The Democratic revival of 2017-20 began with the epic women’s marches of January 2017. If Democrats are more competitive than expected this year, it will be in part because women are galvanized, especially women in the Democratic base but also independent or “soft Republican” college-educated suburban women.
Something like this happened in 2017, when large numbers of liberals and moderates, appalled by Mr. Trump’s presidency, saw the 2018 election as a firebreak. That year, Democrats made a net gain of 40 seats in the House, and historic turnout gains in 2018, relative to the previous midterm, were a great benefit for Democrats.
All will depend on how closely 2022 resembles 2018. With the electorate so divided, there are relatively few swing voters — but potentially dozens of swing districts. How they swing depends entirely on turnout.
A Democratic effort reminiscent of grass roots groups in 2017 is beginning to gear up. For example, Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland sponsors a Democracy Summer for college students who want to get out and organize. This idea has been picked up in dozens of other congressional districts.
Senator Jon Ossoff of Georgia, in the January 2021 runoff election that won him a Senate seat, helped pioneer a technique called paid relational organizing. He hired some 2,800 Georgians to reach out to their own peer networks to win support for Mr. Ossoff. Now several people who worked with Senator Ossoff are taking this strategy national.
Other events this summer may have bearing on the fall. The House panel investigating the attack of Jan. 6, 2021, will hold public hearings in June. Closer to the midterms, it will release its final report, which will put Republicans on the spot to answer for their defense of an attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Mr. Trump will surely continue to insist the 2020 election was stolen, but most Republicans will be whipsawed between the demands of Mr. Trump and his base and their wish to focus on more winning issues.
Mr. Trump’s own behavior is exposing all the latent fissures in the contradictory coalition that narrowly elected him. Democratic candidates will be reminding Americans of the potential menace of a second Trump term. If Mr. Trump rejoins Twitter, he will remind them himself.