How many House seats will the GOP gain this fall ? And which seats are likely to flip ? In general, there has been little specific discussion about this topic, other than political commentators’ giving various estimates, with little in the way of supporting data. In this article, we would like to, using publicly available data, report how we think the race for the House stands right now.
To keep the mathematics simple, the first and most important number is the partisan breakdown of the House – 256 Democrats and 179 Republicans (technically, there are a handful of vacancies, but for purposes of this analysis, we’re allocating the open seats to the party who held the seat). To gain control of the House, the GOP must pick up 39 more seats than they lose. This “net number” is crucial, because even in the 1980 and 1994 GOP landslides, four House seats were picked up by Democrats each time. Only in the 2006 Democratic landslide was there a “perfect sweep” – not a single Democratic held seat changed hands.
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John is a political consultant and blogger with JMC Enterprises with expertise in poll sample development and analysis, development of targeted voter files for phone canvassing or mail outs, campaign strategy and demographic consulting, among other things. See his site at WinWithJMC.com for more information.