Larry Sabato, Crystal Ball: Dems Stand to Lose Senate, House in Midterms

Larry Sabato, Crystal Ball: Dems Stand to Lose Senate, House in Midterms (CNN)

By Eric Mack | Wednesday, 03 November 2021 09:34 PM

Democrats are not only reeling from Terry McAuliffe's loss to Virginia GOP Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin, but they stand to lose even more in the 2022 midterms.

The University of Virginia's Center for Politics Crystal Ball has downgraded Democratic senators in four key midterm races, and Director Larry Sabato told CNN on Wednesday that under the current conditions of President Joe Biden's administration, Republicans will take control of the House and Senate after the midterm.

Even passing infrastructure will not save Democrats at this point, because ''it's too late now,'' according to Sabato, who added, ''Democrats will reap the whirlwind.''

''The foremost message to President Biden is: Lift your ratings,'' Sabato told CNN. ''Do what you have to do to end the pandemic, to improve the economy, to end the supply chain problems, to do something about inflation and gas prices.

''Of course, I am sure he would have already done all those things if it were easy, but if conditions don't improve, his ratings won't improve. And if his ratings don't improve, Democrats are going to lose both the House and the Senate in 2022.''

Among the races the Crystal Ball ratings have downgraded Democrats:

  • Sen Mark Kelly, D-Ariz.
  • Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo.
  • Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga.
  • Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev.

Tuesday's elections were, according to the Crystal Ball, ''a horrible result for Democrats, and for the White House.''

''There were a lot of electoral questions that the Virginia gubernatorial race was well-positioned to help answer,'' the Wednesday's Crystal Ball report read. ''Could Republicans make up ground in the suburbs with Donald Trump no longer in the White House?

''Would Republican voters turn out in force with Trump gone? Could Democrats fall even further in heavily white, rural/small town areas? Was the history that suggested holding the White House is a burden for the presidential party in Virginia still operative?

''Unfortunately for Democrats, and fortunately for Republicans, the answers to all of these questions were a resounding 'yes.'''

Still, as Sabato told CNN, it comes down to Biden fixing the problems that plague the U.S. and his administration, getting his approval ratings out of decline.

''If Biden's approval rating is in the low-to-mid 40s next year, as it is now, everything we know about political trends and history suggests that the Democrats' tiny majorities in the House and Senate are at major risk of becoming minorities,'' the Crystal Ball concluded.

''Splitting the toss-ups would give the GOP a 51-49 edge,'' it added. ''This reflects a close race for the Senate, but one that Republicans are better-positioned to win, particularly if the environment remains as poor for Democrats as it clearly is right now.''

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