Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

October 28, 2016 11:57 AM

2016 Election

As the election approaches, 26% of likely voters say they are strong Democrats while an additional 9% say they are not strong Democrats.

19% say they are strong Republicans, and an additional 7% describe themselves as not strong Republicans.

33% describe themselves as Independents.

Of the Independents, 13% say they are strictly Independents while 9% say they lean Democrat and 11% say they lean Republican.

Combined, 44% describe themselves as some form of Democrat and 37% describe themselves as some form of Republican. [NBC/WSJ, 10/13]

Only 18% of Americans approve of the way in which Congress is handling its job. Notwithstanding the fact that their party controls both the Senate and House, only 14% of Republicans approve of the job Congress is doing. [Gallup, 10/9]

Based on the tracking of 109 polls from 20 pollsters, as of October 19th, 46% of people prefer a Democratic controlled Congress to 41% who prefer a Republican controlled Congress. [Huffpost/Pollster]

The House

The Democrats continue on a path that is likely to result in an increase in their numbers in the House. However, current evidence is that the Presidential election is so far not having any particular effect on the down ballot races. Therefore, the prospect of a Democratic takeover seems pretty dim.

David Wasserman, the House editor of the Cook Political Report, estimates that the Democrats would have to win the national House popular vote by a least 8 points to win a majority. He notes that ,“while Democrats need a net gain of 30 seats in the House, there are currently only 37 competitive races, including six that are now held by Democrats.”

[WW relies on the Cook Political Report for the House data below.]

  • Democrats 186
  • Republicans 246
  • Vacancies 3

  Democrats Republicans
Safe in 2016 177 201
Likely 6 14
Lean 6 13
Toss-ups Democrats Republicans
  3 15

The Senate

If Clinton wins, a pickup of four Senate seats will allow the Democrats to control the operation of the Senate which will be split 50/50 between the Democrats + Independents and the Republicans. A pickup of five seats gives them control without tying up the Vice President.

Based on the races up this year, actual control is not beyond the pale.

It is quite likely that the number of female senators will increase with this election. The possibilities include Illinois, North Carolina, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Arizona.

  • Republicans 54
  • Democrats 44
  • Independents 2

  Democrats Republicans
Seats not up in 2016 36 30
Safe in 2016 9 15
Leaning in 2016 2
Total 47 46
Toss-ups Democrats Republicans

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