As always in a presidential election cycle, we focus attention on that race, but Congress is in many ways more important. Is there any chance control will shift?
It’ll probably depend a lot on coat-tails, both positive and negative. Depending on who gets each party’s nomination, a lot of congressional candidates are going to be asked “Do you agree with your party’s nominee on _____?”. And of course, the House is always at least theoretically in play.
Given that the GOP has a 4-seat Senate majority, there’s always the chance that they could keep from losing more than 3 seats, even if they fail to regain the White House.
And conversely, if the GOP nominee is Trump or Cruz, the Dems could easily have a big enough win to retake the House.
Basically the break-even point is at a PVI of R+2. IOW, if the Dems take every seat that’s no more Republican than 2 percentage points more than the national mean, they win the House back, 220-215. Or equivalently, if they win at least as many seats with >R+2 PVI than they lose with no greater than R+2 PVI.
When Obama won in 2008, the Dems did a lot better than that. And it’s quite plausible that Hillary could win a similar majority when running against Cruz or Trump, because they’re far less attractive candidates than John McCain was.
Someone who’s ideologically ® but not a Trump or Cruz fan might be inclined to abstain or vote (D) (or some oddball party) for President if Trump or Cruz wins the ® nomination.
But that’s no reason for that same voter to not vote ® for Congresscritters. Even a moderate ® will prefer a more ®-heavy Congress to restrain the worst they fear a (D) President will do.
We can be sure that if the ® nomination goes to a relative radical there will be a lot of advertising by the ® Establishment PACs to drum up ® turnout for every Congressional race.
IMO the critical thing for this election on both sides will be to drum up actual voting, not just facebook posting or barroom boasting. Widespread slacktivism amongst your supporters is death. And both sides clearly understand this.
Given the massive increases in mail-in and early voting, this election may well be over in September with nothing left but to actually count the ballots. The trick will be that nobody will know that for sure. The equivalent of exit polling for early voters and of mail-in voters is a nascent technique.
It’d be awesome if each ballot was timestamped when cast so at least in hindsight after Election Day the trajectory of the two parties’ results could clearly be seen. The future of electioneering would never be the same if that data was reliably available after 2016.
And this is a large part of how coat-tails work. With Trump on the ticket, a sane conservative might decide to just stay home, in which case he isn’t going to vote for the Senate or House either. And a normally-disengaged liberal might find stopping Trump to be worth the bother of going to the polls, but then decide that once he’s there, he might as well check the D box in a few other places, too.
Yes, but fail to overlook redistricting that has happened since then. In 2010, there was the faintest glimmer of hope that my congressional district could, just maybe, kick the R out for a D (he is not such a bad guy, really, but he is a bootlicking Republican, which erases all the positives). Now my district has been slopped over to the east side, increasing its geographical area to about double and totally eliminating any chance whatsoever that our rep will not br an R. From what I can tell, the balance of locks of this kind has tilted in the direction of the Rs. The Ds have very little genuine hope of getting back the House. Seriously.
The Senate might go either way but the House is staying Republican unless the Democrats start doing better with rural white (especially Southern) voters again which would only happen if Trump functions as sort of a halfway house between the Republicans and Democrats much as George Wallace did for the reverse back in 1968.
It seems from your title and OP that you think the Democrats control the Senate now. They don’t. You know that, right…?
The Republicans, of late, have been bumbling fools and could very well lose the Senate. As I’m sure you know, you have to look at who is up for re-election and IIRC, the tables are turned this time around (relative to 2 years ago). And with a weak GOP presidential candidate, almost a certainty at this point, the Democrats might easily retake the Senate.
But the House is safe for the GOP. I think we all know that.
No, the point of PVI is that it measures the degree to which things are skewed by the nature of the districts.
In a perfect world, one party or the other would be able to win the House by taking all of the districts where that party had the advantage, plus all the even districts. But right now, the Dems would have to take all of the districts favoring Dems, plus all the even districts, plus all the R+1 and R+2 districts, to get that 220-215 majority.
That’s the degree of the skew, the measure of how uphill it is for the Dems to retake the House. But when Obama won the election by 7 percentage points in 2008. the Dems won scads of R+2 through R+4 House seats, and even a good number of R+5 through R+7 seats.
So if Hillary can win by that sort of margin against Cruz or Trump, the Dems should retake the House. They almost surely wouldn’t get nearly as big a House majority as they got in 2008 due to the redistricting, but a 7-point win should result in some level of Dem House majority.
The last trade on the Iowa Prediction Market was a bet that the GOP is 51.1% to still have both Houses of Congress in 2017. The Democrats are shown with a 4.5% shot at getting both Houses.
The Democrats could win the House, but that would probably take another government shutdown, which is why there hasn’t been a government shutdown and why the GOP gave Democrats almost everything they wanted to get a budget deal.
I’d give the Democrats a 50-50 chance to take the Senate right now.