As reported by Breitbart
Republicans only need to net win back 20 seats from Democrats to retake their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy broke down the GOP plan to do just that in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News that aired Saturday morning.
The one-hour-long in-studio exclusive interview which aired on Breitbart News Saturday and will air again on Breitbart News Sunday on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel, is the first and most comprehensive the House’s leading Republican has given detailing such plans by the GOP.
In addition to the political focus in this interview, McCarthy also discussed immigration policy and tech policy with Breitbart News. McCarthy laid out the numbers that Republicans need to hit to win back their majority in 2020 alongside President Donald Trump’s efforts to win re-election.
“There are 31 seats that Democrats sit in today that President Trump carried,” McCarthy said. “Of those 31, 13 of them President Trump carried by more than six points. So, here you have the socialist wing of the party trying to take them further left, when the only way they have the majority is actually winning in Republican areas—areas that would be swing districts.”
Currently, Republicans hold 198 seats in the House. A majority in the House is 218 seats. So, if Republicans take back those 13 seats from Democrats in districts that Trump won by more than six percent, and seven more from the remaining 18 districts that Democrats represent that Trump won—while holding what they currently have—or find some other way to net gain 20 seats, they can retake the majority in 2020.
The 13 districts currently represented by Democrats that Trump won by more than six percent are as follows: Minnesota’s 7th district, New York’s 22nd, Oklahoma’s 5th, South Carolina’s 1st, Maine’s 2nd, New Mexico’s 2nd, New York’s 11th, Pennsylvania’s 8th, New York’s 19th, Michigan’s 8th, Utah’s 4th, Virginia’s 7th, and New Jersey’s 3rd.
The other 18 districts currently represented by Democrats in which Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton include: New Jersey’s 2nd, Wisconsin’s 3rd, Michigan’s 11th, Iowa’s 2nd, Illinois’ 14th, Iowa’s 1st, Iowa’s 3rd, Virginia’s 2nd, Pennsylvania’s 17th, New York’s 18th, New Hampshire’s 1st, Georgia’s 6th, Minnesota’s 2nd, Arizona’s 1st, New Jersey’s 5th, Nevada’s 3rd, New Jersey’s 11th, and Illinois’ 17th.
Republicans had a 23-seat majority before the 2018 midterms, but Democrats ended up netting a 40-seat swing in the House in the November elections. Part of what led to this, McCarthy noted, was a surge in GOP retirements. A whopping 41 Republicans, which is less than the number of seats the Democrats gained, retired before the midterms. Democrats also had a midterm election cycle on their side, something that historically favors the party out of power, in addition to financial advantages. In addition, McCarthy noted, redistricting efforts in Pennsylvania and election law changes in Maine—among other such factors—contributed to the Democrats taking the House back for the first time in eight years.
“So if you sit back and you look at the last election, there’s not one reason why the Republicans lost the majority but there are a couple,” McCarthy explained on the Breitbart News radio special. “The first one being history, meaning that historically whichever party wins the White House, that party normally loses an average of 30 seats in the off-year election. Barack Obama lost 63. Twenty-three seats was our majority, so just history would beat us. We had more retirements than ever, the most of Republicans—41—in a year; that was a bad year for us.
The Democrats had $250 million more dollars than us, and the other thing the Democrats did is they sued and had redistricting done in a partisan way in Pennsylvania so they got three seats to start up with. They changed the election law in Maine. In Maine, you don’t vote for one person —there’s only two congressional seats—what you do is you rank them. So if someone doesn’t get to 50 percent, the ranking actually pulls somebody else up. Bruce Poliquin, who was the congressman, got the most votes but is not the member of Congress from Maine anymore. It’s changing these types of things. Democrats turned out with a higher number. All the Republican vote, and all the Democrat vote, Democrats turned out eight percent higher. But if you look at those 74 seats that make up the swing of a majority in Congress, these are the 74 seats that Charlie Cook identifies, the difference between Republican vote and Democrat vote is one percent. The difference between myself serving in the minority and serving in the majority is less than 107,000 votes.”
There are several GOP retirements heading into 2020, as well, but nowhere near the numbers as in 2018. Reps. Will Hurd (R-TX), Martha Roby (R-AL), Pete Olson (R-TX), Paul Mitchell (R-MI), Susan Brooks (R-IN), and Mike Conaway (R-TX) have announced planned retirements. Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan left the GOP earlier this year, becoming an “independent.”