Over the last few weeks, many left leaning writers and analysts have been gleefully claiming that the Democrats will take back the House of Representatives in 2018. After they picked up the Senate seat in Alabama, they are ecstatic about their chances in the House. Democrats actually lost all five special election House races since President Trump was elected, but this does not suppress their excitement. These writers and analysts quote ridiculous and misleading polls that over sample Democrats and people living in blue states. They further prop up generic congressional tracking polls that give Democrats a 10-point advantage in House races. It is like the utter embarrassment of their 2016 predications never happened.
I first thought that maybe these individuals were trying to suppress Republican turnout by implying that the local GOP candidate could not hold their House seat in 2018. This however makes little sense since they tried this in the 2016 Presidential Election and still lost badly.
Next I thought that maybe they are trying to rally their base by misleading them into believing they actually have a chance to win in 2018. This also seems unlikely since there is no upside to this way of thinking. When they lose again, they will further alienate their readers.
The most logical reason is that they are in denial. They still believe that the data models and polling methodology they used prior to 2016 is valid. They are so stuck in their belief system they are unable to make a paradigm shift in their statistical analysis.
So Democrats, let me give you the respect you deserve and tell you the truth. The chances of the you taking back the House in 2018 are extremely slim. Here are the reasons why.
- There are 435 individual House races in 2018
- Only 42 of these House seats are going to be competitive
- Of these 42 competitive seats, 28 are currently controlled by the Republicans and 14 by the Democrats
- At this time, the Republicans have a 241 to 194 seat advantage in the House
- The Republicans only need to win 5 of the 42 competitive seats to remain in power
Is it possible for the Democrats to win back the House in 2018? Well anything is possible. It is however extremely unlikely. Generic polls and historical swings based on mid-term elections are irrelevant. The only data that matters is the actual vote totals from 2016.
I have compiled the 2016 election results from all 435 House races. Data was gathered from 50 Secretary of State websites. Based on the actual voting data (not erroneous polling data and conjecture), it looks like the Democrats could flip 5 Republican seats. It also looks like the Republicans could flip 7 Democrat seats. My analysis shows that the House will probably stay in GOP control with nearly the same 241-194 seat advantage. This is based on 2016 elections that were within four percentage points and/or there was heavy impact from the Libertarian and Green party candidate in the election. If the winning party did not reach the 50% threshold in the election of 2016, the 2018 race will obviously be extremely competitive.
Most likely Republican Pickups
Most likely Democrat Pickups
All the data is available by clicking here. If you think I am off-base or you have come to a different conclusion, please let me know in the comments below.