The party of the president has traditionally endured significant losses in midterm elections. Since 1946, the only time the party controlling the White House gained seats was in 2002, when Republicans added eight representatives under President George W. Bush.
If that trend continues following Tuesday’s election, current House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) will become the next speaker of the House, taking the gavel from Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and President Joe Biden’s party.
“The Democrats are governed so badly,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told Straight Arrow News. He added that Republicans are smart to focus on crime and inflation this election cycle.
“You look at people who go shopping for food, people who go fill up their tank with gasoline, people who watch the evening news and see all the crime…all these things come together and then you have the issue of radicalism in schools,” he continued.
Gingrich added that, if all goes well for his party, Republicans will pick up 20-50 seats in the House election. Meanwhile, he expects his party to take two to five seats in the Senate.
“Washington is a very tough state for Republicans,” Gingrich said. “Right now, I think they’re ahead, and they are going to keep all the Republican seats including Pennsylvania. But I think that probably the fifth seat is Washington state with Tiffany Smiley.”
Many Democratic candidates held healthy leads in polling at the end of the summer. But in the final weeks of campaigning, Republicans have been able to close that gap. Gingrich said the conservative momentum proves Americans want change.
“In the off-year elections, whether it’s the first term or the second term, are an opportunity for the American people to express themselves,” he continued. “And the people who are unhappy, have a much higher pressure to go vote to the people who are happy.”
SHANNON LONGWORTH: Since 1946, the midterms have seen the president’s party lose seats in the House. The only exception is the 2002. election when Republicans gained eight seats under President George W. Bush. It appears likely if 538 Real Clear Politics and any number of other election analysts are to be believed that Republicans will win control of the House Tuesday. This means current House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is poised to take the speaker’s gavel from Nancy Pelosi. Joining us now to discuss the road ahead for Republicans is former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Speaker Gingrich, you’ve been in this position before having assumed the speakership after the midterms of President Clinton’s first term? What are the challenges for leadership in Congress when the opposition party holds the White House?
FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE NEWT GINGRICH: Well, and the first key is to decide strategically, what are the three or four big things you want to get done, to make sure that there are big things the American people want to get done, and then to focus your efforts on rallying the grassroots. So they bring pressure on both the Democrats in Congress and on the President, to go along with you. We did that with Bill Clinton on welfare reform, balancing the budget, the largest capital gains tax cut in history. But I think the House and Senate Republicans have got to decide that they’re going to govern with the American people, and not just come up with some Washington based agenda. If they do that. It’s clear, for example, the American people want a major effort on inflation. They want a major effort on energy independence, to bring down the cost of gasoline and diesel and heating oil. They want a major effort on crime. So I think it’s not too hard to imagine how a Republican majority in the House and Senate could put together a very popular program.
LONGWORTH: Why do we see this historical trend of the sitting president’s party taking losses in the midterms?
GINGRICH: Well, I think that there’s always a sense of frustration and a sense of things that don’t go quite right. So on balance sheet, you lose it, you know, normally you lose some seats, then every once in a while you have a catastrophe. 1946, for example, for the Republicans won a huge margin. 1958, the Democrats won a big March of 2010, Republicans won a big margin 2006, the Democrats won a big word. And so I think it goes back and forth. But in the off year elections, whether it’s the first term or the second term, are an opportunity for the American people to express themselves. And the people who are unhappy, have a much higher pressure to go vote to the people who are happy.
LONGWORTH: Now looking at a couple of key races, let’s go to your birth state of Pennsylvania. First, polls have tightened in the Senate race between Fetterman and AWS. So what is it going to take for us to keep the seat red?
GINGRICH: Well, my hunch is that in fact, guys will win. And part of it will be what just happened in Philadelphia over the weekend, I think 27 people were shot. I think a 13 or 14 year old boy was killed. I mean, crime and the degree to which Fetterman has been radically pro criminal and anti police, I think has been probably the biggest single weight in bringing us back into the old campaign and making us I think, very competitive, and I suspect that US is going to win.
LONGWORTH: Similarly in Georgia, polling in the last few weeks has moved into Herschel Walker’s favor over Senator Raphael Warnock. Is Governor Brian Kemp’s popularity enough to pull Walker over the finish line?
GINGRICH: Well, I think a couple of things. First of all, I think Georgia beating Tennessee, reminding people of Herschel Walker’s career as the greatest football player in the history of the University of Georgia, the handbike, former coach, Vince Dooley, endorsing Herschel, a lot of things like that have come together. It’s clearly a very competitive race. I think Herschel’s ahead. But as you know, under Georgia law, you have to actually get 50% plus one. So if you only win with 4947, you have to go to a runoff. And I think the challenge for Walker, he’s going to be ahead can in fact, get above 50%. That’s where Governor Kemp, who’s winning by a big margin, and who has built a pretty good sized organization is in a position to really help her show these last few days.
LONGWORTH: Now, zooming out a bit, I’m gonna ask you for a prediction at the end of the night, just how many seats do you see Republicans picking up in the House and the Senate?
GINGRICH: Think they’re going to be between plus 20 and plus 50 in the house, and I think they’re going to be between plus two and plus five in the Senate, with the biggest swing state being Washington state where Tiffany Smiley is a remarkable candidate. And where her opponent who’s been there 30 years, Patty Murray, seems tired and worn out and with no new ideas. But Washington’s a very tough state for Republicans. If Tiffany can win, I think they could be plus five. Right now, I think they’re ahead in they’re gonna keep all the Republican seats including Pennsylvania. And I think they’re ahead and taking over Georgia, and New Hampshire, and Nevada, and Arizona. So I think Colorado is much more of a long shot. So it’s Connecticut. But I think that probably the fifth seat is Washington State with Tiffany smiley,
LONGWORTH: How were Republicans able to gain so much momentum in the final weeks of the campaign?
GINGRICH: Well, I think I think two things one, the Democrats are governed so badly, when you have these kinds of prices. I just had a friend who is an expert on agriculture, wrote and said that target at Thanksgiving this year will be twice as expensive as two years ago, twice. So you look at people go shopping for food, people who go fill up their tank with gasoline, people who watch the evening news and see all the crime, people who watch it’s now an estimated 5.2 5 million people cross the border illegally under Biden, all these things come together and then you have the issue of radicalism in schools. And the way parents are reacting to the idea that their children are being brainwashed, particularly about transgenderism. And I think all those things have come together and create a mood where the Republicans have huge advantages.
LONGWORTH: Former Speaker Newt Gingrich, thank you for your time. Thank you
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