House Democrats are “this close” to winning control of the chamber, but the latest University of Virginia analysis of the race shows that they haven’t locked it down and may be a few seats short.
“A race-by-race analysis of Democratic House targets shows the party is close to winning the majority, but they do not have it put away, in our judgment, with Election Day less than three weeks away,” said Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Sabato's Crystal Ball, in his new post.
Add it all together, and I can use this to set a floor for Dem gains: 17 of the 23 net seats needed for Dem takeover (again, assuming Rs flip two current D seats).— Kyle Kondik (@kkondik) October 18, 2018
So Dems, to me, are closing in, but not quite there yet.
Much more detail here: https://t.co/IkBDWro9bg
In fact, his district-by-district review shows that the Democrats in a worst-case scenario could be four seats shy of the needed 23 needed to install Rep. Nancy Pelosi as speaker.
Of course, there are caveats, such as the impact of the huge influx of money to Democrats and President Trump’s decision to campaign furiously through Election Day, but the analysis is a bit of a wet towel on polls and reports declaring a blue wave blowout election.
Nonetheless, he predicts a good night for Democrats.
“Barring a big, positive late change in the political environment in favor of Republicans, the bare minimum for Democratic House gains is in the mid-to-high teens. The needed 23-seat net gain is not that far beyond that and there are many different paths Democrats can take to achieve it. So the GOP is still at a disadvantage overall,” he wrote for the newsletter.
Here are his numbers based on the the 13 categories he proposed. This is the floor for Democrats:
1. Favorable open seats: +3
2. Slightly less favorable open seats: +2
3. Pennsylvania: +4
4. California incumbents: +1
5. Clinton-district incumbents: +3
6. Clinton-won, historically Republican: +1
7. Trump-district freshmen: +1
8. New York: 0
9. Trump-district Democratic DNA: 0
10. Iowa: +1
11. Kansas: +1
12. North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia: +1
13. Bonus category: +1
"That works out to a Democratic gain of 19 seats, six short of the goal of 25 assuming that the Republicans pick up at least two current Democratic seats," he said. "And, remember, Republicans may pick up more than just two Democratic-held seats, although probably not many more than that. Another way of looking at this is that we see the floor for net Democratic gains as 17, about three-quarters of the way to 23 net seats, which would flip the House to a Democratic majority."