The 2018 House Democratic ‘wave’ is memory…..
From Larry Sabato’s people….
An early look….
— The reapportionment of House seats and pending redistricting has prevented us from releasing U.S. House ratings so far this cycle.
— While Republicans stand to gain from this process, they would be favored to win the House even if the district lines were not changing.
— Rating the House races based on the current lines shows many more Democratic seats in the Toss-up column than Republican ones. These hypothetical ratings are guided by developments in the 2022 campaign so far as well as the normal tendency for the president’s party to lose ground in the House in midterms.
Assessing the House if the maps were not changing
Every state with more than one U.S. House district will be redrawing their district lines this cycle to account for population changes, and that process is on hold because of delays in the U.S. Census. The Census Bureau won’t be releasing the granular data states need to draw new maps until later this year. While some states are trying to get a head start — Oklahoma, for instance, drew new state legislative districts using older data — we likely will not get a good handle on what new maps will look like until the fall. Among those delayed by the stalled census is us: We have not released House ratings yet as we await the new districts.
On balance, we expect the reapportionment of House seats — which we analyzed late last month— to benefit Republicans to a small extent. Redistricting seems likely to also help Republicans. Given that the Democrats only won a 222-213 edge in the House last year, Republicans only need to net five seats to win the House. That kind of small gain could come from reapportionment and redistricting alone.
This doesn’t even take into account the usual advantages that the party that does not control the White House typically has in midterm House elections: Since the end of World War II, the average seat loss by the presidential party in midterms is 27 seats. In those 19 midterm elections, the presidential party has lost seats 17 times. The exceptions were 1998 and 2002, when the president’s party made small gains.
House Democrats are facing twin challenges next year: The overall consequences of reapportionment and redistricting, as well as midterm history. The combination of the two will be difficult for Democrats to overcome. But what if they only had to overcome one of these challenges? What if no district lines were changing? Could Democrats hold the House under the current map?
What follows is hypothetical Crystal Ball House ratings of all 435 House districts under the current maps and with the same apportionment as last decade.
Just so we’re clear: These are not real House ratings. We have not rated any 2022 House races yet this year, and we won’t until we start getting finalized maps.
These ratings also mix an alternate reality, in which no redistricting is occurring, with our actual reality, in which redistricting is occurring. This means we are taking into account developments that have happened in the real world that might not have happened in a world where no redistricting was happening….