Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich attends an event organized by exiled Iranian opposition group on June 30, 2018 in Paris, France.
Zakaria Abdelkafi/AFP via Getty Images
- Gingrich told Insider that “the total failure of the left is driving people” to Republicans.
- He said 2022 could be “the most catastrophic election for Democrats since 1920.”
- That year, Republicans secured their largest number of House seats, ever.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said he sees a historic opportunity for Republicans to win the midterm elections in a sweep that they haven’t seen in a century.
Gingrich told Insider that “the total failure of the left is driving people our way in a very encouraging way.” And if that shift continues, he predicted 2022 could be “the most catastrophic election for Democrats since 1920,” when Republicans secured their largest number of House seats, ever.
Republicans need a net gain of just six seats to win control of the House in the midterm elections, when the president’s party typically loses. The current party breakdown is 212 Republicans and 222 Democrats.
In 1920, Republicans boosted their ranks in the House by 62 seats, heading into the 67th Congress in 1921 with a 302-131 split with Democrats, according to House records.
It was also a presidential election year that ushered in Republican Warren G. Harding and the first time that women in all states could vote in federal elections after ratification of the 19th Amendment.
Gingrich, architect of the “Contract of America” legislative agenda, served as House speaker from 1995-1999. He led the Republican “revolution” in 1994 that put Republicans back in power for the first time in 40 years, with a pickup of 54 seats.
Gingrich acknowledged that the mood of the electorate may change by next fall. “Politics is about a week long,” he said.
But he pointed to shifting poll numbers from Democrats to Republicans. “We’re stronger today with African Americans, Latinos and Asian Americans, I think, than we’ve ever been, and all that’s happened in the last year,” he said.