Democrats Project House Gains in 2008

Democrats Donkey Logo Private Democratic polls “project a gain of 9 to 11 seats in the 2008 elections,” writes Robert Novak in his Sunday column. This would be unprecedented, as “All previous major surges of House seats have been followed by losses in the next election. The 54-seat Republican gain in 1994 that produced GOP House control was followed by an eight-seat loss in 1996. However, the current Republican political slump, fueled by President Bush’s unpopularity, would reverse that pattern if the election were held today, according to the Democratic polls.”

It’s helpful to recall, however, that the election won’t be held today and President Bush will be on his way out on election day.

In the House, there will be some low hanging fruit for the Republicans: traditionally safe seats that were lost through personal scandals in the last cycle. In the Senate, the electoral math looks very, very good for the Democrats, as most of the open and competitive seats are held by Republicans.

While the Iraq War will almost surely still be a major component of the 2008 debate, the focus will be on the two presidential nominees. That will quite probably change the political landscape. If either party nominates a consensus builder who is able to break through the recent wave of polarization, he could have coattails that significantly reshape the House and Senate, sweeping his party in all the close races.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, Congress, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics, , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. polls project a gain of 9 to 11 seats in the 2008 elections, James Joyner notes quoting Robert Novak’s Sunday column. This would be unprecedented, as “All previous major surges of House seats have been followed by losses in the next election. (Outside the Beltway)

  2. polls project a gain of 9 to 11 seats in the 2008 elections, James Joyner notes quoting Robert Novak’s Sunday column. This would be unprecedented, as “All previous major surges of House seats have been followed by losses in the next election. (Outside the Beltway)

  3. Alex Knapp says:

    If either party nominates a consensus builder who is able to break through the recent wave of polarization, he could have coattails that significantly reshape the House and Senate, sweeping his party in all the close races.

    I agree. And the big problem for Republicans is that the closest they have to a “consensus builder” is McCain, who I don’t honestly expect to win the GOP nomination.

    If it’s an Obama vs. Giuliani matchup, I’d expect to see a lot of competitive seats swing Democrat.

  4. Dems’ Surge in 2008?…

    Eighteen months is a lot of time, but private Democratic polls project a gain of 9 to 11 seats in the 2008 elections, James Joyner notes quoting Robert Novak’s Sunday column. This would be unprecedented, as “All previous major surges……

  5. Speculating prior to knowing both presidential candidates (and any third party candidate) makes no sense.

  6. James Joyner says:

    If it’s an Obama vs. Giuliani matchup, I’d expect to see a lot of competitive seats swing Democrat.

    Could be, although Giuliani has the ability to get a lot of moderate swing votes on policy grounds. He may well alienate a lot of people, though, with his arrogance.

  7. Nice to see the Democrats focused on the important issues facing the country.

  8. Coattails is a concept that’s disappeared in our current red/blue polarized dicotome. Giuliani as nominee might have some because he could put a state like California into play. A Hillary Clinton vs. Newt Gingrich match would be another slugfest with little chance for coattails.

  9. spencer says:

    In the Senate there will be many more republican seats then democratic seats contested in both 2008 and 2010.