Pelosi Confident Democrats Will Maintain House in Midterms Without Trump on the Ballot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi dismissed predictions that Republicans will retake control of the House of Representatives in the 2022 midterms, expressing confidence that Democratic members will maintain their seats without former President Donald Trump on the ballot.

Many top Republicans feel confident they will retake control of the House, and possibly the Senate as well, in the midterms next year. Recent historical precedent has shown that the party of the president in power often loses a substantial number of House seats in the midterms during his first term. Since Democrats hold just 220 seats to the 212 currently held by Republicans, even a few losses could shift control of the legislative chamber.

"I know we will win in the Congress. People say, 'Well, in the off year, it's not the good year.' But, I think any assumptions about politics are obsolete," Pelosi told reporters on Wednesday in Hartford, Connecticut, at an event to celebrate President Joe Biden's expanded Child Tax Credit. She dismissed projections that suggest her party will lose power in the legislative chamber.

Nancy Pelosi
Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she expects Democratic House members will maintain their seats without former President Donald Trump on the ballot in next year's midterms. Above, Pelosi during her weekly news conference on Wednesday. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

"We live in a whole new world of communication and the rest. And I think that all of our members who survived Trump being on the ballot with them will survive next year because Trump's not on the ballot," the California Democrat said.

Emma Vaughn, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, dismissed Pelosi's assessment of the Democrats' chances of holding the House next year.

"Pelosi's claim is laughable and out of touch, as Democrats' electoral prospects are doomed as a result of their attempt to ram through a $3.5 trillion socialist wish list and defend Biden's list of failures and crises, from a deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan to a raging crisis at our southern border," Vaughn told Newsweek.

During the 2018 midterms—halfway through Trump's first and only term as president—Democrats took back control of the House and gained 40 seats. The same thing happened to Barack Obama, with Republicans taking back control of the House in 2010 during his first term. In those midterms, the GOP picked up 63 seats.

In June, the University of Virginia's Center for Politics released an analysis of midterm elections going back to 1946. That report showed that a president in power, on average, loses more than 26 House seats during the midterms. The largest loss has been 64 seats, while the largest gain has been just eight seats.

The analysis showed similar results in the Senate. On average since 1946, the president's party has lost more than three seats in the Senate during the midterms. The biggest loss has been 13 seats, while the largest gain has been just four seats.

Back in February, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, voiced his confidence that the GOP would retake control of the House in 2022. "We're going to get the majority back," McCarthy said during a Conservative Political Action Conference appearance.

"I would bet my house. My personal house. Don't tell my wife, but I will bet it. This is the smallest majority the Democrats have had in 100 years," the GOP leader said.

Newsweek reached out to Trump's press office for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

Update (September 9, 12:43 p.m. ET): This story was updated with a comment from a Republican National Committee spokeswoman.