Trump Down-Ballot Backlash? Watch California and New York.

California and New York are two states that will almost certainly wind up in Hillary Clinton's column on election night, but despite this certainty, these states are not without intrigue. The 2011 redistricting process—predominantly bipartisan in both states—yielded a number of competitive congressional districts. The competitive races in these states will largely determine the scale of any Democratic pickup in the House of Representatives. Several months ago, our initial analysis found that Democrats would likely achieve... [Read More]

Six Races Will Decide Control of the Senate

In recent weeks, the battleground in the race for control of the U.S. Senate has solidified, and while some contests that we anticipated would be competitive have faded from view, control of the chamber is still in doubt. As other observers have suggested, control of the Senate now hinges on six contests--Indiana, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. In most cases, the outcome of the presidential race will play a big role. [Read More]

Expect Democrats to Win 10 to 20 of these House Seats

In August we presented a number of congressional districts that could contribute to a wave election in 2016. The ensuing weeks have brought an increasingly close presidential contest and the congressional battleground has crystallized. Democrats need to win 30 seats in November for a new House majority. Right now, our outlook for Democratic gains this year remains unchanged, between 10 and 20 seats. [Read More]

Attacks on Clinton Damaging House Prospects

History offers a troubling parallel that should give Democrats pause with less than 2 months until Election Day. In September 1996, control of the House of Representatives was in the Democratic Party's grasp. A Pew Research poll accorded the Democrats an 8-point generic congressional ballot advantage; President Bill Clinton held an 18-point lead over Bob Dole and Ross Perot. It was never plausible that such a margin would hold, and Clinton ultimately finished 8 points ahead on Election Day. [Read More]

A New Democratic Senate Majority Could be Short-Lived

Democrats are poised to regain control of the US Senate in 2016. The ongoing implosion of the Trump presidential campaign has complicated the reelection prospects of several Republicans, especially those in Democratic leaning states. But maintaining control in 2018 and beyond will be increasingly difficult. [Read More]

Yes, the House is in Play

All year, we have been skeptical of a return to the majority for US House Democrats, which remains the case. But there is a dim light flickering at the end of the tunnel. National political trends suggest that the 30-seat gain needed to recapture the House is not beyond reach. [Read More]

Citizen Involvement Reduces the Impact of Gerrymandering

Few voters are keenly aware of the complexities of redrawing district lines every ten years. But when redistricting enters the political conversation, there is widespread agreement that a less partisan element should be introduced into the process. One solution has been to establish commissions that include representatives of both parties, as well as unaffiliated members. Many voters believe that these changes will help address the negative impacts of gerrymandering. [Read More]