Just the Facts

Five Facts on Which Party Will Win the House

By No Labels
October 25, 2018 | Blog

The midterm elections are 21 days away and all eyes are on which party will control the House and the Senate.  Here is what the experts are saying about which party will take control of the House:

The Republican Party has held the majority in the House of Representatives since 2010

From 2006 to 2008 the Democratic Party gained a combined 56 seats in the House of Representatives, putting them in firm control of the lower chamber. However, in 2010, spurred by strong public opposition to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Republican Party gained an impressive 64 seats in the 2010 midterms, once again putting the GOP in the majority with 242 members. While Republicans suffered minor losses in 2012 and 2016, they currently hold a 241-194 majority in the House.

FiveThirtyEight, a statistical analysis website, gives Democrats an 81.1% chance of winning the majority in the House of Representatives

As of October 25, the FiveThirtyEight model predicted that Democrats would flip 35 House seats, giving the party a majority of 230-205.  Overall, the model gives Democrats an 80% chance of winning 18 to 54 seats, a 10% chance of gaining fewer than 18 seats, and a 10% chance of gaining more than 54 seats.  While it gives Republicans an 18.9% chance of keeping control of the House — meaning they would lose only 17 seats — it gives the party less than a 0.1% chance of gaining a single seat.

The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election analysis company, estimates that Republicans will have to defend far more hotly contested seats than Democrats

Cook uses four different qualifiers to rate races: solid, likely, lean, or toss-up. If a seat is solid Republican or Democrat, Cook considers it highly likely that it will be won by that party.  Conversely, if a seat is a toss-up, either party has a good chance of winning. As of October 25, Democrats held 182 seats that were considered solid, compared to 142 for Republicans.  However, what is perhaps most concerning for Republicans in the House, is that 29 seats currently held by Republicans have been designated as toss-ups, 13 have been categorized as leaning Democratic, and 4 are considered likely Democratic.  This is in comparison to only 1 Democratic seat categorized as a toss-up, 1 categorized as lean Republican, and 1 designated as likely Republican.

Sabato’s Crystal Ball, an election handicapping website run by Larry Sabato, a professor at the University of Virginia, is also predicting Republicans will have to defend far more contested seats than Democrats

Sabato’s Crystal Ball uses the same qualifiers as Cook and currently rates 20 Republican-held seats as toss-ups, 15 as lean Democratic, 2 as likely Democratic, and 3 as safe Democratic. In contrast, it rates only 1 Democratic held seat as a toss-up, 1 as lean Republican, and 1 as safe Republican.

CBS News/YouGov Battleground Tracker released on Sunday projects Democrats to hold 226 seats in the House compared to 209 for Republicans

The updated results show a positive trend for Democrats as the same poll projected the party to win 222 seats when it was last updated in August.  However, it by no means guarantees Democrats will take control of the House as the projection has a margin of error of 14 seats.  Interestingly, the tracker also ran two additional simulations with either high or low voter turnout against the baseline of previous midterm elections.  These results predict that Democrats will control 235 seats if turnout is high, a comfortable majority, compared to 217 seats if the turnout is low, a result that would keep the party 1 seat short of a majority.

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