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How Fierce Primaries, Abortion and Inflation Transformed the 2022 Map


Republicans can also brag of the most racially diverse slate of House candidates they have ever fielded, including 29 Hispanic contenders, 26 Black candidates, six Asian Americans or Pacific Islanders, and three Native Americans. Mr. Wasserman calculated that 61 percent of Republican candidates in swing districts were women, people of color and military veterans. Many of those veterans hail from special forces and have remarkable biographies.

“House Republicans have an all-star cast of candidates running to protect the American dream and deliver the type of common-sense policies Democrats have failed to achieve,” said Michael McAdams, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, the campaign arm for House Republicans.

Come November, those individual stories may matter little.

With only a five-vote swing standing in the way of a Republican majority, the G.O.P. is still favored to take control of the House, but how big a majority the party enjoys will most likely be determined more by the larger political issues — inflation, economics, abortion and democracy — than by the candidates themselves.

The Senate may be different, and past could be prologue. In 2010, as the effects of the financial crash lingered and the Tea Party movement energized conservatives, Republicans stormed into the majority in the House, then held it in 2012. But Republicans could not take the Senate until 2014, in part because of poor candidates chosen in the primaries: Christine O’Donnell of Delaware and Sharron Angle of Nevada in 2010, and Richard E. Mourdock of Indiana and Todd Akin of Missouri in 2012.

Pressed by Mr. Trump, Republicans may well have outdone themselves in 2022. Mr. Walker, a former football star with no political experience, has struggled in his challenge to Senator Raphael Warnock of Georgia, once seen as perhaps the most vulnerable Democrat up for re-election. With the political wind at his face, another freshman Democrat, Mark Kelly of Arizona, has benefited greatly from Mr. Masters’s inexperience and a past replete with oddball views. Mr. Trump liked the celebrity of Dr. Oz but overlooked the potency of attacks over his wealth and his lack of connection to Pennsylvania.



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