Will Democrats regain control of Congress?
This question dominates discussion of the upcoming midterms, with eyes fixed on the U.S. House of Representatives. Interest in the success of a blue wave has spawned a sea of predictions offering outcomes for each of the 435 seats.
Joining the fray on Wednesday, Politico released its “inaugural” 2018 race scores, which labeled the House as leaning Democrat.
A corresponding Politico article about the predictions called 60 GOP-held seats “precariously positioned” - naming retiring GOP incumbents, fundraising reports and redistricting forms among its reasons - though the numerical breakdown gave Democrats the edge by a single seat: 206 to 205, with the remaining 24 “toss-ups.”
While Democratic supporters might view this as cause for celebration, other predictions that show a different outcome.
Based on FairVote’s 2018 Monopoly Politics projections, which project outcomes based exclusively on previous election results, we would only expect Democrats to retake the House if 54.3 percent of voters favor Democrats in the midterms - a blue wave of similar force to what we saw in 2006 and 1974.
The latest race ratings from Cook Political Report also retained a Republican majority in the House, with GOP taking 240 seats when factoring in races that are still considered toss-ups.
What to make of these conflicting predictions?
While the noncompetitive nature of single winner districts makes it easy to accurately predict an increasing number of congressional races, the “toss-up” seats remain decidedly, well, undecided. Even the plethora of prediction formulas can’t say for certain what party will rule the House after the midterms.
What we do know is that up until Election Day the prognosticators will keep on making projections. Sometime after Nov. 6, we’ll know if anybody got it right.
Read Politico’s full race scores here.