Democrats are widely forecast to pick up House seats in Tuesday’s midterm elections, needing 23 seats in order to take over as the chamber’s majority party. POLITICO’s final race ratings predict Democrats will claim somewhere between 25 and 40 additional seats.
But Sanders and other Republicans have suggested that the GOP could cling to its majority in the House even as their tone has shifted from confidence to hopefulness. On the eve of Tuesday’s election, the White House press secretary laid into Democrats over what she claimed is the only item on their agenda.
“I still hope that Republicans win the House but if they don't, I think what you've seen the Democrats start talking about is the only message they have, and that’s one of obstruction,” she said in an interview on “Fox and Friends.” “They have no policies, they have no solutions. America’s got some real problems we have to deal with.”
President Donald Trump has stepped back in recent days from his past confident predictions that Republicans would hold their House majority, saying that because there are more seats up for grabs, campaigning for GOP House candidates is less efficient than stumping for Republicans running in statewide races.
The campaign schedules of Trump and other officials like Vice President Mike Pence in the waning days of the campaign have underscored that strategy, with stops almost entirely intended to boost Senate and gubernatorial candidates, where the GOP outlook is brighter. The president’s Twitter activity, as well, has skewed more toward statewide races.
On Monday, the president began his day by tweeting another stream of endorsements for Missouri Senate candidate Josh Hawley, Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis and Michigan Senate candidate John James following a pair of late night tweets in support of James and California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher.
Trump has already begun to boast that his campaigning has saved the Senate, generally predicted to remain under Republican control, a shift from his past promises that there would be a so-called red wave of GOP enthusiasm across this year’s midterms.
Top Republicans in the House have reportedly implored the president to dial down his bombastic tone, especially on the topic of immigration, and to focus more on the strong state of the economy in an effort to cater to Republican voters in suburban districts.
But Sanders said Monday that the White House was confident in its closing message of the campaign.
“Nobody has worked harder, particularly when their name is not on the ballot, as President Trump has,” she said. “But he is not just doing it at these rallies but he’s been doing it every single day by impacting good policy and making our country better. You can see that every single thing he has done, whether it’s growing the economy, which he’s put such an emphasis on, whether it’s securing the border, you’re going to see him talk about those things tonight.”