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2014 in the House

by: Left Coast Libertarian

Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 14:21:48 PM EST

What will 2014 look like? 2010? 2012? Neither. Post second mid-terms can show us what to expect this time.  
Left Coast Libertarian :: 2014 in the House
The House result is usually a mix of two factors, environment and the seats' natural lean. Environment is a well known phenomenon. It can be coat tails for a Presidential, a negative reaction to an unpopular President, or in an unusual circumstance rallying around a President. In many cases the environment is fairly neutral.

Most congressional districts will go to a certain party in a normal environment. If one party controls districts which lean to the other party as a result of a wave, a neutral environment will return most of those to that party. Thus, 2010 was going to be a GOP year regardless, since the party was nearly 50 seats below the seats' natural party lean. Republicans would've made big gains, just not that big, even without the wind at their backs.

Here are the second term mid-terms. If a President has a bad second mid-term he'll usually have had a first mid-term without real losses. Presidents just don't have two horrible mid-terms. There are probably a lot of reasons for this.

1950 - I'm sure this looks like a bad mid-term for Harry Truman, but it really wasn't. His enormous win in 1948 resulted in Democrats getting 263 House seats, about 30 more than they'd get in a normal year. Without Truman's momentum Democrats lost 28 seats, to put them at 235, about where they'd expect to be in this era. Truman had a very bad mid-term in 1946 and this one wasn't.

1958 - While Republicans had lost the House in 1954, this was just simply a return to normal. The Democrats had 232 seats in 1954 and 234 in 1956. Unlike 1954, this was a horrible environment for Ike and the Republicans. They got thrashed at the polls and lost 48 seats. The Democratic conference was bloated with seats they couldn't hold as a result. Thus, they lost seats in 1960 even though Kennedy won the Presidency.

1966 - Johnson's 1964 landslide gave Democrats 295 House seats, a conference they couldn't hold. The era average was 256 and Democrats lost a little more than that, dropping to 247. Kennedy hadn't lost seats in the first mid-term.

1974 - Republicans were about 13 over their era average, so losses were likely. Add in Watergate and Democrats picked 49 seats. Nixon's first mid-term had been mild.

1986 - After the 1984 election Republicans stood only 3 seats above the era average. Democrats gained 5 seats. Reagan had had a tough first mid-term, but not a second.

1998 - The Democratic performance here has been attributed to the impeachment. That certainly helped the Democrats, but both sides entered the year at their era averages. So there wasn't the opportunity districts of 1994.

2006 - Bush had a mild first mid-term, but not the second. The environment was terrible for Republicans and the Democrats gained enough seats to put them 26 over the era average. That makes this mid-term similar to 1958 when Democrats were 27 above their era average.

2014 - Most of the 2012 Democratic pick-ups were Democratic leaning seats. They won a decent share of marginal seats but not many. In 2010 Republicans could identify dozens of R+ seats for pick-up. Democrats probably have a handful now. So the obvious pick-ups aren't there this time, the way they were in 1950 and 1966. It's possible that the election will be like 1958, 1974, and 2006 but those were all in Presidencies that didn't have heavy first mid-term losses.

Thus, I don't see big gains for the GOP in 2014. That said, it won't be a good year for Democrats. There have been 17 mid-terms since 1944 and in 16 of them the President's party has won a lower percentage of the House vote than they did in the Presidential election. This occurred regardless of whether the President's party controlled the House or what vote share the party got in that year. That one exception was 2002, when President Bush's approval rating was sky high due to 9/11. That seems unlikely to happen again.

All the gloom and doomers, especially those saying all our California seats are lost, should consider this when making those pronouncements. The Democrats won a lot of close races here and it'll be hard to hold them in a year that's very likely to be more Republican.

I think Democrats will get 48%-49% of the vote, which should result in losses. I'm thinking the GOP will pick up 8-15 seats.  

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2014 in the House | 20 comments
House 2014
Agree ^  

also agree
achieving normal 6 year itch much easier for the Senate given 2010;
only thing left in 2014 are the ones that got away this year.

43 Male Republican, Maryland Heights, MO Pattonville School District, Maryland Heights Fire District (MO-2). Previously lived in both Memphis and Nashville.

[ Parent ]
CA Dems
The California Dems who won marginal seats (Bera, Peters, Brownley, Ruiz) don't have Pres. Obama's coattails anymore. They could be vulnerable in 2014. OTOH, I think Gary Miller's seat is gone in 2014 if a Hispanic Democrat runs against him.  

Same with the NY Dems
Sean Maloney could be vulnerable. Surely, the GOP will target Owens and Bishop harder than ever.  

[ Parent ]
Maffei didn't break 50%
Against a less polarizing opponent he could be in trouble  

[ Parent ]
Maffei bled alot of votes to the far left Green Party candidate
who took a surprisingly high share of the vote.

[ Parent ]
CA seats
There are several House seats which will be hotly contested for the decade, flipping back and forth more or less

CA07 Bera [D]
CA10 Denham [R]
CA21 Valadao [R]
CA26 Brownley [D]
CA36 Ruiz [D]
CA52 Peters [D]

6 times 5 elections is 30 elections.

overall, I think around 60% of those 30 elections will be carried by Ds

CA31 will flip to D in 2014

in 2022, in Northern CA

Garimendis district will likely lose a major portion of Solano County, bringing CA03 into contention

CA09 will likewise probably lose its Contra Costa County porttion [very heavily D], bringing that district into contention

CA04 will probably lose most of the foothills district portion, leaving CA04 R, but with a lot of red territory to distribute in the valley.  Other factors unpredictabe at this time

[ Parent ]
I don't see how you can predict several of these
CA-7, 26, 35, and 52 were all very close, so I can see them possibly flipping. Of course some of that depends on GOP recruits. I don't see CA-31flipping as a given in 2014, given that it's likely a Republican lean year and Democrats will need to find a better candidate.

CA-10 and CA-21 are questionable. Democrats put on a full court press in CA-10. There were $8 million in independent expenditures here. Hernandez lost by 7.1 points. On the other hand, there was $245,000 in independent expenditures in CA-3 and Garamendi won by 6.4 points.

David Valadao won by 18.0 points in CA-21. To put that in perspective, Democrats Mark Takano won by 15.4, Alan Lowenthal by 11.2, and Jim Costa by 12.7. Republicans Doug LaMalfa won by 16.2, Buck McKeon by 11.2, Darrell Issa by 17.2, and Ed Royce by 16.7. The district has a lot of Democrats, but Valadao did better than many Republicans.

CA-21 is a low turn-out district. Someone named Ron Varasteh got 105,047 against Dana Rohrabacher. There were 102,747 votes in this district. It's very tough to turn a district where you can't get anyone to the polls.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
Cuomo and Brown Coattails
each did win in 2010 and I don't see either not being re-elected

I don't even know who Republicans will get to run for any statewide office here in NY

Bown won't have Coattails
Sacramento is even more hated than Albany if you can believe that.  Brown will win by the standard 10-15 point margin most Democrats win by in California.  We have a pretty strong high-30s floor here and Brown isn't liked anyway.

Let me put it this way, the people voting for Brown are probably already voting for Democrats down-ballot.  Its not like NY where Cuomo can realistically win every CD, county, and state Legislative district in the state.

24, Conservatarian Republican CA-12
Liberals dream things that never were and ask why not.  Conservatives shout back "Because it won't work"

[ Parent ]
Cuomo's made a mantra of working with Republicans
Hard to see him driving unusual Democrat turnout or keeping Rs home. Remember in '10 we flipped the Grimm, Hayworth, Gibson, & Hanna seats despite Paladino being crushed in those areas  

[ Parent ]
In fact he might do the opposite and depress turnout on the left.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
few pickup opportunities
Mostly in CA, NY, IL. Other than that perhaps we can snag GA-12. TX-33 is automatic if the Supreme Court goes our way.

28, R, PA-07.

And AZ
All 3 Mathismandered seats could fall in a good-to-great R year.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
How would Heinz line up against McSally is Barber retires?  Is he legit at all?  Anyone else Democrats could run?

34/M/D/NY-01 DKE:Socks The Cat

[ Parent ]
The 1998 midterms
LCL writes, "The Democratic performance here has been attributed to the impeachment. That certainly helped the Democrats, but both sides entered the year at their era averages. So there wasn't the opportunity districts of 1994."

I realize that 1998 was a long time ago, and I apologize for nitpicking some minor details about it. But the impeachment of President Clinton occurred a few days before Christmas in 1998 -- about 6-7 weeks after the midterm elections. So we can hardly say that it influenced those elections. In fact, I would argue that public uncertainty over whether the House would hold a vote on impeachment (or not) had the notable effect of discouraging GOP activism and depressing GOP turnout.

Age 44. Location: GA-04 & GA-05.

While the impeachment proceedings didn't start until after the election, Kenneth Starr had finished his investigation by that summer, and everyone knew they were coming. People were angry at the Republicans for their perceived unjust persecution of the President.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
Wheels came off in Sept 1998
When the House Rs played the Grand Jury testimony all day on TV and made clear they weren't gonna just let Bubba twist in the wind slowly; this revved up his defenders and made indies think the Rs were obsessed  

[ Parent ]
Clinton's GJ testimony
It was the Democrats who insisted most loudly that Clinton's testimony be released to the public, and that it be done so immediately. And of course it was the media that insisted on broadcasting it over and over again. I think the GOP was probably right to go along with the publication of the testimony, but it really wasn't the GOP's idea, and it is unclear if the GOP would've come up with it on its own. Maybe, maybe not.

Age 44. Location: GA-04 & GA-05.

[ Parent ]
Kenneth Starr, impeachment, etc
Yes and no. I agree that the "Starr Report" and the OIC investigation in general were a major issue. But I do not agree that "everyone knew [impeachment proceedings] were coming." Or at least, if we knew that some sort of hearings would be held, but not the extent or the result. The confusion and lack of coherence on this point was very demoralizing to GOP supporters, IMHO.

I also agree that the Democrats/media, as well most apolitical-types who don't follow current events very closely and whose views are easily shaped by media-narratives, were indeed "angry at the Republicans". But that anger could have been greatly blunted and minimized if GOP leaders had spelled out with force and clarity exactly what they intended to do, and why. Such force and clarity were sorely lacking. As was said at the time, Republicans "wanted to wound Clinton, but were afraid to strike." The result is that the GOP was blamed in the media for being in cahoots with the dreaded "Clinton haters", yet got no credit from the "Clinton haters" because they hadn't really done anything to him, and left it unclear if they ever would.  

Age 44. Location: GA-04 & GA-05.

[ Parent ]
2014 in the House | 20 comments

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