What happens when we put this all together? Democrats have quite a lot of work to do to take back the House. President Obama would probably have to get his job approval into the high 60s, and the economy probably has to take off. It would probably require a pro-Obama wave akin to 2010-in-reverse. Again, not impossible, but not very likely.

At the same time, things probably have to deteriorate quite a bit for the Democrats before Republicans can expect even low double-digit gains. There just aren’t enough vulnerable Democratic seats to expect big gains, absent some significant wave. Somewhere between a five-seat Democratic pickup and a 15 seat Republican gain seems a safe prediction for now.