Gingrich: Republican surprises could make for big night if voters turn out

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told Fox News he sees a “great night” in the GOP’s cards for the 2022 midterm elections if their voters turn out.

The Pennsylvania native pointed particularly to his home state, where Dr. Mehmet Oz is facing Democrat Lt. Gov. John Fetterman. 

Gingrich, who grew up near Harrisburg, predicted Oz will defeat the Democrat and hold an otherwise politically-tenuous Republican seat vacated by Lehigh County’s Pat Toomey.

The race “hanging in the balance” for Republicans’ taking is the seat of Sen. Patricia Murray in Washington State. Murray is within single digits of Republican challenger Tiffany Smiley, the former speaker said.

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WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 11: Hon. Newt Gingrich speaks about Trump, Trudeau, and Nieto regarding NAFTA Negotiations at Dentons NAFTA 2.0 Summit on October 11, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Dentons)
(Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Dentons)

The Evergreen State has not had a Republican senator since Sen. Slade Gorton lost to the state’s other Democrat, Sen. Maria Cantwell, in 2000.

“Washington is a very tough state for us,” Gingrich observed, adding Oz, Ohio’s J.D. Vance and Florida’s Marco Rubio are likely to claim victory.

Rubio will defeat Orlando Congresswoman Val Demings “handily,” he predicted, as the state’s governor’s race also continues to trend in Republican incumbent Ron DeSantis’ favor.

Gingrich called New Hampshire Democrat Maggie Hassan a “weak senator” and said her challenger, Gen. Don Bolduc [Ret.] has the momentum going into Tuesday.

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Tiffany Smiley, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Washington state, is interviewed in Washington, DC, on Monday, Sept. 20. 2021.

Tiffany Smiley, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Washington state, is interviewed in Washington, DC, on Monday, Sept. 20. 2021.
(Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

He pointed to New England facing a diesel fuel crisis and massive price increases for all petroleum based products including heating oil and kerosene. Energy suppliers warned of a rare and dire shortage, which would hit cold-weather, Democrat-run states in the northeast the hardest.

“We’re going to keep the seat in North Carolina [with Ted Budd] and in Wisconsin with Ron Johnson. Then I think we’re going to pick up Bolduc who almost certainly is going to win in New Hampshire as people go out and fill up their heating oil tanks for the winter,” he said.

“The price shock is enormous.”

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In term’s of Georgia’s contested race, Gingrich believed while former Dallas Cowboys runningback Herschel Walker has a shot to force the race to a runoff, the greater popularity of incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp over second-time challenger Stacey Abrams could push the Heisman winner into the end zone.

“So I think it’s going to be a great night. On the House side will be somewhere between plus 20 and plus 50. I personally think it’ll be about 44. And Kevin McCarthy is the next speaker,” he said.

As a final prediction, Gingrich offered the House will be double-digits in the House and +5 in the Senate.

He said President Biden’s continued vitriolic commentary directed at supporters of Donald Trump and opponents of his political platforms is helping galvanize resentment that could translate to votes.

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Biden previously called Trump supporters “semi-fascist” and made similar remarks this week at the Washington’s Union Station Amtrak terminal near the Capitol.

Prior to Gingrich’s predictions, Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer offered a further roundup of other races, keying into otherwise overlooked Virginia as a potential barometer for election night.

Hemmer said the magnitude – if any – by which Republicans would have a productive night might be determined by how three key races turn out.

House January 6 Committee member Elaine Luria is facing Jennifer Kiggans in Norfolk and Cape Charles, which Hemmer said is essentially a swing district that the Republican could win.

If Kiggans and Spotsylvania-area Republican hopeful Yesli Vega defeats moderate Democrat Abigail Spanberger, it could portend an even more intense GOP win overall.

And if Navy veteran Hung Cao is able to defeat Rep. Jennifer Wexton, D-Va., in Loudoun and Fairfax Counties, the question may not be if there would be a Republican surge, but how much of one, Hemmer said.

He added that, in the House, surprising states like Connecticut and Rhode Island could see Republicans being competitive.

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