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The Year Ahead

How Democrats Could Hold On to the House and Defy the Pundits

History’s not on the party’s side, but Donald Trump—of all people—could help it clinch a victory in the midterms.

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Illustration: Olivia Fields

The most common prediction among political pundits for 2022 is that Democrats will lose control of the House of Representatives in November. The reasons are almost too numerous to list: Inflation is up; voters’ perception of the economy is down; Covid‑19 lingers; President Joe Biden is unpopular; and by a 2-to-1 margin, Americans say the country is on the wrong track. In addition, the president’s party almost always loses seats in midterm elections.

These powerful headwinds have both parties believing that House Democrats are most likely doomed. But conventional wisdom sometimes turns out to be wrong. What would it take for Democrats to defy expectations in the fall?