Oh my: Student poll analysis of midterms shows GOP might pick up ... 60 seats

I confess to not having read this guy’s blog before, but (a) his sidebar resume is certainly respectable and (b) he’s taken seriously enough by Jonathan Chait to have earned a post today at TNR showcasing his glorious, glorious results.

The standard “anything can happen before November” caveat applies, but between this and Charlie Cook’s warning last week, we’re slowly moving from a “can the GOP take back the House?” reality to a “how many more seats than the Dems will the GOP end up with?” reality. Here’s where things stand on the Great Liberal Realignment of 2008:

The generic House ballot is tilting to Republicans in ways not seen… ever. Or as Michael Barone put it, the Republican margin currently seen is “historically unprecedented”. To those unfamiliar with the generic ballot, it is the question asked on national surveys that goes something like this “If the elections for Congress were being held today, which party’s candidate would you vote for in your Congressional district?” I have often (in my own head) questioned the usefulness of the generic ballot because House elections are held in districts not nationally, and surveys are only getting at most a few respondents from each district for each survey. But the fact of the matter is that vast majority of research indicates (see Charles Franklin, Matthew Shugart, and the Pew Research Center among others) that if you properly use the results from the question, you can get a pretty good idea of what is going to happen…

How will the generic ballot results from 2010 at this point translate into vote in the general election? Based off the Bafumi et al. regression (see page 6), we would expect Republicans to win the national vote by anywhere from 7.3% (all polls but Rasmussen and Republican pollsters) to 9.3% (all polls), which extends well beyond the root-mean-sqaured error. Thus, I have a hard time believing based off the polling that the Democrats will win the national party House vote…

With current polling in conjunction with Bafumi et al.’s paper predicting a Republican national vote between 53.6% and 54.7%, the Republicans could easily gain 50-60 seats from their current 178. Gains of greater than 60 seats also look quite possible. Even in the best case scenario for the Democrats, it would seem that holding the House would be very, very difficult.

No less a figure than Bill Clinton admitted to Fox News(!) that things are starting to feel a bit like 1994 before qualifying it by saying that he thinks the Dems can still avert disaster. Which may be true: I can think of one surefire way to bleed enough votes from the GOP that 20 or so weakened House Democrats might squeak through. The DCCC’s hard at work on the idea already, in fact, rolling out a new website just this morning dedicated to sowing discord in the conservative ranks. Behold, my friends … the Palin primaries.

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John Sexton 10:00 PM on June 02, 2023