How big of a wave can House Republicans expect?

In that sense, Emmer’s math is more accurate, recognizing that after Republicans shocked the political world to net 12 seats in the last election, their baseline is a whole lot higher than in other wave-election cycles, which came when the GOP began with a bare minimum of seats. As Emmer points out, the true magic number that would indicate a historic wave is 35, the number of pickups that would give the party its highest number of seats, 248, since the 1928 midterm elections.

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It’s worth looking at what seats Republicans would need to win to hit that historic mark. One senior Republican official involved in House races named four leading targets that would give them confidence that the GOP was comfortably in wave territory: Reps. Kim Schrier of Washington, Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, and Angie Craig of Minnesota, and the now-open seat in Oregon currently held by Rep. Kurt Schrader, who lost his primary. These are all suburban districts that President Biden carried by 7 to 9 points in the last election. All have held competitive races in recent history.

If Republicans are able to win all five Trump districts held by Democrats, hold the seats of two battle-tested House Republicans running for reelection in double-digit Biden districts (Reps. Mike Garcia and David Valadao of California) and win every seat that Biden carried by single-digit margins (and nothing else), they’d hit that magic 248 mark. They’d have some wiggle room, too. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee includes 15 Democrats in double-digit Biden districts in their Frontline program aiding their most vulnerable members.

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