Monopoly Politics

“The national landscape in 2018 tilts in favor of Republicans with Republicans sitting on 208 safe seats, 10 seats away from a majority, and 22 additional and not projected seats leaning Republican(too close to call).” It would take Democrats casting 55% of the votes in a national two-party election to tip the House majority the other way. It is possible as it did happen in 2008 when there was a 57% turnout.

What makes the following projections disturbing is the accuracy of Fair Vote projections does not take into consideration polls, demographic characteristics of the districts, incumbent’s voting record, any scandals, or money spent. The basis for these projections are the presidential election results (both in the district and nationally) from 2016, and an incumbent’s performance in prior elections. The only changes incorporated are when incumbents announce they will not seek re-election or when a state redraws congressional district lines. The methodology in the report is in detail with the only overwhelmingly important factor being a district’s partisanship measured only by the relative presidential vote in that district.

I have advocated for much smaller congressional districts along the lines of what is in Article 1 Section 2 of the Constitution which would remove much of the ability to gerrymander, give greater representation to people, and make Congressional representations responsive to the interests of the district rather than a select group in power. Fair Vote advocates another way worth taking into consideration. Read more of the site for a explanation. The following is how they view the 2018 House election outcome

Rather than follow 538 or Princeton Consortium both of who made a mess out of the 2016 election, I picked up on Fair Vote Organization. With 435 House Seats being elected every two years, one could believe there would be a small number of incumbents reelected each cycle. It is safe to say, the percentage returning to office is projected at 86% by the Fair Vote Org. or 374 seats secured by incumbents. So much for a Blue Wave? Incumbents can feel relatively secure in returning to office regardless of the opponent, how much is spent, or type of partisan wave occurring. The following chart represents 2018 Projections including Toss-Ups.

Supporting their bold projections is a legacy of accuracy in 2012, 2014 and 2016 for 1,062 House races and missing only once (1). 99.9% correct is a good accuracy rate to have. The 2018 report shows the most ossified electoral landscape yet, being the first year we have projected more than 370 seats at this degree of confidence. Fair Vote does have a map on site showing each congressional seat as an equal area and which ones are in play (yellow seats). The purple seats are all safe enough to be projected with high confidence.

In addition to 374 high-confidence projections, Fair Vote also projects favorites for the other 61 seats with a lower level of confidence. 40 of the 61 seats favor one party over the other, not enough to warrant a projection, and leaves only 21 true “toss up” seats leaning slightly lean to one party.

Previous projections for all 435 seats in 2016 were remarkably accurate including those made for the lower confidence seats. Of the 56 seats Fair Vote did not project; but which favored one of the parties, Fair Vote was right in 50 picks or 89.3% correct. Of the 18 seats identified as “toss ups” with a slight lean to one of the parties; Fair Vote was right in 12 or 66.7% correct. In 2016 Fair Votes full projections were correct in 423 of 435 districts or 97.2% correct. The clincher was the projections were made more than two years before the 2016 elections. The following chart represents current projections, favored, and a breakdown of tossups.

Our ’18 House Projections: Monopoly Politics Remains in Place, Fair Vote Organization

Fair Vote Organization