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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

House Update: Another Democratic Wave

While most of the national attention has been focused on the presidential election, with some on the Democratic drive to make major gains in the Senate, a dramatic shift in the House looks increasingly likely as well. A rare second straight “wave” election for Democrats is now probable, and gains could possibly match or exceed the 31 seats picked up in 2006.
Four months ago I was on a panel with Cook Political Report House editor David Wasserman, and he was then projecting relatively modest Democratic gains in the neighborhood of 10 seats or so. As of his latest update, Wasserman’s now predicting Democratic gains between 24-30 seats. Just as interestingly, the Cookies’ analysis of battleground districts shows the extent to which the House map is being played out on Republican turf. Of 58 competitive races (defined as those that are leaning D or R, or are tossups), 42 are in Republican districts, and only 16 in Democratic districts. Even more astoundingly, 30 of 35 tossup races are in Republican-held districts.
As Democracy Corps has been showing all year in its polling of relatively vulnerable Republican districts, Democrats have maintained and then expanded an advantage in the top tier of 20 battleground seats, and are highly competitive in a second and third tier. Despite constant GOP efforts to identify House Democrats with the status quo, voters continue to perceive Republicans as the party resisting needed change.
What’s most shocking about the likely outcome of House races tomorrow is that as recently as four years ago, the conventional wisdom in Washington held that gerrymandering virtually guaranteed a Republican majority in the House until the next redistricting round after 2010. Even taking the low end of Wasserman’s projections for Democratic gains, we’d have Democrats holding a 259-175 margin in the House. That’s a hair under 60%. Amazing.
UPCATEGORY: Democratic Strategist

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