for those of you thinking about re-taking the House.
Unfortunately for Democrats, this year’s index tells a dire story of what can happen when a party suffers an ugly election cycle right before redistricting. Democrats couldn’t have picked a worse year to than 2010 to get clobbered: they lost not only 63 House seats but also more than 680 state legislative seats – empowering Republicans to draw ten-year maps in four times as many districts as Democrats. As a result, thanks to effective GOP cartography, the number of “strong” Republican seats has jumped from 182 to 190 and the number of “strong” Democratic seats has fallen from 150 to 146. Meanwhile, the number of “swing” seats has fallen below 100 for the first time, from 104 to 99.
If both parties hold all their “strong” districts, Democrats would now need to win 73 percent of all “swing” districts to achieve a majority – a very difficult feat even in a “wave” year, something 2012 does not appear to be. It also doesn’t help Democrats that of the 99 “swing seats” (those between D+5 and R+5 in the PVI), 56 lean slightly to Republicans while just 43 lean slightly to Democrats. If every single seat elected a member consistent with its PVI score, there would be 246 Republicans and 189 Democrats, not far off from the current count in the House. This suggests that in a “neutral” year, Democrats could win just as many popular votes for House as the GOP and still fall more than two dozen seats shy of a majority.
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- thenoobyorker said: full house
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