Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Democrats Well on Their Way to Gaining House Majority

For the Democrats to win a majority in the United States House of Representative, a pickup of 23 seats is needed.  As things stand now, it appears that the Democrats will exceed that goal by some 13 seats.

Cook Political Report tracks competitive House seats using the following classifications:  Likely Democratic, Lean Democratic, Democrat Toss Up, Republican Toss Up, Lean Republican and Likely

CPR lists 3 Republican seats as likely to flip to the Democrats while 10 GOP seats are identified as leaning Democratic.  On the other side, there is only one district (the newly redrawn PA-14) that is currently held by a Democrat which is "likely" to be won by a Republican. There are no districts held by a Democrat that "leans" to the Republican challenger.

Meanwhile there are 31 congressional districts which are listed as "toss-ups."  Of those districts, 29 currently have a Republican incumbent.

Toss-up districts generally go to one party or the other.  Rarely are toss-up districts split down the middle between the parties.  The last few elections, about 89% of the toss-ups have gone to the prevailing party in the election.

The Democrats are heavily favored on the generic ballot.  Let's be conservative though and say they win only 75% of the toss-up districts.  That makes the numbers as follows:

GOP Districts Likely Democrat:  3
GOP Districts Leaning Democrat: 10
Toss-Up Districts Switching from R to D (x 75%):  24
Dem District Likely Republican: -1

Projected Net Democratic Gain:  36 seats

That is a pretty conservative estimate, as things stand today, of how many seats the Democratic Party could win.  If the Kavanaugh nomination fails, I could see that energizing Republican voters to help hold down their losses, though stopping the Democrats from taking a majority in the House seems almost out of reach for the Republicans.  Where a failed Kavanaugh nomination would help the most in in helping the GOP keep a majority in the Senate by ginning up Republican enthusiasm.

That is what the U.S. House races look 40 days out.  Bet the farm.

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