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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Kondik: GOP Has 2014 Edge at Moment

It’s a little early to get all horse-racey, but Kyle Kondik has a Crystal Ball update on how the struggle for control of the House and Senate is shaping up, vis a vis the 2014 elections. Kondik’s nut graph for the Senate:

Looking at the big picture, we wouldn’t predict Democrats to capture any seats the Republicans currently hold. Republicans, meanwhile, should capture the aforementioned open seats in Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia and also defeat at least one Democratic incumbent (most likely that’s Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas). That would be a net Senate gain of at least four, with more than a puncher’s chance of netting two more seats and winning a majority.

And for the House:

At the moment, Republicans hold a lead of about three points in averages of House generic ballot surveys, a good measurement of the national mood in the race for the House. Those generic ballot figures would translate to a gain of roughly 10 House seats for the GOP in 2014, according to a model from the Crystal Ball’s Alan Abramowitz. That might be a bit too high on a map where there aren’t a ton of great targets for either side, but we’ve reverted to our pre-shutdown outlook: Republicans seem likelier to make a small gain in the House than Democrats. As we wait to see what happens to the national environment, we’re also mulling a number of other House ratings changes, most of which would be moves in the Republicans’ direction. Stay tuned.

Lots of wild cards still to be played, including Dems’ edge in the ground game and demographic transformation favoring Democrats. But we can be clear that now is not a good time for Democratic complacency. Do read Kondik’s post for illuminating particulars on individual races.

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