Cook Report projects GOP as clear favorite to win House majority

Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) answers a question during his weekly press conference on Thursday, November 18, 2021.

Ratings released by The Cook Political Report on Thursday show the GOP with a clear edge in the 2022 battle for control of the House.

The new batch of ratings from the nonpartisan election handicapper shows Democrats defending eight so-called toss-up districts across seven states. By comparison, Republicans are defending six toss-up seats in four states at this point.

At the same time, three Democratic-held districts - Arizona's 6th, New Jersey's 7th and Texas's 15th - have landed in The Cook Political Report's "lean Republican" column. Two more - Arizona's 2nd District and Michigan's 10th District - are in the "likely Republican" column.

Only one Republican-held district, Illinois's 13th, currently leans toward Democrats, according to the latest ratings.

The Cook Political Report is issuing the ratings on a rolling basis given ongoing redistricting efforts across the country that will further reshape the nation's political lines in the coming months.

Still, the latest race ratings from the election handicapper paint a difficult picture for Democrats, who are facing an uphill battle to hold on to their narrow House majority next year.

Republicans need to net just five seats in 2022 to recapture control of the lower chamber, a goal that appears well within reach, especially given the fact that the party of a new president tends to lose ground in Congress in midterm election years.

The ratings released by The Cook Political Report on Thursday account for only a portion of the races that could decide the House majority next year.

The National Republican Congressional Committee says it is targeting 70 Democratic-held districts in 2022 after expanding its list last month. Democrats, meanwhile, are going after a more limited slate of 22 GOP-held districts.