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The Narrowing House Majority

Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball: “It seems unlikely that there will be several additional Republican resignations/vacancies over the next couple of months—and if the GOP ever got to just a bare majority, there would be immense pressure on the remaining members to stay put. But there’s also clearly a lot of discontent on the GOP side after an exhausting time in the majority following the 2022 elections; plugged-in Fox News congressional reporter Chad Pergram reported a few days ago that ‘other Republicans are fed up and could leave before the end of the Congress.’”

“One could also reasonably argue that the Republicans currently are not operating as a real majority party. Because of the fissures within his own party, Speaker Johnson has had to pass some must-pass legislation under a suspension of the rules, which requires 2/3rds majorities (and, thus by definition, significant buy-in from Democrats). The Wall Street Journal recently explored this unusual situation in depth.”

“In the longer term, we have to also remember that we have just had consecutive regular House elections that produced small 222-213 majorities, first for the Democrats and then for the Republicans. The House is competitive enough that we could have an even smaller majority in 2024 or in the future—perhaps even 218-217. If that happens, the odds of a majority party change occurring between regular elections goes up dramatically.”

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