Today, Democrats lead the generic Congressional ballot, as they have for most of the campaign. However, taking control of the House does not come with a popular vote win, because redistricting and incumbency give a +2.5% advantage to Republicans. Therefore the probability of a change in control is only 18-33%. This is in a zone I define as knife-edge, meaning that substantial uncertainty remains. I give lists and maps of swing Congressional districts to guide Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) efforts.
Here is an updated House prediction – and recommended places for GOTV – all over the US.
This is a season of inversions. Yesterday I highlighted the possibility (about 1 in 4) of an electoral vote “mismatch,” i.e. the chance that President Obama would be re-elected but Mitt Romney would win the popular vote. However, there is a second undemocratic risk, one that will persist for years: the House of Representatives.
Several weeks ago, I pointed out (“Bush v. Gore times five,” October 16) that partisan redistricting of an unusual intensity has created a situation in which one side, the GOP, has an advantage of 2.5% before any votes are counted.
Things are close, and a Democratic takeover is not ruled out. For those on either side who want to fight!, I give maps of swing districts to show where your Get Out The Vote efforts can be most effective.
House prediction update
Today I give two new updates, based on (a) my prior analysis and (b) on Pollster.com data. They are not all that different.
The Pollster.com generic Congressional polls give a post-debate-1 median of D+1.0+/-0.5% (n=11, Oct. 4-22). However, 10% are still undecided. I estimate the outcome as D+1.0+/-3.0%. Republican retention of the House is likely but not certain. What is certain is that the House will be more closely divided.
Pollster.com also gives a breakdown of individual races. Individual district polls, where available, give a similar picture. They have 17 tossup races, 19 leaning D, and 18 leaning R – a total of 54 races in play. The remainder are relatively safe, 171 D and 210 R.
From these numbers come the following predictions:
- Generic ballot-based: 213 +/- 9 D, 222 +/- 9 R.
- District-by-district: 199 +/- 12 D, 236 +/- 12 R.
- Democratic takeover probability: 18-33%.
- Combined Bayesian prediction: 208 +/- 4 D, 227 +/- 4 R.
In summary: conditions are unfavorable for a Democratic takeover of the House – but it’s not out of the question. One thing is for certain: the 113th Congress will be more closely divided.
Swing Congressional districts near you
Another is to Get Out the Vote (GOTV) in a swing Congressional district near you. I don’t have a search app yet (see “Crowdsourcing request,” October 23). But I do have the following maps to help you plan your GOTV activity. Get out the walking shoes!
Midwest (see map at the top of this post): IA-03 and 04; MN-08; WI-07; MI-01 and 11; IN-08; IL-10, 11, 12, 13, and 17; OH-06 and 16; and KY-06.
South: TX-23, NC-07, GA-12, FL-10, FL-18, FL-22, FL-26.
Northeast (NY/PA/NJ/CT): PA-08 and 12; NY-01, 11, 18, 21, 24, and 27; NJ-03; and CT-05.
New England: RI-01; NH-01 and NH-02 (also CT-05, above).
Southwest: UT-04; AZ-01 and 09; and CO-03 and 06.
West: WA-01; NV-03 and 04; and CA-07, 09, 10, 24, 26, 36, 41, and 52.
Many thanks to Lyndon Estes for the maps.