No one is more respected – by both parties – as an election forecaster than Charlie Cook. And he’s now predicting a House gain of 30 to 40 seats for Democrats.
In a final memo before tomorrow’s election, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report’s race-by-race forecast moves two Republicans, Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry and Georgia’s Karen Handel, into the tossup category.
It also shifted nine House races toward Democrats.
Democrats’ chances to pick up seats have improved in key races in Georgia, Pennsylvania, California and Washington.
The contest to succeed retiring California Republican Darell Issa is likely going to Democrat Mike Levin, and in Washington state’s 8th district, Democrat Kim Schrier’s chance of replacing retiring Republican Dave Reichert has moved from “Toss Up” to “Lean Democratic.”
The movement is the latest indication that Democrats have the upper-hand in the House prior to Tuesday’s midterms, when Democrats need to pick up 23 seats to regain control of the lower chamber.
“If the 30 races in Toss Up were to break evenly, Democrats would score a net gain of 30 seats. However, history shows that one party typically wins a lion’s share of close races,” writes David Wasserman, the report’s House analyst.
This is similar to what JimHeath.TV predicted in our final look at the likely congressional results.
Wasserman notes that in two years when control of Congress changed control, the 2016 Democratic and the 2010 ‘Tea Party’ wave, the winning party rolled up 57 percent of the tossups and all the races leaning their way, along with 19 percent of the seats leaning the other way, along with 9 percent of the other side’s ‘likely’ seats.
Such a scenario would lead to a 40-seat Democratic gain, which would be quite a blue wave.
“Bottom line: anything from a Democratic gain of 20 to 45 seats remains well within the realm of possibility, but a gain of 30 to 40 seats – and House control – is the most likely outcome,” Wasserman said.