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Old 11-15-2012, 03:44 PM
 
755 posts, read 614,330 times
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With the 2012 Election in the books (mostly; at present a few races do remain uncalled, with Democrats leading in all five races) we can already begin to make a few basic observations about the upcoming mid-term elections. I'd like to look at the House of Representatives.

First, a Review of 2012
When the dust finally settles (assuming the five outstanding races all ultimately go to the Democrats who are leading in each case), the GOP will control the House of Representatives, 234-201. Interestingly, for the first time since 1996 the party which got fewer votes nationwide for its
candidates ends up controlling the House. This is a demonstration of how beneficial the 2010 GOP wave turned out to be at the state level for Republican. By capturing so many governorships and statehouses, they were able to play a disproportionate role in affecting redistricting in 2011.

Effects of Redistricting in 2014
The affects of redistricting fade over time, with shifting populations and changing demographic voting tendencies altering districts. That said, 2014 will be only four years out from the 2010 census, so such changes will not yet have become overly significant. While the GOP will not likely be able to leverage redistricting into quite as many seats as they did this time around, it will still prove helpful in the mid-terms.

The Nature of Mid-terms
The long-term trend is that mid-term elections favor that party that does not control the White House; this trend has held for 13 of the past 15 mid-term elections (ie, 87% of mid-terms over that span). On the other hand, those two exceptions both occurred within the past four mid-term elections (1998 and 2002), meaning the short-term trend presents a more ambiguous picture.

Further complicating the picture is the nature of second-term mid-terms. In three of the last four of these (2006, 1986 and 1974 -- excluding 1998, and counting 1974 as the second-term mid-term of the Nixon/Ford Presidency), the party of the incumbent second-term President has suffered losses in the House of Representatives. Yet all of these were Republican Presidencies; the sole exception to this trend, 1998, was under a Democratic President and actually saw the party of the incumbent President Clinton gain a handful of House seats. It is also worth noting that the 1986 losses for the Republican were modest; the Democrats gained only 5 seats. And it might be noted that those particularly bad years of 1974 and 2006 were due in large part to notably unpopular administrations.

The Take-Away
What does this all suggest? Aside from knowing the specific political lay of the land in 2014, the trend seems to indicate modest Republican success in the House in 2014, perhaps in the high single digits in terms of the number of seats gained. Of course, this may well be altered by political events between now and then, and the relatively popularity of the parties 23 months from now. But not knowing those variables, the best that can be done at present is make educated guesses based on historical trends and known quantities.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:26 AM
 
755 posts, read 614,330 times
Reputation: 438
A very interesting article by Nate Silver at 538 on the Democrats' House odds in 2014.

Democrats Unlikely to Regain House in 2014 - NYTimes.com
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Old 11-02-2014, 04:26 PM
 
Location: United States
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Two years later and predictions of Democrat House success blow up in their faces.

This will be the biggest legislative landslide since Newt and his gang in '94!
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