House projections: In 2010, Republicans stormed to historic gains in the U.S. House by capturing a net 63 seats on their way to a prohibitive majority. This year, Democrats are the ones who seemed poised to make gains – possibly enough to regain the majority they lost 8 years ago. But will their advance compare to the GOP’s in 2010? Only time will tell, of course, but there is one ominous data point that bodes well for them. At this point in the 2010 elections, Election Projection showed the GOP’s projected net gain at just 39 seats. Today’s House projections stand a Democratic net gain of 35 seats. Another facet of the 2010 elections was a steady increase in the number of Democratic seats in play. We’re witnessing the same phenomenon this year for the red team. After a couple cycles of pundit House race rating updates, three new seats have appeared on the hotly-contested list.
- California CD-50: Duncan Hunter’s legal problems have resulted in a surprise entry into the list. Details: California 50th District Election
- Illinois CD-14: Randy Hultgren’s seat is now the fourth competitive GOP seat in Illinois. Details: Illinois 14th District Election
- Iowa CD-4: Steve King’s opponent has raised more money. Details: Iowa 4th District Election
Follow the links to see updated race outlooks and a new Election Projection for each race.
It’s not all gloom and doom for the GOP’s prospects in the lower chamber, however. A Democratic advantage in early September doesn’t assure a massive shift in the balance of power. Just today, in fact, the GOP reclaimed the projected lead in the Pennsylvania 1st district race, reducing by one the Democratic edge, and the generic congressional polls have tightened slightly today.
Kavanaugh: Yesterday, EP contributor Jeff Murphy posted an outlook on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his Senate hearings. Whether a Democrat or a Republican, political observers all over understand the significance of this appointment. Kavanaugh on the Court would produce the first clearly and reliably conservative Court in decades. This is the most important Supreme Court appointment I can personally remember.
GA-Gov: Democrats in Georgia have been inching their way closer to partisan parity since the turn of the century in this traditional member of the Solid South. As an illustration, look at recent Georgia presidential election results. Over the last 4 elections, GOP margins of victory here have decreased from 16.6% in 2004 to 5.1% in 2016. This shift adds a bit of structural competitiveness to this year’s Georgia governor election. Moreover, the facts that the chair is open due to Governor Nathan Deal being term-limited and African-American Democrat nominee Stacey Abrams’ appeal is great within the black community make the outcome of this race more and more in doubt. GOP nominee Brian Kemp, Georgia Secretary of State, is no slouch, to be sure, but the race is, nevertheless, one to keep an eye on.