Democrats have reason for optimism heading into November’s midterms, according to one widely followed election forecaster.
The party has about a 70 percent chance of flipping enough Republican-held House seats to take a majority inside the chamber, according to designs via FiveThirtyEight, the analytics site run by data guru Nate Silver. The outlet’s forecasts project an average Democratic gain of at least 32 seats, comfortably above the 23 districts the party needs to gain to win a majority.
The figures reflect a feeling among most election analysts in which Democrats are at least slight favorites to win back the House. The party not inside the White House generally performs well in midterm years. Democrats have tried to leverage opposition to health care in addition to tax policies pushed by President Donald Trump in addition to congressional Republicans into electoral success.
Democrats have generally led Republicans in polls measuring which party voters prefer to hold a majority in Congress. An average of polls measured by Real Clear Politics puts the Democrats’ lead on the generic ballot at 6.8 percent.
Still, FiveThirtyEight gives the GOP about a three in 10 chance of holding on to its House majority. Also, much can change to affect races during the nearly three months between today in addition to the Nov. 6 elections — both at the national level in addition to in individual districts.
Should Democrats take the House, they have more power to stifle Trump’s policy priorities or pursue their own goals, such as changing the Republican tax plan passed last year. A Democratic House could also become more vocal about impeaching the president, or push for more investigations into the Trump administration.
The designs use data such as polling, fundraising numbers, historical election results in addition to race ratings via nonpartisan analysts in every congressional district. FiveThirtyEight has three different forecasts in which use varying points of data, which give Democrats at least a 68.5 percent chance in addition to as high as a 75 percent chance of taking the House.
The site also assigns probabilities for candidates winning all 435 individual House races.
While Democrats appear to be favorites to take the House, Silver makes one significant note in outlining the methodology for FiveThirtyEight’s forecast.
“Our designs are probabilistic in nature; we do a lot of thinking about these probabilities, in addition to the goal is actually to develop probabilistic estimates in which hold up well under real-world conditions,” he writes. “For instance, Democrats’ chances of winning the House are between 7 in 10 in addition to 3 in 4 inside the various versions of the design upon launch — right about what Hillary Clinton’s chances were on election night two years ago! — so ignore those probabilities at your peril.”