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Final Forecast: Democrats Are Clear Favorites To Maintain Control Of The House

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Final Forecast: Democrats Are Clear Favorites To Maintain Control Of The House

In 2018, the Democrats took the house back thanks to a blue wave that ran right through America’s suburbs. Now the question is, can you hold on to that majority?

The answer is likely yes, as Democrats are clear favorites according to the final version of FiveThirtyEight’s House’s prediction, giving them a 97-100 chance of gaining control of the house.

Final Forecast: Democrats Are Clear Favorites To Maintain Control Of The House 1

Overall, the house competition appears to be significantly less dramatic than the race for the presidency or the Senate, both of which are far more competitive. Democrats currently control 233 seats out of the GOP’s 201 seats, with retired libertarian MP Justin Amash being the only third party member in the chamber. To win the house back, Republicans would need 17 seats net profit to get a majority of 218. This is one reason why their chances of taking the board back are so slim (3 in 100). That’s many house seats in a presidential cycle since a party has only won that many twice in the last 10 presidential elections.

But perhaps the even bigger reason Democrats are preferred to keep control of the House – and maybe win the White House and even the Senate – is that the electoral environment is looking pretty good for their party. If we look at our general Congressional ballot tracker poll average, which includes all polls asking respondents if they want to vote for Democrat or Republican in their local Congressional race, Democrats lead 7.3 percentage points. That margin speaks for a strong national environment for Democrats and is not far from the 8.7-point lead Democrats had in the 2018 midterm elections. And as the following graphic shows, this lead hasn’t fluctuated much over the past year.

Final Forecast: Democrats Are Clear Favorites To Maintain Control Of The House 3

What this meant in practical terms is that the general electoral environment has increased the House Democrats’ chances, but most importantly, it has given a leg to those who captured Republican seats in 2018 and are now seeking re-election. Of the 41 Democrats who changed seats in 2018 – without one who stepped down and another who switched parties – 30 have at least one 3-4 shot to hold onto their seat. This is despite the fact that President Trump carried 20 of those 41 seats when he won in 2016. These conditions, along with strong democratic fundraising and mediocre Republican candidate recruitment have left a fairly short list of Democratic incumbents in many key races at serious risk of defeat, as the table below shows.

Most House Democrats in competitive races have a good chance

Democratic House incumbents who seek re-election and have less than a 95 percent chance of winning, according to final numbers from the deluxe version of FiveThirtyEight’s forecast

circleOfficialUpside down GOP seat in 2018Chance of winningrating
MN-07Collin Peterson19%Probably R.
OK-05Kendra Horn51Toss-up
NM-02Xochitl Torres Klein55Toss-up
UT-04Ben McAdams56Toss-up
CA-21TJ Cox58Toss-up
NY-11Max Rose58Toss-up
SC-01Joe Cunningham64Lean D.
CA-48Harley Rouda68Lean D.
NV-04Steven Horsford72Lean D.
NY-22Anthony Brindisi73Lean D.
CA-39Gil Cisneros74Lean D.
GA-06Lucy McBath74Lean D.
TX-07Lizzie Pannill Fletcher75Lean D.
NJ-07Tom Malinowki76Probably D.
OR-04Peter DeFazio78Probably D.
VA-07Abigail Spanberger79Probably D.
FL-27Donna Shalala81Probably D.
FL-26Debbie Mucarsel-Powell82Probably D.
NV-03Susie Lee83Probably D.
NH-01Chris Pappas84Probably D.
TX-32Colin Allred84Probably D.
WI-03Ron child84Probably D.
IA-03Cindy Axne84Probably D.
IL-06Sean Casten87Probably D.
VA-02Elaine Luria87Probably D.
IL-14Lauren Underwood87Probably D.
IA-01Abby Finkenauer87Probably D.
AZ-01Tom O’Halleran88Probably D.
PA-17Conor lamb89Probably D.
CA-10Josh Harder92Probably D.
PA-08Matt Cartwright92Probably D.
WED-11Haley Stevens93Probably D.
NJ-03Andy Kim93Probably D.
MN-02Angie Craig93Probably D.
CA-45Katie Porter94Probably D.
NC-01G.K. Butterfield94Probably D.
WED-08Elissa Slotkin94Probably D.
NY-19Antonio Delgado94Probably D.

In other words, these seemingly more competitive seats are for the most part not necessarily that tight, which limits the GOP’s path back to a majority. Yet a handful of Democratic incumbents are at risk of loss. In fact, the most vulnerable incumbent of either party is Minnesota Democratic MP Collin Peterson, who has a 5-way chance of re-election in a seat Trump won by 31 points four years ago. according to Daily Kos Elections. In addition to Peterson, five other Democrats fall into the “toss-up” area in our forecast: representatives Kendra Horn from Oklahoma, TJ Cox from California, Max Rose from New York, Xochitl Torres Small from New Mexico and Ben McAdams from Utah. Of this quintet, Cox is the outlier because he’s the only one sitting in a seat that’s pretty democratic at the presidential level – Trump lost him by 16 points in 2016 – while the others hold all the seats that Trump won by at least 7 points Has . But Cox’s seat is probably one of the better recruiting situations for candidates for the GOP than an ex-Representative. David Valadao, who Cox defeated by less than 1 point in 2018, is back for a rematch.

Aside from the strength of their incumbents, the Democrats have benefited from the sheer number of Republican retirements this year. Not to mention a few primary GOP challenges As a result, some established companies lost their renominations. Although the tenure advantage is not nearly as strong as it used to be, it is more difficult for the incumbent party to keep open seats, and the disproportionate number of Republicans leave the house left a vulnerable turf to defend. As the table below shows, this means that Republicans will defend almost all 17 open seats where neither party is a safe bet.

Republicans defend more competitive open seats

Democratic chances of winning open house seats where the incumbent party has a less than 95 percent chance of winning according to the final figures from the deluxe version of FiveThirtyEight’s forecast

circleOfficialDem. Opportunitiesrating
NC-02R.100%Sure D.
NC-06R.100Sure D.
IA-02D.88Probably D.
TX-23R.74Lean D.
NY-02R.57Toss-up
IN-05R.50Toss-up
VA-05R.49Toss-up
TX-24R.48Toss-up
WED-03L.44Toss-up
GA-07R.43Toss-up
CO-03R.39Lean R.
TX-22R.32Lean R.
NC-11R.27Lean R.
MT-ALR.23Probably R.
FL-15R.19thProbably R.
KS-02R.9Probably R.
APPROX. 50R.5Probably R.

While Democrats are downright favorites in only three GOP-held seats, this trio makes up half of the seats six seats that Hillary Clinton wore in 2016 that Republicans still control (GOP incumbents run in the other three). Two of them are thanks to almost democratic pickups North Carolina’s judicial redistributionwhich made these seats much more democratic and depressed the retirement of two Republican incumbents. And the resignation of Republican MP Will Hurd in the 23rd Congressional District of Texas, who Trump lost by 3 points in 2016, has given Democratic candidate Gina Ortiz Jones a clear head start there. In addition, Democrats roughly even bet on winning a number of other open Republican districts, including suburban seats like the 5th Congressional District of Indiana near Indianapolis and the 2nd Congressional District of New York on Long Island, both of which have been left open through retirements . You also have a chance to win GOP-controlled seats where the incumbent has lost the renomination, such as the 5th Congressional District of Virginia and the 3rd Congressional District of Colorado. Additionally, only one open seat held by Democrats – Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District – is even in play, and the Democrats have a nearly 9 in 10 chance of keeping it.

After all, the Democrats are also in an enviable position because they can also defeat some Republican incumbents in competitive competitions. While only 13 Democratic incumbents seeking re-election have less than a 3-4 chance of winning re-election, slightly more Republicans – 14 – are in the same position. The only advantage for Republicans, however, is that none of their incumbents is a clear underdog, as the table below shows. Most of these races could be of some reach for Democrats in hopes of improving their margins.

House Republicans whose seats are not “safe”

Republican House incumbents who seek re-election and have less than a 95 percent chance of winning, according to final numbers from the deluxe version of FiveThirtyEight’s forecast

circleOfficialChance of winningrating
CA-25Mike Garcia45%Toss-up
NJ-02Jeff Van Drew50Toss-up
PA-10Scott Perry52Toss-up
AZ-06David Schweikert57Toss-up
OH-01Steve Chabot58Toss-up
MN-01Jim Hawthorn60Lean R.
NE-02Don Bacon60Lean R.
IL-13Rodney Davis63Lean R.
NY-24John Katko64Lean R.
NC-08Richard Hudson66Lean R.
AR-02French hill66Lean R.
MO-02Ann Wagner69Lean R.
TX-21Chip Roy71Lean R.
WED-06Fred Upton71Lean R.
AK-ALDon Young79Probably R.
WA-03Jaime Herrera Beutler82Probably R.
PA-01Brian Fitzpatrick84Probably R.
KY-06Andy Barr85Probably R.
NY-01Lee Zeldin86Probably R.
TX-25Roger Williams89Probably R.
NC-09Dan Bishop90Probably R.
WED-07Tim Walberg90Probably R.
FL-16Vern Buchanan90Probably R.
TX-03Van Tayor90Probably R.
OH-10Mike Turner91Probably R.
TX-10Michael McCaul92Probably R.
TX-06Ron Wright92Probably R.
FL-18Brian Mast93Probably R.
VA-01Rob Wittman93Probably R.
CA-42Ken Calvert93Probably R.
TX-31John Carter94Probably R.
OH-12Troy Balderson94Probably R.
MN-08Pete Stauber95Probably R.

GOP Rep. Mike Garcia, who won a special election earlier this year to fill a position in California’s 25th Congressional District, is running as Republican most vulnerable. But along with Garcia, four others are involved in throwing competitions: the representatives Jeff Van Drew from New Jersey, Scott Perry from Pennsylvania, David Schweikert from Arizona and Don Bacon from Nebraska. Van Drew won as a Democrat in 2018 though switched parties after Vote against the charges against TrumpI probably think he’d have an easier time being a Republican in a district that backed Trump by about 5 points in 2016, but the race is very close and he was taken by surprise by the Democrat Amy Kennedy – Yes, part of The Kennedy family. Bacon, meanwhile, is defending a seat that could also be of great importance in the president’s race, as Nebraska gives each of its congressional districts a single vote and its 2nd district votes for Biden rather than Trump.

Bottom line: Democrats have benefited from an overall democratic national environment, in addition to a number of strong Democratic incumbents, a significant number of competitive open seats held by Republicans, and some vulnerable GOP officials. There is no blurring in our forecast: Democrats are in a very strong position to maintain control of the house. We’ll see what happens when the votes are counted, but a democratic hold would be one of the less surprising results of this election.

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