House Republicans’ Party-Line Majority Is Barely Hanging On

( – House Republicans have suffered numerous blows in recent months, losing several members among their ranks and narrowing their slim party-line majority. They’re barely hanging on at the moment, but upcoming elections could help tilt the balance once again in the Right’s favor.

Multiple Blows

The GOP suffered a recent stroke of bad luck, losing multiple seats in a short time span. It lost former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (CA) in December, after the House booted him from the leadership position. Bill Johnson (OH) left in January to become president of Youngstown State University. George Santos (NY) was expelled in December, after the chamber ousted him over criminal indictment charges, and Democrat Tom Suozzi seized his spot in a special election. The Right lost another member in March, when Rep. Ken Buck (CO) announced that he no longer intended to finish his term.

House Republicans could lose even more of their majority in April, after New York holds its special election to fill the currently vacant 26th Congressional District. Democrat Brian Higgins left the position in February, after he became president of Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo. The move offered the Right slightly more leverage, even if it is likely only temporary. Democrat Tim Kennedy is expected to win over Republican Gary Dickson, returning the Left’s lost seat.

A Party Divided

Both parties have divided factions, but the issues separating many members of the GOP have caused lawmakers to draw lines in the sand between even one another. The result has led to levels of dysfunction likely never before seen in Congress. Evidence of the damage is in the Right’s difficulties agreeing on a House Speaker and the in-fighting that has occurred between old-school and MAGA Republicans. The number of Conservatives choosing to retire when their terms end is another indicator.

One of the biggest issues adding to the fracture is the disagreement among the Right over the current definition of “Republican.” Old-school members believe the MAGA crowd has veered away from their original vision, while Trump followers feel that GOP lawmakers who don’t agree with their stances aren’t real Conservatives. Their inability to see eye to eye could easily cost them in November.

Hope on the Horizon

Republicans have a chance to win back three seats in special elections and replace their losses. The vote for McCarthy’s replacement will take place on May 21. The polls to determine who will replace Johnson and Buck will both take place in June. Even with Kennedy’s likely win in April, the final count before November could easily end with a much more comfortable ratio of 221 Republicans to 214 Democrats.

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