We base our prediction on Obama's state-by-state victories in 2008, modified by the redistricting changes due to the 2010 census, and then further modified by several special considerations, including:
In summary, Massscorecard recommends what to watch for on Election Night TV coverage:
Massscorecard predicts the Democrats will gain 7 House seats, leaving control of the United States House of Representatives in Republican hands, 235-200. Our evidence is laid out below.
So why do the Democratic pundits claim that they can gain the 25 seats necessary for their party to gain control of the House? For example, the Kansas City Star on Oct. 24, 2012, cites a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) spokesperson saying "The Republican majority is in jeopardy," and expressing that he is "confident that his party can buck the odds and pick up the 25 seats needed to regain control of the House of Representatives." Let's look at the sort of evidence they present, starting with the current party split -- a large Republican majority -- of 242R-193D.
Massscorecard conducted a "vulnerability analysis" which found 26 vulnerable Republican incumbents. If all of them lose, the Democrats would gain the House majority -- it would result in a House split with a slight Democratic majority, 217R-218D.
But of course that's only a half-truth, because some Democrats are vulnerable also. Our same analysis for vulnerable Democrats knocks down the Dems' hopes to a weaker Republican majority, 230R-205D.
But it's even worse than that, due to redistricting. The 2010 census takes effect in this House election -- and will cost the Democrats another 6 seats. Some special considerations reduce that by one loss, making our final prediction 235R-200D.
Massscorecard does not claim to be prognosticators -- but we do claim to have real substantiation for our prediction, especially when compared to the hocus-pocus of other pundits. Our vulnerability analysis has worked to identify incumbents in our local State House who have been ousted; the redistricting analysis is complicated but accurate. We would be very shocked if the Democrats do better than 230R-205D or if the Republicans do any better than 240R-195D. More extreme results than that would indicate a "landslide mandate" for one party over the other.
Detailed detailed House election prediction.
|State||Prediction||Predicted Winner||Predicted Loser|
|CT||Republican takeover||Linda McMahon||Chris Murphy|
|I drive throughout Connecticut for my daily business, and I see a dozen "Linda" signs every hour, in every corner of the state, whereas seeing one Murphy sign per day is a lot. While signs don't vote, the lawn owners do, and they seem overwhelming.|
|FL||Republican takeover||Connie Mack IV||Bill Nelson|
|Paul Ryan's strong stance for Medicare/Medicaid overhaul hurts the Romney-Ryan ticket in Florida, and we therefore predict Obama will win Florida based on the large elderly population in this key state. But Florida voters prefer bipartisanship and therefore Sen. Nelson will suffer from "negative coattails."|
|IN||Republican retention||Richard Mourdock||Joe Donnelly|
|Oct. 26 update: Mourdock stumbled by saying in a debate that pregnancy rape was "God's will," which infuriated women's groups, but we do not see any change in the underlying dynamics that favor a conservative Senator to represent conservative Indiana.|
|MA||Democratic takeover||Elizabeth Warren||Scott Brown|
|Obama will overwhelmingly beat Romney in blue-state Massachusetts, and we predict Warren will ride Obama's coattails to victory. Sen. Brown won in a special election -- when there were no presidential coattails -- and would probably win again if this were not a presidential election year -- but the coattails are just too long against him in 2012.|
|ME||Democratic takeover||Angus King||Charlie Summers|
|Gov. King is an independent but we predict he will win and then choose to caucus with the Democrats in the Senate, in effect gaining the Democrats one Senate vote. King is a true independent, but sides with the Democrats on healthcare, social issues, and the need for taxes to deal with the deficit -- key upcoming voting issues for Senators.|
|MO||Democratic retention||Claire McCaskill||Todd Akin|
|During the summer, we would have predicted a Republican victory in red-state Missouri, but Rep. Akin put his foot in his mouth and exacerbated the problem with yet more flubs with every passing week -- he blew it!|
|ND||Democratic retention||Heidi Heitkamp||Rick Berg|
|North Dakota's economy is booming due to new oil extraction. So this Senate race is missing the usual drag on Obama and the Democrats, that the economy is bad elsewhere and that the Democrats would limit oil extraction elsewhere -- and Hietkamp will benefit.|
|OH||Democratic retention||Sherrod Brown||Josh Mandel|
|Voter registration is an issue in many states but none more than in Ohio. As a result of the heavy-handed election-day voter suppression in minority districts in the 2004 election, Ohio Democrats have pushed voter registration and early voting (beginning Oct. 2) -- and Sen. Brown will benefit.|
|VA||Democratic retention||Tim Kaine||George Allen|
|Gov. Allen seems to have recovered from his "macaca" gaffe in 2006, but he has run the nastiest campaign in the country, and we predict that many will vote against him to signal a dislike for negative campaigning.|
|WI||Republican takeover||Tommy Thompson||Tammy Baldwin|
|The Tommy-Tammy race is one of the tightest in the country, but we predict a Republican victory based on Paul Ryan's coattails. While Wisconsin is a blue state, many independents will vote Republican on the presidential line based on Ryan's "favorite son" status, and will push that pattern downballot to the Senate race.|
To summarize our prediction by party status:
Detailed detailed U.S. Senate prediction of presidential election.