WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump was optimistic during the debate Thursday that Republicans could take back the House of Representatives. But that is unlikely and contrary to what most election experts think.
“I think we’re going to win the House,” Trump said. This was just one of several times he mused about whether the GOP could capture the lower chamber of Congress on Nov. 3.
Democrats seized control of the House in the 2018 midterms.
Cook’s House analyst, Dave Wasserman, wrote Wednesday, “overall, we’re revising our outlook in the House from a Democratic net gain of five to ten seats to a gain of between five and 15 seats.”
Trump later said he believes the Republicans will take back the House due to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and the current status of a coronavirus stimulus deal.
“That’s one of the reasons I think we’re going to take over the House because of her,” Trump stated.
Currently, there are 232 Democrats in the House versus 197 Republicans. The GOP would need a net gain of at least 18 seats to gain the majority and flip the House.
The upper chamber of Congress, the Senate, is the contested body in the 2020 election, as Democrats look to gain back control from Republicans.
There are 35 seats up for election in the Senate, and of those, 23 belong to Republicans and 12 to Democrats. Democrats would need a net gain of three or four seats to win a majority in the Senate, which is currently held by Republicans with 53 senators.
There are a few opportunities for Democrats to take the Senate from the GOP with critical races in places like Arizona, North Carolina, Maine and Colorado, among others.
In 2018, Democrats won the popular vote in the House by the largest margins since the Watergate scandal and resignation of Republican President Richard Nixon.
Contributing: Christal Hayes, USA TODAY; Associated Press