Monopoly Politics 2020

FairVote's biennial project Monopoly Politics presents an in-depth analysis of elections to the United States House of Representatives and a rigorous critique of the winner-take-all system used to elect it. The project includes our projections for all 435 seats in the 2020 elections, made two years before Election Day, illustrating the lack of competition in these elections. 

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High Confidence Projections

Our high confidence projections have been over 99% accurate over four election cycles. If we project a seat to be won by a high enough margin in a year in which the voters overall are about evenly divided between the two major parties, then we project the seat with high confidence for the party we expect to win. These projections can only change if a vacancy or retirement occurs, or if a state redistricts. For 2020, we make high confidence projections in 358 seats (82.6% of seats). Our high confidence projections are as follows, and scroll down to see which districts specifically are projected:

Democrats Republicans No Projection
168 19077

 

Full Projections

Our full projections for all 435 seats depend on two pieces of information about the 2020 elections we cannot predict: how much incumbents are favored and how much the nation leans toward one of the two major parties. Put in those pieces of information to see our projections for all 435 seats.

How much will the 2020 elections favor incumbents? Click on the button.

How much will the 2020 elections favor each political party? Move the slider below:

Republican seats: (%) Democratic seats: (%)

 

 

Click on a topic to begin.

House elections are broken

Our winner-take-all system has fundamentally broken elections to the U.S. House of Representatives. An overwhelming majority of voters live in districts locked up for one of the two major parties, and district lines fundamentally decide who wins and who loses, even when far out of step with the will of the voters.

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  • Elections are not competitive. More than 80 percent of U.S. House districts are safe for the party that holds them. Only a small fraction are true toss-ups. As a result, millions of Americans are perpetually represented by politicians they oppose, with little hope of changing things at the polls.
  • Outcomes are not fair. We project that in 2020, Democrats could lose control of the House of Representatives, even if a majority of voters want a Democratic House. Of the 38 states with at least three districts, 20 unfairly favor Republicans while 10 unfairly favor Democrats, and only eight have no significant skew in favor of either party.
  • Representatives are more polarized than voters. Voters in general elections must choose between polarized candidates selected by highly partisan primary voters, leaving less partisan Americans without a route to representation.

On November 9, 2018, FairVote projected the results of the 2020 elections. See our full projections at our interactive map, and on our interactive spreadsheet.

Our high confidence projections have been over 99 percent accurate across four election cycles, including being 100 percent accurate in 2012 and 2016. We have projected more than 80 percent of seats at this highest level of confidence since 2014. Our methodology relies only on prior voting data, without any modifications for campaign finance, public scandals, or opponent quality.

Our 2020 projections reveal:

  • 358 seats are safe enough to be called at our highest level of confidence, representing over 82.3 percent of districts.
  • Only 35 seats are truly in swing, not significantly favoring either major political party.
  • Even with Democrats benefiting from greater incumbency advantage, the underlying structural advantage for Republicans means that Democrats will lose the House in 2020 unless that year favors Democrats by about a four point margin, akin to the 2012 election.
  • In 19 states, we would expect one party to earn at least one seat more than their fair share by the statewide vote. Of those, 13 favor Republicans and six favor Democrats.

Our full projections are contingent on the nature of the year. Use the interactive map or spreadsheet linked above to see which districts would be projected for which party based on whether the year favors Republicans or Democrats.

Coming soon.

In the meantime, read our Monopoly Politics 2018 report, or see our 2020 projections on our interactive map and interactive spreadsheet.

State reports coming soon.

In the meantime, see the "Projections by State" tab in our interactive spreadsheet, or see our state reports from Monopoly Politics 2018.

Follow the links below for previous editions of the Monopoly Politics report. While the projection methodology has been refined over the years, it has remained remarkably accurate since its inception.

The projections are based on the innovative "district partisanship" metric introduced in the first Monopoly Politics report in 1997. District partisanship measures the partisan lean of each congressional district by comparing how each major party presidential candidate performed in the district relative to how they performed in the national popular vote.

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