Final prediction: Eight-seat GOP gain in Senate, 55-seat gain in House

The Crystal Ball was the first nonpartisan ratings service to call the House for the Republicans this year. Before Labor Day we issued a projection of +47 net gains for the Republicans. We based this both on a district-by-district analysis and also a careful review of the underlying election variables, from the generic ballot to presidential job approval to likely statewide coattail.

We believe +47 was the right call, though at the time the number was considered startling to most. The likely switch of the House to the GOP was fiercely disputed by Democrats at that time. Many other nonpartisan prognosticators had estimated Republican gains as being below the 39 net required for a GOP takeover.

Even at this late date, we see no need to do anything but tweak the total R gains, based on more complete information now available to all. Thus, we are raising the total to +55 net R seats. We consider 47 to be in the ballpark still, but more of a floor than a ceiling. In fact, if you’ll go back to our pre-Labor Day analysis, that’s exactly what we suggested +47 would end up being.