House Margin Exactly Flipped

There will be 222 Republicans and 213 Democrats in the next Congress.

Two weeks to the day after Election Day, Cook Political Report’s Dave Wasserman calls it:

I’ve seen enough: barring a tabulation error, John Duarte (R) defeats Adam Gray (D) in #CA13. That means the final House count will be 222R-213D, a mirror image of Dems’ current majority.

Mostly, an interesting factoid. We’ve presumed a small Republican majority for days now. Given that Kevin McCarthy is a shadow of the legislator and leader of current Speaker Nancy Pelosi, he’ll have a tough time, indeed, managing this coalition.

Hat tip: Taegan Goddard

FILED UNDER: 2022 Election, Congress, US Politics, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Michael Reynolds says:

    Somehow the Democrats have become the disciplined party, and the Republicans have become the herd of cats. Any faction of five House GOPers can stop the place dead. They won’t be able to pass anything, so will focus on ‘investigations’ and various insane MTG bills, and be very correctly identified as a do-nothing Congress.

    If Biden and the new Dem leadership are smart they’ll hammer this message every day. ‘We tried, but Republicans obstructed.’ No bipartisanship, make the GOP the villain. Not just Trump or MAGAts, the whole party. Republicans are extremists and lunatics who accomplish nothing.

  2. Stormy Dragon says:

    My biggest concern is the GOP trying to force a debt default

  3. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    If they do they’ll find out why Liz Truss is no longer Prime Minister.

  4. Kylopod says:

    Follows the mirror image in the electoral count from 2016-2020 (both winners got exactly 306-232 electoral votes, not counting faithless electors). If this were a fictional story, the author would be accused of being amateurishly heavy-handed.

  5. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    “If the super burns down the building, they’ll be fired as super” is small comfort to the people who live there…

  6. Michael Cain says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Truss was pushed out in 55 days. Members of the House will be in office until Jan 2025. Truss’s program required that she get legislation passed. The radical Republicans can crash the US and world economies by blocking legislation. Unlike the discussion in the other post, I don’t think it will be enough for a handful of Republicans to vote with the Dems. McCarthy will control what comes to the floor as long as he’s Speaker. I suspect at least five Republicans will have to effectively change parties and vote a Democrat in as Speaker to save things.

  7. Jay L Gischer says:

    If McCarthy seems unable to bring a deal to keep the US out of default to the floor, what I imagine will happen is a group of 8 or so Republican reps, who are responsible, and fear losing their seats, or both, will go to the D leadership and say, “we propose to enter a motion to vacate the chair, and ask for your support in voting Rep X. Factor as Speaker. We are prepared to bring deal Y to the floor for a vote, and pledge our support to it in exchange.” No more Speaker McCarthy.

    I expect this to remain a threat, not a reality, for what it’s worth.

  8. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Michael Cain:
    If they crash the economy they will still have that blood on their hands come re-election time.

  9. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    Sadly, the debt default guys like Cruz triggered 10 years ago doesn’t seem to have had any serious election impacts. It *should*. But it didn’t.

    And there is no way any R’s will propose vacating the chair. Especially if you think it will be because they will fear losing their seats because of a debt default. A vote to vacate the chair would GUARANTEE losing their seat. Debt defaults? They’ve done that, and the people responsible haven’t been voted out yet. Sorry Jay, not only not going to happen, it’s not even a plausible threat.

  10. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Just Another Ex-Republican:

    There’s a difference between a government shutdown and a debt default, which is what some of the Republicans are talking about now.

  11. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Just Another Ex-Republican: The most important thing to remember is that the US did not, in fact, default on its debt. So that didn’t work against people, because it didn’t happen.

    I think a lot of people just figured it was grandstanding. Which, by and large, it was.

    The question is whether there are 8 Republicans (or so) in the House who would rather lose their seats than see the US default on its debt. I think it’s entirely possible, and there might be a few more willing to run that bluff. It won’t take that many.

    And by the way, Cruz lost a squeaker, in the same state Abbot just won by double digits.

  12. Lounsbury says:

    @Michael Reynolds: yes, the people I generally have to report to were quite upset. On other hand my Fall investors meeting in London was materially less expensive in euro terms.

    @Michael Cain: Madame Truss’ programme really did not require anything of the sort. She mistakenly desired to do so, having not learned any proper lessons from BoJo in the areas of Smoke & Mirrors, & etc. And thus rushed into Doing Big things with no actual competency in that area. Replacing posturing with action was her gravest error (perhaps preceded by not understanding the actual difference).

    @Jay L Gischer: Indeed a proper payment default … with impact on dollar and all the feed through channels (anything with floating rates) and they would rather quickly learn the lesson of the difference between posturing for the rubes, smoke & mirrors, and actually angering the masters of the universe…

  13. Ken_L says:

    Given that Kevin McCarthy is a shadow of the legislator and leader of current Speaker Nancy Pelosi, he’ll have a tough time, indeed, managing this coalition.

    If memory serves, Pelosi also had her problems managing her coalition when the other party held the Senate and the White House. I imagine it’s a lot easier to persuade colleagues to compromise in the interests of party unity when there’s an opportunity to achieve significant objectives via legislation, than when the only issue up for debate is how to obstruct and oppose the other side.

    I also have to say I’m a bit surprised at the praise being heaped on Pelosi’s supposed parliamentary mastery. Surely it’s only a matter of time before the bloodletting begins among Democrats over the way the leadership lied to progressives about passage of the Build Back Better bill. You’ll recall that after progressives agreed to halve the scope of the bill to make “moderates” happy, they were promised it would remain a single bill. Then the bill was split in two, but they were promised the two bills would “proceed in tandem”, even though there was no reason to think Manchin and Sinema would ever vote for the bill they didn’t like once the other one had been passed. Finally, they agreed to split the bills in return for a promise that the votes were there to pass both bills eventually – a promise that was also broken.

    We don’t know who was primarily responsible for this chain of betrayals: whether the leadership allowed the wish to be the father of the thought, or misunderstood what Manchin and Sinema told them, or set out deliberately to deceive progressives, or were themselves deceived. Whatever the case, the result was that Democrats missed the only opportunity they’re likely to have for many years to introduce measures like subsidised child care, increased child support payments, recognition of dental treatment as basic health care and free community college education. The reasons for this should be thoroughly examined by Democrats (not necessarily in the media), not swept under the carpet because they might embarrass leaders now retired.

  14. Lounsbury says:

    @Ken_L: The way the progressives were lied to? Amusing.
    Pelosi gave them a certain plausible deniability with their Leftier than Thou visible activist fraction.

    Such that you managed to achieve something rather than utterly nothing.

    Giving members of party some fig leafs to use is indeed parliamentary mastery in the real word (versus idealised nonsense of academic idealised structures)

  15. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Lounsbury: They were lied to in the way that Righties always lie–promising compromises and then reneging on them. Social progressives watched this in many states on gay marriage a decade ago. Conservatives claimed to find the use of the term “marriage” to be the offensive point to get a concession to use the term “civil unions” only to discover they actually objected to gay marriage when the compromise was offered. It’s an old story. In the case of gay marriage, it was easy to eventually take the case to the voters themselves. This is about money–something you Righties care about more than (other people’s) life itself and will prove more resilient until you’ve managed to create the social hell hole that third world nations live in on your own shores. There aren’t enough tent cities yet, apparently.