Analysts: House Republicans May Win Their Largest Majority Since 1920s

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With five days to go before Election Day, House forecasters roundly project that Republicans will expand their already robust majority, and potentially gain their largest advantage in the chamber since the Roaring Twenties.

Sabato’s Crystal Ball projects a 9-seat gain for Republicans.

The Rothenberg Political Report projects the GOP will pick up somewhere between five and 12 seats.

The Cook Political Report projects a Republican net gain of 6 to 12 seats, “with slightly larger GOP gains not out of the question,” according to an updated forecast released Wednesday.

A gain of 13 seats would mean 247 House seats for the Republicans, who currently enjoy a 233-199 advantage.

“If Republicans were to pick up 13 seats, they would win their largest majority since 1928, when Herbert Hoover was elected president,” wrote David Wasserman, the House editor of the Cook Political Report.

Retaining the House majority is a slam dunk for the GOP, due to the fundamentals: a poor approval rating for President Barack Obama, low expected turnout for Democrats and a map that strongly favors Republicans.

Another 2010-style wave is unlikely because Republican gains since then don’t leave much for the taking, but a nine-seat gain would give the party one more seat than it had after that election. Many competitive 2014 races are trending GOP down the stretch. For instance, of the 15 races rated “tossup” by Crystal Ball last week, 11 now lean Republican.

An ideal bellwether for how well House Republicans will do on Election Night, the forecasters say, is New Hampshire’s two districts — both have a knack for reflecting the political climate. They flipped from Republican to Democrat in the 2006 wave, then back to Republican in the 2010 wave, then back to Democrat in the 2012 election. The two incumbents face tough reelection bids.

“If Democrats manage to hold on to both of those seats in New Hampshire, then maybe they could keep their losses under 5 overall. And that would be a big win for them,” Wasserman said recently by phone. “If New Hampshire splits one and one, then Democrats are probably on track to lose between 5 and 10 seats which is what we expect nationally. If Democrats lose both seats, then wow, you’re looking at a really big Republican night and they could be on their way to winning double digits.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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