If the election were held today, Democrats would pick up around 30 seats, giving them control of the chamber. I do not expect this to happen. Many things will happen in the coming 12 months, and the current crisis might be a distant memory. But at this point I do expect Democrats to pick up seats next year, an exception to the midterm rule.
Nate Cohn throws some cold water:
Democrats aren’t yet poised to mount serious challenges to a clear majority of the Republicans running on competitive turf, let alone actually win. So you should probably take this morning’s PPP poll with an additional grain of salt: it’s about how House Republicans would fare against a “generic” Democrat, not the mediocre one they’ll face in 2014. Perhaps the shutdown will trigger a wave of GOP retirements and Democratic recruits. But without both, Democrats will probably crest short of 218.
Enten also tackles PPP:
This “generic” bias might have been balanced in vulnerable seats for Democrats, except PPP didn’t poll any. If PPP and MoveOn had any real interest in seeing what the state of the House was, they’d poll Democratic controlled seats too. After all, the Rothenberg Political Report finds a nearly equal number of Democratic and Republican seats in play.
Theodore Arrington explains why retaking the House is so difficult for Democrats:
To get half the seats, Democrats will have to garner about 53% of the two-party vote. This is not impossible, as they performed above this level in 2006 and 2008, but it makes the task of winning a majority of the House seats an uphill climb.
Kyle Kondik adds:
[I]f Republicans do open the door to the Democrats in the House, it’s not going to be the “Ted Cruz Republicans” who will pay the price. Rather, it’s the House Republicans in marginal districts who could see their ranks decimated, just like the House Democratic moderates whose anti-Obamacare votes couldn’t save them in 2010.
Meanwhile, Kornacki notes that Republican recklessness could create “fallout for the party in Senate races, where the excesses of Tea Party-ism have already cost the GOP winnable races in 2010 and 2012 and could do so again next year.”