Good old fashioned gridlock will be making a comeback in Washington, D.C., this January, as House Democrats are going to be working with their smallest majority in over one hundred years.
Democrats will be facing a 220 seat majority, just five seats more than Republicans, which is the Democratic Party’s smallest majority since 1893, according to Politico.
The last time there was a 220 seat majority was in 2001, with Republicans at the helm.
Regardless, this is a historic moment that undoubtedly irritates Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other party leaders.
So how did this margin come to fruition?
For starters, few people saw this coming.
FiveThirtyEight expected Democrats to hold anywhere between 225 and 254 seats in the House, creating a majority that would easily complement a win from now-presumptive President-elect Joe Biden.
As Biden continues to announce his picks for his presumptive administration, some Democratic representatives will be leaving their posts for the White House.
The former vice president has selected Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Rep. Cedric Richmond of Lousiana as senior adviser to the president and White House public engagement director.
“We caught up with Fudge on Tuesday night, and asked her about leaving Dems a bit thin, and whether she personally thinks about it, or if she views it as someone else’s problem,” Politico reported.
“‘It’s tight,’ Fudge told us, standing feet from the House floor. ‘Certainly I do think about it because I’m a part of this team, and I support this caucus … Whoever would come here would be a part of this team as well so that gives me some comfort.
“I just have to hope that we can hold together long enough to make sure that something like that would happen if I should leave. Because right now, Cedric is gone and so we’re down one, his seat will be a safe seat as well. So we’re just hopeful that if this works out the way we would like it to — that it’ll be OK.”
n addition, Cook Political Report had its competitive House rankings generally favoring Democrats.
Republicans were able to defy expectations with fundraising and polling in order to not only hold onto every House seat, but to also gain several others.
At the end of the day, Republicans’ messaging, ground game and diversity in several hotly contested districts led to close victories.
Every Republican who flipped a seat was either a minority, a woman, or both.
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By embracing diversity within the party, conservatives were able to find new ways to relate to voters.
Even beyond identity, it’s clear that many voters are deeply concerned about the far-left and wanted to elect people who promoted fiscally conservative and socially moderate values.
Voters have already dealt with enough radical changes to their lives this year, and having a drastic reform in government comes across as frightening and unappealing for many moderates who just want to be left alone.
— Michelle Steel (@MichelleSteelCA) December 1, 2020
While Republicans should be breathing a sigh of relief, they should not get complacent.
Most House districts that flipped had razor-thin margins of only a few hundred or fewer votes, and they could easily flip back in 2022.
California Rep. Mike Garcia won re-election by 333 votes against Democrat Christy Smith, and some races are even closer.
— Andrew Donovan (@AndrewDonovan) December 8, 2020
Republican Marianette Miller-Meeks is leading her race by only six votes in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District, and the battle between Democratic Rep. Anthony Brindisi and former Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney in New York is still in the middle of legal challenges.