As a new administration is moving into the White House, the GOP is still recovering from detrimental losses in the Georgia runoffs that ultimately gave the Democratic Party control of all levels of government. With the seemingly now damaged legacy of the Trump presidency looming over the Republican Party, party leaders are gearing up for what will be a tough battle in the 2022 Midterms to regain some of their lost power. Here is a look at which gubernatorial, Senate, and House races (and respective candidates) offer the GOP the best chances of retaking control.
Although these races may be less focused on and or receive less attention because they do not have a direct effect on power in Washington, they are still important to the GOP in terms of advancing their national agenda. Among the high profile races impacting this agenda are the Georgia and Pennsylvania gubernatorial elections.
In Georgia, Governor Brian Kemp is one of the many GOP politicians who didn’t play ball with Trump on his efforts to overturn the 2020 election and he could end up paying for it. Trump has floated the idea of a primary challenge to Kemp by former Congressman Doug Collins, a popular ally of the president.
Even if Kemp is successful in the primaries, he will still face a major obstacle to reelection, as most believe that Stacey Abrams is gearing up for a rematch in which she has a good chance of winning, considering that Joe Biden won the state in November.
In Pennsylvania, Democratic Governor Tom Wolf is term-limited, leaving the seat open and as a potential flip for the GOP. A win here would be a major accomplishment for the Republican Party as, if they maintain their majorities in both chambers of the state legislature, they would then control the legislature and the governorship.
Speculated GOP candidates include state senators, members of Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation, and other state officials.
With the Senate now under democratic control, winning it back is a top, if not the number one priority for Republicans in 2022. To regain the majority, Republicans would need to hold all of their current seats and flip one from the democrats. Arizona’s Mark Kelly and Georgia’s Raphael Warnock are vulnerable GOP targets as both just won special elections in the 2020 cycle, meaning they have to run again in 2022.
As a Democrat holding a Senate seat in a state that Joe Biden won by a very small margin, Mark Kelly could be in trouble as this makes him the perfect candidate for the GOP to put up a strong challenger against. Outgoing Arizona Governor Doug Ducey is seen by many as a potential Republican contender.
In Georgia, a state that Joe Biden won by an even smaller margin than Arizona, Raphael Warnock has barely had time to recover from a brutal senate campaign and is already having to think about what is likely to be another extremely competitive race in 2022. Potential challengers to him include former Congressman Doug Collins and State Representative Vernon Jones, a former Democrat who just switched to the Republican Party.
The GOP is also eyeing other competitive races in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina where President Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, is considering a run for Senate.
The nation was, needless to say, shocked when Republicans flipped 14 House seats (net gain of 11) in the 2020 election cycle. With one race still undecided, the Democratic Party now holds an extremely narrow majority of only 10 seats. Due to the magnitude of the net gain by Republicans in 2020, the GOP is set to take back the majority in 2022.
Vulnerable representatives on the GOP’s radar to target include Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), Connor Lamb (PA-17), and Carolyn Bordeaux (GA-07), the only Democrat that flipped a Republican-held seat in the 2020 election.
All of these representatives won election or reelection by very narrow margins and they are just some of the many. Focusing on these seats is likely to give the GOP the best chance of taking back control in 2022.
The 2020 election is over, but there is just as much at stake in 2022. These competitive midterm races will determine the grip each party has on power amid a new democratic administration. Most importantly, these races will have a lasting impact on America, as they will set the political climate leading up to the 2024 election and other elections to come.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.