Doug’s Predictions

At Outside the Beltway Doug Mataconis makes his predictions for the midterm elections:

Taking all of that into account, here’s my prediction for the House:

Current makeup of the House:

Republicans — 235 seats
Democrats — 193 seats
Vacant — 7 seats

Makeup of the House after Election Day:

Democrats — 230 seats
Republicans — 205 seats

Net Democratic gain +37 seats

while for the Senate he predicts no net change.

That’s essentially what I’ve been predicting for months now although I think the Republicans will probably do slightly better than he does, gaining a seat in the Senate and losing the House more narrowly than he predicts.

However, as pundits chastened by their own poor predictive performance in 2016 have been saying, anything can happen. Democrats could pick up 60 seats in the House and a half dozen in the Senate; Republicans could pick up several seats in the Senate and hold the House. It depends not just on how many voters show up to vote but whose voters show up and on that the polls may just be flat wrong.

12 comments… add one
  • CuriousOnlooker Link

    As it stands the polling in the House tends to be about a 30-35 D pickup. However, the majority of all public polling of all districts has come from the New York Times “live polling project”. So its biases (if any, whichever way it is) is unusually influential in projections.

    Here’s my benchmark on things.
    2006 – a 5 point swing to D’s gained them 30 seats.
    2010 – a 9 point swing to R’s gained them 63 seats.
    1994 – a 6 point swing to R’s gained them 54 seats.
    1974 – a 5.5 point swing to D’s gained them 49 seats.

  • So many of the predictions are circular, a priori that it’s hard to know what to believe.

  • Andy Link

    “So many of the predictions are circular, a priori that it’s hard to know what to believe.”

    Which is why I’m pretty much ignoring the whole thing. We’ll find out soon enough.

  • Guarneri Link

    Can’t get excited about poll recitations. The polls and polling processes have been corrupted. I do think there will be two primary driving forces. 1) How much was 2016 an anti-Hillary vote that may split more evenly this time and 2) how much are Trumps antics only playing with the base but not motivating a broader audience.

    Both sides hard cores are motivated and will get out.

  • Gray Shambler Link

    And the polls and early voting predict a high turnout, that may prove to be overblown, which would work in Trump’s favor.
    We won’t know today or maybe even for a few how it turns out.

  • steve Link

    Still think the GOP holds the house. The splits are pretty even in most states and the Dems need to win 57% of the votes just to win 50% of the seats. That and the voter suppression efforts will pay off. Pretty hard to do.


  • CuriousOnlooker Link

    The Democrats have been polling at 50% in RCP and at that level, polling shows they will control the house.

    Its very unlikely Democrats will get > 53% of the vote since in 2008 they got 53%. I predict Democrats will get between 48-53% (their 2016 result – 2008 result).

    No party has achieved > 53% of the vote since 1986 (before the modern era of a competitive House of Representatives).

  • PD Shaw Link

    My prediction has been unchanged for about six months:

    Democrats gain 9 seat majority in the House;
    Republicans net 2 additional seats in the Senate

  • PD Shaw Link

    @steve, the source of that 7% figure said gerrymandering effects are overstated, but what is significant is the geographic sorting of the party constituents.


  • walt moffett Link

    I’ll just go with there will be much rending of garments, gnashing of teeth and hearing the dreaded “told ya so”.

  • steve Link

    First, I misstated. What I meant was they needed a 7% margin of victory. Next, winning more than 53% is not unusual historically, but CO is correct that it is now. Last, I guess I should make it clear that this not only a GOP thing. This has worked to the advantage of Dems in the past also. Raw data at link.


  • Guarneri Link

    Pritzker blows away Rauner. Free beer for all.

    Say a prayer for our friend Dave. IL is committing full blown suicide.

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