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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

    Strange Bedfellows: A Historical Review of Divided US Senate Delegations

    Over the last century, states have been twice as likely to be represented by a single political party in the U.S. Senate than have a split delegation; only Delaware, Iowa, and Illinois have been divided more than half the time.

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    The North Carolina U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis may go down to the wire next Tuesday, but along the way Libertarian nominee Sean Haugh is poised to set a state record for a non-major party candidate. Haugh, who previously won 1.5 percent of the vote in the Tar Heel State's 2002 race, has polled at or above five percent in 10 of the last 12 polls that included his name. The current high water mark for a third party or independent candidate in a North Carolina U.S. Senate election is just 3.3 percent, recorded by Libertarian Robert Emory back in 1992. Only one other candidate has eclipsed the three percent mark - Libertarian Christopher Cole with 3.1 percent in 2008.


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