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Smart Politics Projections: U.S. House Races

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Smart Politics’ final set in its series of national and Upper Midwestern federal and state electoral projections is the balance of power in the U.S. House.

Smart Politics Projections: The U.S. House

Even before the financial crisis hit the U.S. two months ago, Democrats were poised to pick-up several seats from the Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives. Democratic party identification has been stronger nationwide than the Republicans all year, and, perhaps equally important, Republicans were forced to defend many more competitive districts after 2006 than the Democrats – despite the 31-seat Democratic gain.

In 2006, Republicans won 35 races decided by 10 points or less, compared to 29 for the Democrats. Republicans also won 43 contests decided by between 11 and 19 points, compared to just 22 for the Democrats. This puts more seats in play on its face for the Democrats, regardless of the political temperature.

Democrats also won far more blowout victories in 2006 – those districts that are ‘very safe’:

· By a 45 to 10 margin of districts that were uncontested by the opposing major party.
· By a 42 to 5 margin of races decided by between 50 and 99 points.
· And by a 83 to 53 margin of contests decided by between 30 and 49 points.

As a result, Democrats were going to win around 20 seats before the financial crisis came into play. Democrats will lose a few seats in 2008, unlike 2006, but probably only a small handful, and those losses will be easily negated by pick-ups in approximately 30 districts.

Smart Politics Projections: Democrats +27. Democrats retain control of the U.S. House

Previous post: Smart Politics Projections: Minnesota State House (2008)
Next post: Upper Midwestern Election Results Links

1 Comment


  • Does this mean that Democrats will continue to rule the House?

    I just got back from voting. I live in a small city and had NO wait time at all. There was no one in line. Took less than 5 minutes. I'm glad I live in a small town! I also went at 10:30 am so as to avoid the long early lines.

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

    Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

    Political Crumbs

    Six for Thirteen

    Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


    Seeing Red

    Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


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