* = Two Democrats and one Republican are running in a single, first past the post election. Democrat Colleen Hanabusa also has 25%.
Overall, these polls show Republicans gaining a net of six seats. That is on top of the six seats projected from open seats, and does not include any non-open seat districts not listed here. Further, given that Delaware at large is projected as a Democratic pickup both in this post and the post earlier today, it is actually a net Republican pickup of 13. They need 40 in order to retake the House.
Tomorrow, as I continue to move closer to producing an overall House forecast, I will be looking at incumbents who are endangered in districts where no polling has been conducted. Almost all of these endangered incumbents will be Democrats.
Heading into the 2010 elections, 31 of the 433 seats that are currently filled will also be "open" (that is, lacking an incumbent candidate). While 18 of those 31 seats are currently held by Republicans, and only 13 are currently held by Democrats, Republicans still stand to gain more pickups in those open seats than Democrats.
* = Because of the way PVI works, a national ballot lead of 1.27% for Republicans makes a D +0.6 district the tipping point.
Eight of the open districts currently (or formerly) held by Democrats have a partisan tilt more favorable to Republicans than current National House Ballot polling. By contrast, there are only two open districts currently held by Republicans that have a partisan title more favorable to Democrats than current National House ballot polling:
Even though there are a three more Republican-held open seats (18) than Democratic-held open seats (15), the negative national environment for Democrats makes Republicans favored to make more pickups (8) than Democrats (2) from these open seats.
There are many other factors in determining how an election goes than PVI and the national House vote. However, consider this a thumbnail sketch as I work on my first detailed, seat by seat House forecast (coming today or tomorrow). If this thumbnail sketch holds, then the partisan balance of the House would be Democrats 251--184 Republicans. So, if Republicans are going to take the House, they are going to have to defeat around three dozen Democratic incumbents. That is a tall task, but far from impossible.
Earlier in the week, in my first House forecast for 2010, I looked at generic congressional ballot polling from August 20th through September 17th. At that time, the most recent survey from the nine polling organizations to publish generic congressional ballots conducted entirely since August 20th showed Democrats ahead by 3.5%.
However, several generic congressional ballots have been released since that time, which cumulatively show the Democratic position improving. Here are the most recent surveys from the eight polling organizations that have published generic congressional ballots which were conducted entirely since President Obama's speech to a joint session of Congress. Most of the surveys can be found at Pollster.com.
Not only has the Democratic advantage expanded to 5.4%, up 1.9% from a few days ago, but the only two polls showing Democrats in any real trouble are both Republican outfits. The four non-partisan polls in this group show Democrats ahead by 8.8%, identical to their margin in 2008.
The problem Republicans face is that their members of Congress and leading spokespeople are engaging in pretty much the same behavior as their more bombastic astroturf / grassroots supporters. The image of "average citizens" yelling at powerful members of Congress plays well. The image of members of Congress engaging in the same behavior--not so much. In a sense, the lack of what Matt Stoller called a "rootsgap" in his farewell article at Open Left is keeping Republicans in a poor electoral position, while it keeps Democrats from passing good legislation. However, the Progressive Block is helping to solve that gap, and today I feel more optimistic about the short-term political future than I have in months.
This is the first Open Left House forecast for 2010. I currently estimate a Republican net gain of 17 seats, for a Democratic majority of 240-195--Chris
Over the past month, nine polling firms have published surveys on the national House ballot. Looking only at the most recent poll from each of those nine pollsters, the results show Democrats maintaining a decent advantage.
A Democratic advantage of 41.2%-37.7% is a far cry for the supposed Republican wave we keep hearing about. Democrats are, after all, still winning.
These numbers are placed in more context--context which, I might ad, is something that blogs do a far, far better job of providing than any other medium when it comes to electoral forecasting--below the fold. The bottom line this, my first crude House forecast for 2010, is that Republicans are not currently poised to retake the House. Currently, I project a Republican gain of 17 seats, for a partisan balance of 240-195 in favor of Democrats.
Since final results have not, as of yet, been certified by the fifty Secretaries of State, it is still too early to compare my final poll averages of my Presidential and Senate forecasts to the final results in those states. The initial estimate seems to be that polling averages performed very well in states where there were a lot of polls, but did not do well in the less frequently polled states of Alaska (President, Senate and House showed massive, double-digit error), Iowa (6% error), Nevada (6-7% error) and North Dakota (6% error). Polling averages also seem to have been about 4-5% off in Arizona and New Mexico. Everywhere else, the averages seem to have nailed the final targets by 2.0% or less, even though inaccurate winners were projected in Indiana and North Carolina. Basically, it seems like the more polls in your averages, the more accurate the averages become. Makes sense.
While we wait for final results in the polling average states, I am happy to say that my House Forecast has, once again, done extremely well. If, as appears likely, MD-01 and VA-05 go to Democrats, and with CA-04, CA-44, LA-04, OH-15, and WA-08 still undecided, then Democrats will net 21-26 seats. My final projection was 21-27 seats, so I am feeling like I did pretty darn well. I also did well for each of the category projections (more in the extended entry):
President Electoral Vote: Obama 338--200 McCain
National Popular Vote: Obama 53.1%--45.4% McCain
You can see my final percentage projections here. I decided to go with Obama in North Carolina even though the state was exactly tied. The reason is that most of Obama's vote is already in, while McCain still has to get his voters to the polls. That's enough of a tie-breaker for me. If a final North Carolina poll comes out showing McCain ahead by any margin at all, I reserve the right to change my forecast for the state (Update: ARG poll of the state shows Obama up 1% in NC. It functions as a tie-breaker. Update 2: Zogby final tracking poll moves 2 points to McCain, so that breaks the tie in the other direction). Oh--and the national popular vote is just a guess based on the Pollster.com national average. I'm only banking my methodology on the state results.
Democratic Pickups: Alaska, Colorado, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon and Virginia.
Run-off in Georgia where we fight for the Employee Free Choice Act
Extremely narrow loss in Minnesota
If I have some free time tomorrow, I'll spruce up the final percentages, and post them here. More likely, I will finish them after the election, to test how well my methodology worked.
The new House Forecast is up. This will be my second-to-last House Forecast, with the final one coming on Monday. This week, I project a Democratic net gain of 19-26 seats, with my best guess at 23. This is down a bit from last week, when I forecasted a Democratic gain of 23-29 seats, with my best guess at 26. As with the Presidential and Senate campaigns, I am projecting a bit of movement back toward Republicans. Still, as with the Presidential and Senate campaigns, the overall picture is still excellent for Democrats. Here are the category changes:
FL-13 upgraded to "Lean Rep" from "Likely Rep"
FL-21 downgraded to "Lean Rep" from "Toss-up"
IA-04 upgraded to "Lean Rep" from "Likely Rep"
MD-01 downgraded to "Lean Rep" from "Toss-up"
MN-03 downgraded to "Toss-up" from "Lean Dem"
MO-06 downgraded to "Likely Rep" from "Lean Rep"
MO-09 downgraded to "Lean Rep" from "Toss-up"
NJ-05 upgraded to "Lean Rep" from "Likely Rep"
NM-02 downgraded to "Toss-up" from "Lean Dem"
NC-05 upgraded to "Likely Rep" from "Uncompetitive"
NC-10 upgraded to "Likely Rep" from "Uncompetitive"
PA-03 downgraded to "Toss-up" from "Lean Dem"
PA-15 downgraded to "Lean Rep" from "Toss-up"
SC-01 upgraded to "Lean Rep" from "Likely Rep"
SC-02 upgraded to "Likely Rep" from "Uncompetitive"
KS-02 upgraded to "Lean Dem" from "Toss-up"
ME-01 downgraded to "Likely Dem" from "Uncompetitive"
PA-11 downgraded to "Lean Rep" from "Toss-up"
TX-22 downgraded to "Likely Rep" from "Toss-up"
Read the entire forecast here. No doubt, there will be many readers who consider my projection conservative. However, the local trend over the past few days does not feel strong for us, and so I have downgraded quite a few campaigns. The final projection comes out in four days.
The new House Forecast is up. The current projection is a net Democratic gain of 23-29 seats, up slightly from Sunday's projection of 22-28 seats. If my numbers are correct, the next Congress will feature a partisan breakdown of anywhere from D 259-176 R to D 265-170 R. Here are the category changes:
FL-08 upgraded to "Lean Dem" from "Toss-up"
FL-18 upgraded to "Lean Rep" from "Likely Rep"
ID-01 upgraded to "Toss-up" from "Lean Rep"
MN-06 upgraded to "Toss-up" from "Lean Rep"
PA-12 downgraded to "Lean Dem" from "uncompetitive"
I was very tempted to upgrade Darcy's campaign to "Lean Dem," but the various smear campaigns being run against her, together with the NRCC's decision to hang in the district, kept it at a toss-up. I say, we help blow through that barrier, by throwing a few bucks her way. Daily Kos has already raised nearly $100K for Darcy in the last 24 hours-let's join in the fun!
The new House Forecast is up. I currently project a net Democratic gain of 22-28 seats in the House, up from a net gain of 17-25 last week. The forecast features new money numbers for over 100 campaigns, and also five seats that I now classify as "likely" to switch parties (four Dem pickups and one Rep). In the extended entry, I list the 27 category changes.
After yesterday's rush job, I cleaned up the House Forecast, and posted the latest version online here. I think I have removed all of the mistakes now, and also updated for all of the latest polling information. Next week, I will add in the latest financial figures, thus providing an even clearer picture of where the campaign stands.
NE-02 upgraded to "Likely Rep" from "uncompetitive"
VA-05 upgraded to "Lean Rep" from "Likely Rep"
In 2006, I underestimated Democratic net gains because I forecasted 2-3 Democratic losses. I am starting to wonder if I am making the same mistake this time. Right now, I forecast Democrats losing 4-7 seats, but that is starting to feel awfully high. When this is all said and done, Democrats have a very good chance of winning as many seats as they did in 2006 (30), and acquiring the 100 seat majority Kos has talked about.
Over the next week, as my schedule clears up a bit, I will be re-introducing several activism campaigns targeted at House and Senate races. This is the election where we need to mop up as many seats as possible, and build an overwhelming majority that can govern for a long, long time.
That projects to a Senate of 58 Democrats, 41 Republicans, and 1 Lieberman. The Democratic total includes Sanders.
House Forecast The new House Forecast is up. The current projection is a Democratic net gain of 17-21 seats. This is a tightening from the 16-22 seat projection earlier in the week. The error in FL-21 was corrected, and the two big Michigan seats, MI-07 and MI-09, are both moved to "Lean Dem." The new forecast projects the makeup of the House to be anywhere from D 253-182 R, to D 257-178 R. Read the entire forecast here.
Overall Overall, the three forecasts (President, Senate and House) forecast a complete restoration of the pre-1994 Democratic trifecta, only without a southern majority in either House. In other words, this should be the largest and most progressive Democratic trifecta since the 1960's.
For the second day in a row, I have updated the House forecast. Even though it has only been twenty-four hours, a wave of new polling has resulted in several category changes:
FL-21 upgraded to "Lean Dem" from "Toss-up"
IL-10 upgraded to "Toss-up" from "Lean Rep"
NH-01 upgraded to "Lean Dem" from "Toss-up"
NY-29 upgraded to "Lean Dem" from "Toss-up"
NC-08 upgraded to "Lean Dem" from "Toss-up"
PA-04 upgraded to "Likely Dem" from "Lean Dem"
WI-08 upgraded to "Lean Dem" from "Toss-up"
All of these are positive for Democrats. The overall projection is now a Democratic gain of 16-22 seats, up from 15-19 yesterday. This means that the House would be anywhere from D 252-183 R to D 258-177 R. Read the entire forecast here.
Even with these gains added in, I suspect that many more seats have shifted toward Democrats recently. We are probably very close to the 30 seat pickup of 2006. The electorate is just done with Republicans, at least for now.
FL-10 upgraded to "Likely Rep" from "Not Competetive"
FL-13 downgraded to "Likely Rep" from "Lean Rep"
ID-01 downgraded to "Lean Rep" from "Toss-up"
IN-02 downgraded to "Likely Dem" from "Not competitive"
NC-08 updated to "Toss-up" from "Lean Rep"
NM-02 upgraded to "Lean Dem" from "Lean Rep"
OH-01 upgraded to "Toss-up" from "Lean Rep"
OH-07 upgraded to "Lean Rep" from "Likely Rep"
OH-15 upgraded to "Lean Dem" from "Toss-up"
OH-16 upgraded to "Lean Dem" from "Toss-up"
PA-10 upgraded from "Lean Dem" to "Likely Dem"
Overall, the changes are coming only slowly. I am suspicious that quite a few seats have shifted strongly towards Democrats over the past two weeks, just as the Senate and Presidential campaigns have done. Why wouldn't it trickle down to the House seats? However, available information is scant in the House, so such a movement cannot by broadly detected.
LA-01 upgraded from "Uncompetitive" to "Likely Rep"
LA-06 upgraded from "Toss-up" to "Likely Dem"
MD-01 upgraded from "Lean Rep" to "Toss-up"
MI-09 upgraded from "Lean Rep" to "Toss-up"
NJ-03 downgraded from "Lean Dem" to "Toss-up"
NY-26 upgraded from "Lean Rep" to "Toss-up"
OH-07 downgraded from "Lean Rep" to "Likely Rep"
PA-06 downgraded from "Lean Rep" to "Likely Rep"
WI-08 downgraded from "Lean Dem" to "Toss-up"
Despite all of these changes, the overall forecast changes little. This week, I project a net Democratic pickup of 13-18 seats for an overall total of 249-254. Two weeks ago, I projected a Democratic pickup of 13-17 seats.
The new House Forecast is up. The projection has tightened in focus, as I currently forecast a 13-17 seat Democratic pickup, compared to a 12-18 seat projection two weeks ago. Since the last forecast, there have been many category changes:
FL-08 upgraded from "Lean Republican" to "Toss-up"
IA-04 upgraded from "not competitive" to "Likely Republican"
IN-09 upgraded from "Lean Democratic" to "Likely Democratic"
KY-03 downgraded from "Likely Democratic" to "Lean Democratic"
LA-07 downgraded from "Lean Democratic" to "Toss-up"
MS-01 upgraded from "Lean Democratic" to "Likely Democratic"
MO-09 downgraded from "Toss-up" to "Lean Republican"
NJ-07 downgraded from "Lean Democrat" to "Toss-up"
NC-08 downgraded from "Toss-up" to "Lean Republican"
PA-11 downgraded from "Likely Democratic" to "Toss-up"
TX-07 upgraded from "Likely Republican" to "Lean Republican"
WA-08 downgraded from "Toss-up" to "Lean Republican"