Democrats likely to retain House majority in November — and possibly expand it: election forecaster
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) holds a weekly press conference at the Capitol on September 24, 2020 in Washington, DC. Liz Lynch / Getty Images
President Donald Trump predicted during one of his MAGA events in September that Republicans would retake the US House of Representatives this year. However, according to a new analysis by survey expert Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight, that possibility is highly unlikely. According to FiveThirtyEight's 2020 House election forecast released October 7th, Democrats have a 92-97% chance of maintaining their house majority in November - and it's possible they'll expand it even slightly.
FiveThirtyEight's Nathaniel Rakich explains, "While Democrats are easy favorites to turn the Senate around and Joe Biden is a solid but not overwhelming front runner for the presidency, Democrats have a 92-97% chance of staying in control of the house . "
Rakich continues that there are "three versions" of the FiveThirtyEight's House model: a "lite version", a "classic version" and a "deluxe version". The "lite version", says Rakich, "is primarily based on polls" and "gives Democrats a 97/100 chance" to keep their house majority - while the "classic version ... polls with basics such as partisanship, tenure advantages and The Candidates' fundraiser "and" gives Democrats a 93-100 chance of doing so. And the "deluxe version," adds Rakich, "includes polls, fundamentals, and expert reviews from the Cook Political Report, Inside Elections, and Sabato's Crystal Ball," and "gives Democrats a 93 to 100 chance" of staying in control of the house .
"However, all three versions more or less agree that the Democrats will essentially stay in the house or secure a few additional seats," explains Rakich. "That is an impressive feat considering the highs they have reached in the meantime in 2018 when they got a 235-199 majority despite a convention card favoring the GOP."
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Rakich doesn't use the word "gerrymandering" in his FiveThirtyEight article, but it's a word that is certainly true when it comes to the house. Democrats saw a great blue wave when they retook the house in 2018 for a net profit of 40 seats, but many experts have argued that the blue wave would have been even bigger if the GOP hadn't rigged so many districts of the house.
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Regardless, Trump was most likely concerned with wishful thinking when he predicted Republicans will have a house majority in January 2021.
According to Rakich, "Democrats now have to defend 30 seats in districts that President Trump won in 2016, as opposed to just six Republicans sitting in districts that Hillary Clinton promoted. But again this year, the Democrats are on the offensive: 28 of the 50 house districts most likely to switch parties after the deluxe version of our model are held by Republicans. "
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