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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

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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

    Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

    The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

    Political Crumbs

    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.


    Home Field Advantage?

    When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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