1. The first, and the safest, is that the House will remain in Republican hands in 2016 and, quite likely, at least until 2022. After the 2020 decennial census and subsequent reapportionment and redistricting in 2021, all will be revisited again, but it would take some profound political developments for Republicans’ hold on the chamber to change before then. Redistricting isn’t the only reason for what has happened in the House, but it explains it well enough. The biggest question about 2014 is whether the GOP will score a net gain of eight seats or more, something that Cook Political Report House Editor David Wasserman points out would result in Republicans holding their largest overall share of House seats since the 267-163 seat majority they held in the 71st Congress. (It would take a 33-seat gain for Republicans to best that Congress and hit their all-time high).
2. The Senate–currently split among 55 Democrats and 45 Republicans–will be very closely divided after the 2014 election and could swing to the other side in 2014 and again in 2016. It’s hard to see how the GOP doesn’t score a net gain of at least four seats, shaving the Democratic majority to 51 seats. At the other extreme, it would not be impossible for Republicans to score a net gain of seven or eight seats, giving the GOP a 52-48 majority, or even one of 53-47. The odds are high after this election that the majority party will have 53 seats or less, but it is important to remember that in 2016, the shoe will be on the other foot in terms of seat exposure. This year, Democrats have 21 seats up, compared with 15 for Republicans; in 2016, the GOP will have 24 seats up, while Democrats will only have 10. It’s not implausible that Republicans could pick up a majority in 2014 only to lose it again in 2016, with the Senate teetering on the edge for the foreseeable future.