Republicans are on a roll nationwide and it doesn’t appear they’ll lose that luck anytime soon. Not only is the GOP maintaining its lead in the generic congressional ballot, but surveys from several key states show Republicans losing little ground to Democrats.
But if you really want to know what the political landscape in the states is, just look at what the other party is doing. And Democrats — so optimistic when Biden took office — are now pulling back and regrouping, and lowering their expectations for gains in state legislatures, as the party suffers from its association with Joe Biden.
The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC), Democrats’ campaign organization for state legislative races across the country, released a “Path to the Majority” memo Thursday outlining which states they will be targeting most heavily in 2022. Several states, including Arizona and Pennsylvania, are no longer being acknowledged as winnable by the DLCC despite previously being key targets.
Arizona, Pennsylvania and Georgia are listed in the new memo as states where the DLCC will seek to succeed at “Reversing Republicans’ Structural Advantage,” rather than actually win majorities in the legislature. “Redistricting realities, the political environment, and current legislative margins make these chambers more challenging — but make no mistake, they’re competitive.” the memo reads. “We’re investing to gain ground and if any of these chambers appear more competitive later in the cycle, we’ll make a play for the majority.”
This is after the DLCC released a memo in March claiming that the Republican majority in Pennsylvania was “extremely vulnerable.”
Now, with polling showing Democrats facing an uphill climb in this year’s elections, expectations are being lowered. In 2021, DLCC president Jessica Post said 2022 could be a positive environment for the party: “Imagine as we get folks vaccinated, people can travel and see their grandchildren. I think that’s going to create a great environment.”
In the latest memo, the DLCC cites the “political environment” as a reason it likely won’t be able to make a play for the majority in states like Pennsylvania, Arizona and Georgia.
The GOP edge in redistricting will carry over to state races as well, as states redraw congressional and state legislative district lines at the same time.
Another sign of Democratic weakness is that two states Biden won by double digits — Colorado and New Mexico — are now being targeted by the DLCC as key “defensive” battlegrounds.
We’re still six months out from the November midterm election and anything could happen between now and then. But since the economy is only expected to get worse, there appears to be little hope of some sort of turnaround for the Democrats.