2022 midterms predictions – Republicans battles

A Battle for the Soul of the GOP

The battle embroiling the House Republican caucus this week came to a close this morning when Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) was voted in as the party’s House Conference chair – replacing Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) as the highest-ranking Republican woman in the chamber. The vote to remove Cheney took only 15 minutes after weeks of nasty infighting over conflicting visions for the immediate future of the Republican Party.

The anti-Cheney crowd supports moving the party leadership firmly in support of former President Donald Trump while pivoting attention away from the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and toward becoming a united front against President Joe Biden’s agenda. Many representatives, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who lobbied for Stefanik ahead of this morning’s vote, believe that removing a staunch Trump critic from her leadership role was the only way forward if Republicans hope to take the majority in the 2022 midterms. The hope is that it will take some of the heat off members being constantly pressed about their position on the Jan. 6 riot and Trump’s actions surrounding the election.

Market Data at 7 a.m. EDT: Who will win the 2024 Republican presidential nomination?
But Cheney has no intention of letting this fight go, and now that she is out of leadership there is nothing holding her back, telling reporters after the vote to oust her earlier this week that she “will do everything I can to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office.”
“We cannot both embrace the ‘big lie’ and embrace the Constitution…the nation needs a strong Republican Party…a party based on fundamental principles of conservatism.” – Rep. Liz Cheney
With that, Cheney has set herself up as one of Trump’s most well-known and outspoken opponents as we head into the 2022 midterm elections in which both parties have all of Congress on the line. Republicans only need a handful of seats to win the House majority, and only one in the Senate.
Market Data at 7 a.m. EDT: What will be the balance of power in Congress after the 2022 election?
Some Republicans, more privately than publicly, are expressing concern over the vote to remove Cheney, viewing it as a troubling sign of Trump’s continued grip over the party – which at this point can hardly be denied. Right now should be an easy time for the party out of power to unify in opposition, but Republican leaders and potential 2022 midterm candidates will continue to cater to Trump as long as they are worried that their rank-and-file voters will punish them for disloyalty.

So Republicans have a difficult line to walk. They may not be able to survive a primary without Trump’s support (or at least not his ire), but that loyalty could kill them in a general election. A NBC News poll last month found that Trump’s favorability rating was down to 32% among all voters and 14% among independents.

Market Data at 7 a.m. EDT: Traders are banking on a split Congress after 2022’s midterm elections.
We can look to Virginia’s Republican nominating convention last weekend for a look at how this dynamic could play out over and over again between now and the 2022 midterms, particularly in blue-leaning states. Republicans nominated Glenn Youngkin, a voter integrity advocate who has so far refused to say that Biden won the 2020 election fairly, to be their candidate for governor. In his statement responding to Youngkin’s nomination, the likely Democratic nominee, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, mentioned Trump’s name three times in as many sentences. A preview of how Democrats plan to campaign in the general election.

This is a concern Republicans are facing as they attempt to challenge Democratic-held Senate seats in Arizona and Georgia, as well as hold onto Pennsylvania. We’ve already seen this dynamic play out in 2018 in South Carolina and 2020 in Colorado, and with partisan tensions even more heightened there’s no reason to expect next year will be different.


Market Data at 7 a.m. EDT: Which party will win the 2021 Virginia gubernatorial election?
Market Pulse: The common consensus is that if Trump decides to run for the Republican nomination for president in 2024, he’ll likely win. After spending most of April trailing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) as the likely GOP nominee , Trump is back on top at 27¢, currently 6¢ ahead of DeSantis. If he does run, PredictIt traders are favoring the odds that Trump files in 2022, rather than this year, though there’s not strong confidence with either market at this point.

As for the Virginia gubernatorial election, traders are virtually certain that McAuliffe will be the Democrat’s nominee, at 98¢. Republicans gained slightly this week following the party’s nominating convention, likely a small showing of confidence in their pick, but overall Democrats are heavily favored to win the governor’s seat – at 82¢ to Republicans’ 22¢.

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman at the press conference with Gov. Tom Wolf. Photo: Office of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Here’s a look at how these dynamics could play out in a few key Senate races that we’re keeping an eye on:

In Pennsylvania, a Republican primary to replace the retiring Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) is already heating up, with candidates competing to tie themselves to Trump for an eventual endorsement. There’s former congressional candidate and close friend of Donald Trump Jr., Sean Parnell, who announced his candidacy earlier this week. Trump’s former ambassador to Denmark, Carla Sands, who is considering a run, and former lieutenant governor candidate Jeff Bartos, who is a Trump supporter and was the first top-tier candidate to enter the race.

Trump lost the state to Biden in November 2020, but Republicans in Pennsylvania tend to strongly support the former president and his economic message. The Democratic side is also expected to be contentious, with Lt. Gov John Fetterman, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta and Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh already declared. Fetterman, the current front-runner has come under fire from state party leaders who argue he doesn’t represent the party’s diversity.

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Prices at 7 a.m. EDT: Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) lead their respective primary races.
Redistricting will also be a factor since Pennsylvania is one of seven states that will lose a congressional seat, and the resulting impact is expected to have implications for Democrats more so than Republicans. The likely outcome could push Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA) to run for statewide office, making him a likely favorite in the Democratic primary.

Market Pulse: As of now, Democrats are strongly favored to gain control of Pennsylvania’s open Senate seat next year with a 20¢ advantage. This market has remained pretty consistent and closes out this week with 62¢ to 41¢ that Democrats will win. The Democratic primary market is playing out as expected, with Lamb gaining on Fetterman since the beginning of May as rumors heat up that he will attempt the jump to statewide office. Fetterman still leads with 66¢ to Lamb’s 34¢ as of Thursday. In a distant third is Kenyatta with 6¢, followed closely by Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) with 5¢.