House math is decidedly more complex than Senate math if for no other reason than the number of House races. All the seats are up for grabs every two years.
At present, the mix is 255/178 Dems (with two vacant I believe). However, when you look at the races, and consider “safe seats”, the mix goes to 123/163 GOP. That’s right, the GOP holds a 40 seat advantage in the “safe seat” category.
If we add “likely” for each of the parties, the mix becomes 148/176 GOP. 218 is the number needed for a majority.
That brings us to the “leans” either Dem or GOP category. Assuming all those in the “likely” category go to the designated party, “leans” is the first category where things could go either way. While it is likely that it will go to the party in which the polls “lean”, it isn’t certain.
As it breaks down, there are 29 likely to go Dem and 48 likely to go GOP. The difference is that of the 29 likely to go Dem, only 2 are seats presently held by Republicans. However, on the other side, of the 48 seats leaning toward the GOP, 42 are seats presently held by Democrats – most of them Blue Dogs.
Here’s where you have to decide how many on each side will actually go to the party to which the district now leans. In my case it comes down to a SWAG (Scientific Wild Assed Guess). I’m saying 70% on each side. That’s pretty conservative given the way I see this election shaping up. However that brings our mix to 179/222 GOP (and a majority in the House for the Republicans).
That’s not even counting the 34 “toss up races”. Of those 34 races, 32 involve incumbent Democrats while only 2 involve Republicans. Again, going conservative, let’s say they split 50-50. 17 to each side.
The final mix?
196/239 GOP – a solid majority. Not quite as robust as the existing Democratic majority now, but a huge swing. And again, note that Republicans can win the majority in the House by winning 70% of the “lean GOP” races and without winning a single “toss up”.
So – my prediction?
GOP picks up 61 seats. That’s actually 6 more seats than I was figuring last week.