Locked Out Of The House

Republicans have a close to 100 percent chance of keeping control of the House this year:

GOP House

And it’s not just this election cycle. In Nate Cohn’s estimation, getting back the House anytime in the near future will be a very heavy lift for Democrats:

To retake the House, Democrats would not just need another great election year, like 2006 or 2008; they would need to build a much broader coalition than the one they currently focus on in presidential elections. They would need to attract the voters that some liberals thought they could abandon: the conservative Democrats of the South and Appalachia, where the vanquished Blue Dogs once reigned. …

A Democrat with more support than Mr. Obama in the traditionally Democratic South, like Hillary Rodham Clinton, could potentially help Democrats in these areas. But it is usually difficult for the incumbent president’s party to make gains in the House in any election year. A Democratic rebound in places like West Virginia or Arkansas might be easier to imagine if a Republican wins the presidency in 2016 and struggles heading into the 2018 midterms.

Waldman bounces off Cohn:

[T]here are two parallel processes happening, one of which benefits Democrats and one of which benefits Republicans.

By appealing to white voters and characterizing Democrats as the party of the non-white, Republicans can hold onto the House. But the more they’re perceived to be the party of white people, the harder it is for them to win presidential elections. As we’ve seen time and again over the last couple of years, even when national Republican leaders would like to make the party friendlier to minorities, right now the GOP is defined by the one place where it holds power: the House.

One answer to the question of what the Democrats can do to make taking back the House a possibility is simple: They can wait. The demographic groups that make up their coalition are increasing in size as a proportion of the population, while the group that makes up almost the entirety of the GOP’s base is shrinking. It’s a slow process, but as whites become a smaller and smaller portion of the American populace, it’ll be tougher and tougher for Republicans to maintain their lock on the House. They may have it for a while yet. But it won’t last forever.