How Republicans pulled off a big upset and nearly took back the House

How Republicans pulled off a big upset and nearly took back the House

<img class="i-amphtml-blurry-placeholder" src="data:;base64,

(CNN)There seemed to be one safe bet when it came to the 2020 election results: Democrats would easily hold on to their majority in the House of Representatives. Not only that, but the conventional wisdom held that Democrats would pick up more than the 235 seats they won in the 2018 midterm elections.

While Democrats will have a majority next Congress, Republicans vastly outperformed expectations and nearly pulled off an election shocker.

As of this writing, CNN has projected that Democrats have won in 219 seats. Republicans have been projected the winners in 203 seats. There are 13 races outstanding, per CNN projections.

Of those 13, the Democratic candidates lead in a mere two of them. (One of these 13 is going to a runoff, where the Republicans are heavily favored to win.)

In other words, if every one of those 13 seats went to the party leading in them right now, Democrats would have 221 seats to the Republicans’ 214 seats in the next Congress.

Talk about a fairly close call for Democrats.

Now, Democrats may end up winning a few of the seats where they are currently trailing, but chances are they will end up at or south of 225 seats.

Compare that to what most quantitative forecasters who look at a slew of indicators predicted. Jack Kersting came the closest at 238 seats. FiveThirtyEight clocked in at 239 seats. The Economist modelpredicted that Democrats would win a median of 244 seats in their simulations.

While much attention was paid to the polling misses on the presidential level, they were more accurate by comparison. In the presidential race, the final polling averages got every state right, except for Florida and North Carolina.

Indeed, the forecasts for the presidential race were considerably better than for the House races. The race raters at the Crystal Ball, for example, got every state but North Carolina correct on the presidential level.

Any sort of shy Trump vote was far smaller than a potential shy House Republican vote.

Of course, the value of quantitative forecasts is that they don’t just provide one number. They provide the probability of different outcomes occurring.

In that regard, the Republican performance is even more astounding.

The Economist said there was less than a 1-in-100 chance Democrats would have 221 seats or fewer in the next Congress. The chance they would get 225 seats or fewer was 1-in-100.

FiveThirtyEight’s forecast gave Republicans a realistic, but still fairly low shot of what seems to have happened. The chance Democrats would earn 221 seats or fewer was approximately 1-in-17, while the chance they’d have 225 seats or fewer was approximately 1-in-10.

I should note that 1-in-10 probabilities happen all the time. There’s a reason something is a 1-in-10 chance and not 0%. That said, Republicans simply did better than what folks thought.

A large part of what happened was that the national political environment was more friendly to Republicans than what polls suggested. The final average of generic congressional ballot polls had Democrats ahead by 7 points nationally. Democrats are only ahead by 2 points in the national House vote right now. That may end up closer to 3 points once the votes are all tallied.

A 4- or 5-point miss is considerable.

If Democrats had done 5 points better in every race than they currently are doing, they’d be ahead in 239 seats. That, of course, is right in line with the forecasts.

A lot of these quantitative forecasts also rely upon House ratings from groups like the Cook Political Report, Inside Elections and The Crystal Ball.

These too seemed to undersell Republican chances. Take the Cook Political Report ratings, which have historically been very good.

As of this writing, Republicans are leading in 27 of the 27 seats the Cook Political Report deemed toss-up before the election. They are ahead in all 26 of the seats that were deemed either leaning or likely Republican. Republicans are also leading in 7 of the 36 seats that were either leaning or likely to be taken by the Democrats.

That is, Republicans not only pretty much swept the tossups, but they marched into Democratic territory as well.

The Crystal Ball, which bravely has no tossups in its final rating, had Democrats net gaining 10 House seats. It will actually be the Republicans who will likely net gain 10 seats or more.

The end result of which is that Republicans are much closer to a House majority than we believed they would be after 2020 and have put themselves in a strong position heading into the 2022 midterms.

Where things stand in the House

The Democrats majority is shrinking and three dozen races have yet to be called

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s majority has shrunk in House, a shock to Democrats and pollsters who were projecting the California Democrat would expand her caucus after Tuesday’s election.

Democrats were optimistic they could flip roughly 10 seats but their expansion efforts came up short, especially in Texas, and they ended up losing seats in Flordia, Oklahoma, Minnesota and elsewhere.

DEM CAUCUS ERUPTS AS MEMBERS SAY PARTY’S LEFTWARD DRIFT HURT MODERATES IN ELECTION

As of 3 p.m. on Friday, Democrats had won 212 seats compared to Republicans’ 194. Another 29 races have yet to be called. Democrats had a net loss of four seats.

Outstanding races are in New York, California, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Utah, Arizona, and elsewhere. When all those votes are counted, Republicans are optimistic their numbers could swell to 208 and beyond, according to the National Republican Congressional Committee.

What’s known is that Republicans have flipped at least seven seats from blue to red and an eighth seat in Michigan that was most recently occupied by a Libertarian. Here’s a snapshot of the GOP victories:

GOP gains in the House

–In Florida, Republican candidate Carlos Gimenez defeated freshman Democratic Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell in the 26th district. Republican Maria Elvira Salazar defeated freshman Democratic Rep. Donna Shalala in the 27th district.

–In Oklahoma, Republican Stephanie Bice unseated freshman Democratic Rep. Kendra Horn. Horn flipped the seat from red to blue last cycle.

— In South Carolina, freshman congressman Democrat Joe Cunningham was projected to lose his reelection to state GOP Rep. Nancy Mace, flipping South Carolina’s 1st District back to red.

— In Minnesota, Republican Michelle Fischbach ousted longtime Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson, toppling the powerful chairman of the House Agriculture Committee in the most pro-Trump district held by a Democrat.

— In New Mexico, Republican Yvette Herrell defeated freshman Rep. Xochitl Torres Small, a freshman Democrat who flipped the 2nd Congressional seat from red to blue in 2018.

— In Iowa’s First Congressional District, Republican state representative and former TV news anchor Ashley Hinson defeated Democratic incumbent Abby Finkenauer.

– In West Michigan, Republican Peter Meijer, an Iraq war veteran whose grandfather started Meijer superstores, defeated Democrat Hillary Scholten, a former Department of Justice and nonprofit lawyer. The Third Congressional District was open after Rep. Justin Amash, a Republican-turned-Libertarian, did not seek reelection.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW HOUSE RESULTS

Republicans say more victories are on the horizon

.

Party officials are most optimistic about reclaiming two seats in New York that Democrats flipped in 2018. Votes are still being counted but Republican Nicole Malliotakis has a notable lead over freshman Rep. Max Rose in the Staten Island-Brooklyn district. And former GOP Rep. Claudia Tenney was also ahead in the 22nd District seat she lost two years ago to Rep. Anthony Brindisi.

Democrats have gained two open seats in North Carolina thanks to redrawn congressional maps that favored them and will welcome Deborah Ross and Kathy Manning to their caucus in January.

And Democrats flipped Georgia’s 7th Congressional District held by retiring Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga. Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux beat GOP candidate Rich McCormick in the suburban Atlanta district, the Associated Press called on Friday.

That means Democrats so far have a net loss of four seats in the House.

WHERE THINGS STAND: BATTLE FOR THE SENATE

Democrats think they can hold onto many close races that have not been called and have two other possible pick-up opportunities by defeating Rep. Jeff Van Drew in New Jersey and Rep. Mike Garcia in California.

On a call Thursday afternoon with Democratic House members, Rep. Cheri Bustos, head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), expressed frustration with the polling and election forecasts that all pointed to House Democrats expanding their majority.

“I’m furious,” Bustos told her colleagues, according to a source familiar with the call. “Something went wrong here across the entire political world. Our polls, Senate polls, Gov polls, presidential polls, Republican polls, public polls, turnout modeling, and prognosticators all pointed to one political environment – that environment never materialized.”

I have written about the tremendous increase in the food stamp program the last 9 years before and that means that both President Obama and Bush were guilty of not trying to slow down it’s growth. Furthermore, Republicans have been some of the biggest supporters of the food stamp program. Milton Friedman had a good solution to help end the welfare state and wish more people would pay attention to it.   Growing government also encourages waste and hurt growth but more importantly it causes people to become dependent on the government as this article and cartoon below show.

My great fear is that the “social capital” of self reliance in America will slowly disappear and that the United States will turn into a European-style welfare state.

That’s the message in the famous “riding in the wagon” cartoons that went viral and became the most-viewed post on this blog.

Well, this Glenn McCoy cartoon has a similar theme.

Obama Voter Cartoon

The only thing I would change is that the rat would become a “pro-government voter” or “left-wing voter” instead of an “Obama voter.” Just like I wasn’t satisfied with an otherwise very good Chuck Asay cartoon showing the struggle between producers and moochers.

That’s for two reasons. First, I’m not partisan. My goal is to spread a message of liberty, not encourage people to vote for or against any candidate.

Second, I’ve been very critical of Obama, but I was also very critical of Bush. Indeed, Bush was a bigger spender than Obama! And Clinton was quite good, so party labels often don’t matter.

But I’m getting wonky. Enjoy the cartoon and feel free to share it widely.

Eight Reasons Why Big Government Hurts Economic Growth

Uploaded on Aug 17, 2009

This Center for Freedom and Prosperity Foundation video analyzes how excessive government spending undermines economic performance. While acknowledging that a very modest level of government spending on things such as “public goods” can facilitate growth, the video outlines eight different ways that that big government hinders prosperity. This video focuses on theory and will be augmented by a second video looking at the empirical evidence favoring smaller government.

Related posts:

If increase in food stamps was just because of recession then why spending go from $19.8 billion in 2000 to $37.9 billion in 2007?

If the increase in food stamps was just because of the recession then why did the spending go from $19.8 billion in 2000 to $37.9 billion in 2007? The Facts about Food Stamps Everyone Should Hear Rachel Sheffield and T. Elliot Gaiser May 27, 2013 at 12:00 pm (7) Newscom A recent US News & […]

Tell the 48 million food stamps users to eat more broccoli!!!!

Welfare Can And Must Be Reformed             Uploaded on Jun 29, 2010 If America does not get welfare reform under control, it will bankrupt America. But the Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector has a five-step plan to reform welfare while protecting our most vulnerable. __________________________ We got to slow down the growth of Food Stamps. One […]

Republicans for more food stamps?

Eight Reasons Why Big Government Hurts Economic Growth __________________ We got to cut spending and we must first start with food stamp program and we need some Senators that are willing to make the tough cuts. Food Stamp Republicans Posted by Chris Edwards Newt Gingrich had fun calling President Obama the “food stamp president,” but […]

Obama promotes food stamps but Milton Friedman had a better suggestion

Milton Friedman’s negative income tax explained by Friedman in 1968: We need to cut back on the Food Stamp program and not try to increase it. What really upsets me is that when the government gets involved in welfare there is a welfare trap created for those who become dependent on the program. Once they […]

400% increase in food stamps since 2000

Welfare Can And Must Be Reformed Uploaded by HeritageFoundation on Jun 29, 2010 If America does not get welfare reform under control, it will bankrupt America. But the Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector has a five-step plan to reform welfare while protecting our most vulnerable. __________________________ If welfare increases as much as it has in the […]

Food stamp spending has doubled under the Obama Administration

The sad fact is that Food stamp spending has doubled under the Obama Administration. A Bumper Crop of Food Stamps Amy Payne May 21, 2013 at 7:01 am Tweet this Where do food stamps come from? They come from taxpayers—certainly not from family farms. Yet the “farm” bill, a recurring subsidy-fest in Congress, is actually […]

Which states are the leaders in food stamp consumption?

I am glad that my state of Arkansas is not the leader in food stamps!!! Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, Which State Has the Highest Food Stamp Usage of All? March 19, 2013 by Dan Mitchell The food stamp program seems to be a breeding ground of waste, fraud, and abuse. Some of the horror stories […]

Why not cancel the foodstamp program and let the churches step in?

Government Must Cut Spending Uploaded by HeritageFoundation on Dec 2, 2010 The government can cut roughly $343 billion from the federal budget and they can do so immediately. __________ We are becoming a country filled with people that dependent on the federal government when we should be growing our economy by lowering taxes and putting […]

Food Stamp Program is constantly ripped off and should be discontinued

Uploaded by oversightandreform on Mar 6, 2012 Learn More at http://oversight.house.gov The Oversight Committee is examining reports of food stamp merchants previously disqualified who continue to defraud the program. According to a Scripps Howard News Service report, food stamp fraud costs taxpayers hundreds of millions every year. Watch the Oversight hearing live tomorrow at 930 […]

 

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: