Jul 27, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Wave watch: Hundreds more Republicans running for House than Democrats

Data: Open Secrets, Bruce Mehlman; Chart: Simran Parwani/Axios
Data: Open Secrets, Bruce Mehlman; Chart: Simran Parwani/Axios

There are currently more candidates running for the U.S. House of Representatives than in any other election year since at least 1990, according to OpenSecrets data.

Why it matters: Out of more than 3,000 House candidates running in 2022, Republicans outnumber Democrats by 384 candidates, according to lobbyist Bruce Mehlman's closely watched quarterly slide deck. The trend likely reflects Republican enthusiasm and has preceded wave election years in the past.

By the numbers: During the 2018 "blue wave" midterm year, there were 291 more Democrats running for House seats than Republicans. Democrats ended up picking up 41 seats that year.

  • The gap between the number of Republicans and Democrats running this year is significant but not quite as big as in 2010, when the GOP picked up 63 House seats.

What to watch: Not only are Republicans outrunning Democrats this year, more current House Democrats have retired than in any other midterm year since 1930, Mehlman notes.

  • The loss of incumbents could make more districts competitive.
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