Election Trends

Democrats Gain Ground In Race

For Control of U.S. House

By Steve Rensberry
EDWARDSVILLE, IL - July 8, 2020 -- All 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives will be up for election on Nov. 3, with most forecasts showing a tight battle in many states, while leaning toward continued control by the Democrats. Significant uncertainty remains, however, with a full 118 days left until the big day.
The 2020 Consensus map compiled each election by the site 270toWin shows, as of June 2, the Democrats with a likely 223 seats and the Republicans with 193, with 19 seats forecast as “toss-ups.”
Of the 223 forecast for the Democrats, 181 are designated at “safe,” 27 are designated “likely,” and 15 are designated as “leaning.” Of the 193 forecast for the Republicans, 158 are designed “safe,” 21 as “likely,” and 14 as “leaning.” The Democrat currently control the house and will need to win 218 seats to maintain that advantage.
Rachel Bitecofer of the Washington D.C. Niskanent Center posted an update of the center's projections on June 7, speculating that the Democrats would capture 50 Senate seats to the Republican's 47, with three considered toss-ups. In the House, the Niskanen projects the Democrats will capture 241 seats to the Republican's 182.
“Whatever 2020 turnout is, barring something extraordinary that disrupts the election, if more Democrats and left-leaning independents vote than did so in 2016 and pure independents break against Trump and congressional Republicans, Democrats will not only hold their 2018 House gains — they are poised to expand on their House majority and are competitive to take control of the Senate,” Biecofer stated in her report.
She cited the rising Covid-19 death toll, a leveled economy, and the significant impact polarization is having on the process. She draws an interesting parallel with Jimmy Carer's reelection campaign in 1980, not facing a polarized nation did face an economy in a downward spiral from oil shortages, inflation and unemployment, then was hit with the Iranian hostage crisis.
“Sound familiar? It should, because in the electoral bloodbath that followed, down-ticket Republicans flipped control of the Senate from Democrats for the first time in 25 years. They also used the chaos to remake the American economy, but that is a story for another day,” Bitecofer stated.
For a look at the full Niskanent Center update and report, see Negative Partisanship and the 2020 Congressional Elections.