Big 3 of election predictions all say Democrats likely to win the House

· November 6, 2018  
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Nancy Pelosi in red
Alex Wong | Getty Images

The three big election forecasters are all saying that Democrats are on the verge of winning control of the House of Representatives after today’s midterm elections.

The final race ratings from the Cook Political Report, FiveThirtyEight, and the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics each show Democrats well within striking distance of making Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaker again.

The Cook Political Report rates 75 House seats as “competitive,” with 70 of those seats currently held by Republican incumbents. House editor for the Cook Political Report David Wasserman writes that a “Red Exodus” is boosting the Democrats’ chances: “Of Republicans’ 41 open seats, 15 are rated as Toss Ups or worse, and another five are only in Lean Republican.”

Just by winning all of the races at least “leaning” their way, Democrats would net 16 of the 23 seats they need for a majority. In that scenario, Democrats would only need to win eight of the 30 races in Toss Up to win control (they currently hold one Toss Up, Minnesota’s 1st CD). Conversely, Republicans would likely need to win 23 of the 30 Toss Up races to keep their majority. That’s not impossible, but it’s very difficult.

FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver is giving Democrats an 86 percent chance of retaking the House. He stresses that even such a high chance does not mean Democrats are certain to take the House. It’s possible for Republicans to keep their House majority, though unlikely.

Finally, University of Virginia Professor Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball ratings project 229 seats leaning to the Democrats and 206 at least leaning to the Republicans.

Writing together, Sabato and Kyle Kondik warn that it is as likely they are underestimating the Republicans’ chances as it is they are underestimating the Democrats’ chances to blow out the GOP.

Our ratings changes leave 229 seats at least leaning to the Democrats and 206 at least leaning to the Republicans, so we are expecting the Democrats to pick up more than 30 seats (our precise ratings now show Democrats netting 34 seats in the House, 11 more than the 23 they need). We have long cautioned against assuming the House was a done deal for the Democrats, and we don’t think readers should be stunned if things go haywire for Democrats tomorrow night. That said, it may be just as likely — or even more likely — that we’re understating the Democrats in the House. Many of our sources on both sides seemed to think the Democratic tally would be more like +35 to 40 (or potentially even higher) when we checked in with them over the weekend.

So do these projections mean that Democrats are certain to retake the House? Not at all. In 2016, President Donald Trump definitively demonstrated that the analysis of election forecasters isn’t gospel truth. There is still a chance that Republicans can capitalize on the strong economy and that President Trump’s strong position against illegal immigration rallies enough of his supporters to turn out and mitigate GOP losses.

But important factors are pointing to a strong position for the Democrats. The surest way to prevent that from happening, of course, is to vote — and take five conservatives with you.


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Author: Chris Pandolfo

Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.

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