Let’s be clear: I’m not in the projection business. That said, I think it is instructive to know what the election data folks and political analysts think is the range of possibilities for the 2018 Midterms.
The U.S. Senate
Here’s where the Senate is now:
Democrats need 51 Senate seats to win control. The difficulty is that the vast majority of seats that are up for re-election are Democrats. Here’s one prediction of the best and worst case scenario for the Senate:
Man, I don’t know about you, but I’d LOVE to see that first result.
The U.S. House of Representatives
Moving on to the House, there is a huge range of projections due to all 435 seats being up for re-election in 2018. To have control of the House, a party needs to have 218 seats. The Democrats currently only have 193 right now.
Here’s one map of how the various seats are ranked by competitiveness:
After reading a lot of articles, the consensus seems to be that the Democrats could gain 10 more seats (which only gets us to 203 and would leave the Republicans in control of the House), or up to 50 seats (which would give us control and a nice cushion.) You can also check Cook Political Report’s dashboard of exactly which districts are the most competitive.
Again, I’d really rather have the second scenario happen, wouldn’t you?
What to Make of This
This is all to say that the Democrats absolutely, positively have the chance to flip both the Senate and the House this November. However, I present both sides of the coin to make sure you all know that flipping one house, much less both, is far from a sure thing.
There are a lot of circumstances we can’t control: How folks feel about the economy the day they vote; If a candidate blows up or gets rocked by a scandal; A completely unforeseen event near election day like an international incident, a natural disaster, etc.; The President’s approval rating; and so on.
What we CAN control is how much effort we put into helping Democratic candidates win their elections. No matter how competitive the analysts think any particular seat is, it is never wasted effort to engage Democratic voters. Every vote counts. This blog is full of ideas for how you can help, and I plan to add more. The #BlueWave isn’t something that just happens, it is something we make through our individual efforts. Let’s do this.