An Analysis of the Generic Congressional Ballot

by Sal on April 9, 2010

in Election 2010,Politics

Nate Silver at 538.com takes a look at the generic congressional ballot, and puts forth some statistical projections of how many Congressional seats the Democrats could be slated to lose this November based purely on historic trends and current poll results.  He takes four measurements into account:

  1. Current RCP Average Generic Congressional Ballot:  2.3% Republican advantage, yielding around 40 seats – close to flipping control to the GOP, but with no margin for error.
  2. RCP Average adjusted for historical Republican Disadvantage:  5.7% Republican advantage, yielding a 51-seat swing.
  3. Rasmussen’s Generic Congressional Ballot:  9% Republican Advantage, yielding a 65-seat loss
  4. Rasmussen’s ballot adjusted for historical Republican Disadvantage:  12.4% GOP Advantage, yielding a 79-seat swing

So, by this analysis, the Democrats could lose between 40 and 80 seats in the House this fall.  I tend to agree with Ace that the 79-seat number is a bit implausible, but the 65-seat swing by Rasmussen’s poll doesn’t seem out of the question.  What is clear that if things don’t change quickly, the Democrats are in for a shellacking come November.

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