With less than a week until the 2018 midterm elections, pundits and political wonks across the country are starting to eye up just who has the stronger chance to take control of Congress at the start of next year’s legislative session.
Democrats have long been promoting the idea of a “blue wave,” of a chance to win a majority of seats within the House of Representatives and possibly even the Senate. Winning just one of those two legislative houses of Congress would effectively place a hold on any new policies put forward by President Donald Trump, unless he pushed for an agenda that would be agreeable to Democrats.
Some on the right, meanwhile, are earnest in believing that the “blue wave” isn’t going to happen. Conservative websites, such as reporting from Townhall, are even suggesting that recent news events, including the supposed caravan of immigrants slowly making its way toward the U.S. southern border, could create a counter-punch to the “blue wave,” instead making it a “red tsunami.”
But the experts aren’t so sure. According to House of Representatives editor Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan organization that attempts to prognosticate campaign outcomes every election cycle, the Democratic Party’s chances of establishing control in the House just got a little bit stronger.
— The Hill (@thehill) October 31, 2018
“[B]ased on the past week’s evidence, we’re revising our House outlook to a Dem gain of 30-40 seats,” Wasserman said in a tweet on Wednesday evening.
That’s a substantially larger margin than what the group was predicting before. As Wasserman pointed out, previous estimates from the Cook Political Report suggested that Democrats might flip between 25-35 seats next week.
The Democratic Party, in order to be successful in taking control of the House, needs to flip just 23 seats from “red” to “blue.” With the new prediction announced by Wasserman, Democrats can seemingly feel a bit more confident about their chances to win the House, and to not just “squeak by” with a win.
Wasserman’s assessment matches what House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) has been telling Democratic donors in recent days. According to reporting from CNBC, Pelosi has been predicting a Democratic pickup of around 30 seats.
She’s been confident in public settings as well. Speaking recently to The Late Show host Stephen Colbert, Pelosi sounded confident in her party’s chances. “What now I’m saying is, we will win. We will win,” she said.
The Cook Political Report isn’t the only organization predicting strong Democratic wins next Tuesday. As of this evening, the statistics website FiveThirtyEight is also predicting an 85 percent chance that Democrats win the House.
The chances for Democrats in the other legislative chamber are not so bright. FiveThirtyEight has signaled that Democrats only have a 15 percent chance of winning the Senate in the midterms.