Anti-Incumbent Fever May Give Dems a Shot at House

Unlikely, says Silver, but House hard to analyze
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2012 7:01 AM CDT
Anti-Incumbent Fever May Give Dems a Shot at House
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during her weekly news conference June 21, 2012 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Stats guru Nate Silver may have President Obama slightly favored to win re-election in November, and the battle for Senate in a tossup, but what does he think about the House? In his latest blog post in the New York Times, Silver calls Republicans "reasonably clear favorites" to keep control of the House—Republicans and Democrats are about even in support at the moment, and ties tend to favor incumbents. Plus, the GOP controlled the latest round of redistricting and leads the way on fundraising for House battles.

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So what could turn things the Democrats' way and help them pick up 25 or more seats? General voter disgust with Congress, says Silver, which has a dismal 18% approval rating. Disapproval often signals more turnover, and since Republicans control the House, they have more to lose in an anti-incumbent wave. "In short, the signs so far are that Republican incumbents are holding up well enough in the House, and that there is not much of a wave breaking in either direction," writes Silver. But, with Democrats getting 4-to-1 odds against re-taking the House, "I might take Democrats’ side of the bet just on the general principle of long uncertainty early in a political cycle." Click for Silver's full analysis. (Read more Nate Silver stories.)

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