Cook: Dems Pick Up Senate, House Seats; Favored to Win WH
by Jonathan Singer, Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 06:15:58 PM EST
The latest from the Cook Political Report:
Presidential Race: Charlie Cook today gives Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney each a 45 percent chance of winning the GOP nomination, Hillary Clinton an 85 percent chance of winning the Democratic nomination, and Democrats a 60 percent chance of capturing the White House.
The U.S. Senate: Senior Editor Jennifer Duffy believes that Democrats will score a net gain of between three and six Senate seats next November.
The U.S. House: House Editor David Wasserman estimates today that Democrats will pick up between two and eight House seats next year.
The Governors: Senior Editor Jennifer Duffy sees the potential for no net change to a Democratic gain of one seat among next year's 11 Gubernatorial races.
My views don't diverge particularly far from these folks in terms of the race for the White House, the Senate or the Governorships. Perhaps I'd move around something here or there -- I don't think, for instance, that Clinton is quite as prohibitive a favorite (though I think the's indeed likeliest to be the Democratic nominee at this point), and I might put the Democrats' chances in a general closer to two-thirds than three-fifths -- but overall I'd tend to agree with these sentiments.
But it seems to me that Wasserman is well underestimating the Democrats' chances in the House. To begin, Democrats continue to hold wide leads on the generic congressional ballot question -- close to as large of leads, if not larger, than the ones they held last fall, when they made serious gains. These numbers may in fact tighten, but they have not yet begun to, indicating that for as unpopular as the Congress is as a whole, the public continues to favor the Democrats to the Republicans. What's more, in terms of recruitment and retirements in the House, the map has come to clearly favor the Democrats. Specifically, Republicans have left open seats in some of the most competitive corners of the country and have largely failed to recruit strong candidates, while the Democrats haven't really suffered troublesome retirements but have been able to woo some truly terrific challengers.
Perhaps even more importantly (or at least as important as the other factors mentioned above), the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee holds an insane monetary advantage over its rival, the National Republican Congressional Committee. I'll have a post up hopefully tomorrow on the latest numbers, but the DCCC's cash-on-hand advantage at this juncture is more than $28.1 million over the NRCC, which is still in the red. With numbers like these, the Democrats will be able to be on the offensive all around the country and the Republicans won't be able to manage to do much effective defense, let alone go on offense.
Taking all of these factors into account, I'd venture to say that the Democrats are closer on track to netting a gain of 10-15 seats next fall -- with a greater likelihood that the number of pickups will be over 15 than under 10.