — as Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ) did in 2019 after being elected as a Democrat. House Democrats currently hold just eight seats more than Republicans.
Republicans broadly described their party’s resurgence as a referendum on Biden — with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia agreeing with them that it’s a sign of anger at rising inflation as Congress considers more massive Biden-proposed spending plans.
The National Republican Congressional Committee said Wednesday it was adding 13 Democratic incumbents to its list of midterm targets — expanding the number to 70 — as a reflection of the unexpectedly strong showing by Republican candidates Tuesday.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe by more than 2 percentage points in Virginia, which Biden won last year by 10 points. The virtually unknown Republican candidate in New Jersey, Jack Ciattarelli, is nearly tied with incumbent Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy with vote-counting still underway.
The new NRCC targets for 2022 include suburban seats held by Reps. Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.) near Philadelphia, Greg Stanton (D-Ariz.) around Phoenix and Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) in eastern Connecticut.
Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who is leading the Republican campaign to retake the Senate, said that “the Democrats are in disarray.”
“They have contested primaries next year and the environment is going to be right on our side,” Scott told The Post.
“And if you look at inflation — the Democrats are causing mass inflation. Whether it’s the open borders — people do not want the borders to be open. Whether it’s Americans don’t want the police defunded — they want to fund the police. Whether they involve parents… in schools, whether it’s making sure we support our military and don’t have a crazy withdrawal from Afghanistan, all these issues are going to help Republicans win more Senate seats next year.”
Biden preemptively distanced himself from possible Democratic losses, saying before polls closed Tuesday that “I don’t believe and I’ve not seen any evidence that whether or not I am doing well or poorly, whether or not I’ve got my agenda passed or not, is going to have any real impact on winning or losing.”
But the campaigns focused in part on Biden as his approval ratings plummeted amid high inflation and a supply-chain bottleneck, on the heels of the chaotic US pullout from Afghanistan, a continued US-Mexico border crisis and a resurgence of COVID-19 infections caused by the more contagious Delta variant.
Democrats brushed off the Tuesday election results — with many arguing that it shows they didn’t go far enough to push through Biden’s massive spending plans, including a $1.2 trillion Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill and a $1.75 trillion social safety net and environmental package.
“Democrats let Terry down,” insisted Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.). “If we had done the infrastructure and reconciliation bills in October… it would have been extremely helpful to him.”