The House Of Representatives Likely To Be More “Blue” In 117th Congress

Six months out, it seems highly likely that the House of Representatives, which turned Democratic in the 2018 midterm elections, will be more heavily “Blue”.

The present House balance is 233 Democrats to 196 Republicans, and Independent Justin Amash of Michigan, who left the Republican Party in 2019, and voted for the impeachment of Donald Trump.

There are, presently, six vacant House seats, but four of them being filled soon, and the likelihood is that the two Democratic seats and two Republican seats will remain the same. Two other Republican seats have a vacancy that will not be filled until the November 2020 election.

But if one counts all six vacant House seats, the real balance is 235 Democrats and 200 Republicans, as Justin Amash is leaving Congress as the only Libertarian member. So effectively, the balance is what it was after Election Day in November 2018. Republicans would need a net gain of 18 seats to come back to the majority, and no polls show that happening.

More women and minorities were elected as Democrats than ever before in the House of Representatives, while the Republicans remain mostly white men.

There were big gains, a total of 41 new members of the Democratic majority, and California, the largest delegation, dropped to only 7 Republicans.

The Democrats had their biggest victory since 1974, and won the popular vote by 8.6 percent, an all time high for a party that had been in the minority previously. More than half the population voted, the highest percentage in a midterm election since 1914.

Besides California’s loss of 7 Republican seat, the following states lost multiple GOP seats:

Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Texas–2 seats each

New York, Virginia–3 seats each

New Jersey, Pennsylvania–4 seats each

21 states, altogether, lost 42 Republican seats, and it now seems likely that Democrats will gain more seats in Florida, Illinois, Texas, New York, Virginia, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, with the estimate being at least 10 more seats, leading to a possible majority as high as 245-190, after a few likely Republican gains.

3 comments on “The House Of Representatives Likely To Be More “Blue” In 117th Congress

  1. D May 3, 2020 12:06 am

    The 2020 Democrats will, with more than 90 percent likelihood, retain the U.S. House.

    In order for there to become a 2020 Republican pickup of the U.S. House, incumbent president Donald Trump has to get re-elected.

    A re-elected Trump would need his U.S. Popular Vote margin to be +3. Depending on all states increasing or decreasing their margins, in the direction of Trump, a Republican presidential candidate—incumbent or otherwise—who wins the U.S. Popular Vote by +3 suggests carriage of 31 states. (George W. Bush, with re-election in 2004, won a Republican pickup of the U.S. Popular Vote by +2.46 and carried 31 states.)

    The 2020 U.S. House Republicans would have to run +2 points better than a Trump +3. (The average margins spread—in 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016—was 2.06 between U.S. Popular Vote for U.S. President vs. U.S. House.) So, the 2020 Republicans would need to win the U.S. Popular Vote for U.S. House by +5 in order to flip the lower chamber of Congress back to their column. That would require a 2018-to-2020 national shift of, say, 13 to 14 points (the Rs lost in 2018 by –8.56).

    This is unlikely to happen.

    This is unlikely to happen because, six months from the scheduled date of the general election, “Real Clear Politics” reports the “2020 Generic Congressional Vote” is Democratic +7.4. This comes from an average of the last three polls, roughly covering the last month or so, and it is also the case when you look at the expanded list dating back several months previously. (Source:

    This is also unlikely to happen because, given the 17th Amendment (for the U.S. Senate), every president since whose party lost the U.S. House in Year #02 of his presidency, but that he won re-election anyway, was not able to flip the U.S. House back to his party’s column. Do not count 1946 and 1948 Harry Truman because he assumed office after the 1945 death of Franklin Roosevelt and was elected to a first full term in 1948. So, this was applicable to 1954 and 1956 Dwight Eisenhower, 1994 and 1996 Bill Clinton, and 2010 and 2012 Barack Obama. All of them, unlike Truman, were party-pickup winners when they won their first-term elections.

    I may have to more to say, in response to this blog topic, but I would prefer to offer such comment separately.

    This is a good topic.

  2. D May 3, 2020 6:59 am

    The topic of the elections for the United States House of Representatives is more complex than ones for U.S. President and U.S. Senate.

    Those are voted on statewide.

    The U.S. House is dealing with 435 individual congressional districts and a likewise number of representatives. They get redrawn every ten years after the report from the U.S. Census Bureau which also affects population changes. (Some states suffer losses and experience gains in allocated numbers of districts and, with that, their Electoral College votes.)

    I will cite a few states I think will experience a trending of bluer districts—or, if I turn out to be not correct (with all), most are on the horizon.

    ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    Ronald wrote the following about the midterm elections of 2018 (in which the Democrats won a majority pickup of the U.S. House with its U.S. Popular Vote as Democratic +8.56 percentage points): “21 states, altogether, lost 42 Republican seats, and it now seems likely that Democrats will gain more seats in Florida, Illinois, Texas, New York, Virginia, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, with the estimate being at least 10 more seats, leading to a possible majority as high as 245-190, after a few likely Republican gains.”

    I need to explore even further than I write in this comment. (Illinois, with its delegation 11-to-7 for the Democrats, should be able to go up at least one. I have not delved into Pennsylvania but include it in “More Potential.”)

    What I sense, right away, is that I cannot agree with including New Jersey. That state has 12 congressional districts and may be maxed out with how many Democratic seats it has the potential to hold. (Areas like Monmouth County, with its county seat Freehold Borough, are Republican.) Massachusetts is the only state, also allocated with double-digit electoral votes, which has all its districts in the Democratic column. Maryland has all but one in the Democratic column. New Jersey has Republican strength with its 2nd and 4th districts. (Jeff Van Drew, a Democratic pickup winner in 2018 who switched to Republican, reps the 2nd.) The 2016-to-2018 delegation in New Jersey went from 7–5, for the Democrats, to 11–1. It is now 10–2. That level may be the ceiling for the Ds in New Jersey.

    I will give an assessment with the following states:


    • 2018 State Margin: D+13.84
    • 2016 State Margin: D+0.43
    • 2016-to-2018 Shift: D+13.41
    • 2016 Presidential Rank: Nos. 15 (D) and 36 (R)
    • 2016-to-2018 Delegation: From the Republicans’ 7-to-4 to the exact opposite (Democratic pickups in the 2nd, 7th, and 10th districts)
    • 2018 Democratic Net Gains: +3
    • Vulnerable Republican District: Virginia #05 (Denver Riggleman)
    • State Assessment: Virginia and Colorado look like PVIs (partisan voting indexes) of performing +6 and +7 for the Ds. It’s hard to improve on the 2018 Virginia U.S. House numbers unless Ds win the U.S. Popular Vote for U.S. House—in connection with U.S. President—by over +10 points.

    • 2018 State Margin: D+10.48
    • 2016 State Margin: R+0.92
    • 2016-to-2018 Shift: D+11.40
    • 2016 Presidential Rank: Nos. 16 (D) and 35 (R)
    • 2016-to-2018 Delegation: From 4-to-3 for the Republicans to the exact opposite for the Democrats (with their pickup in Colorado #06)
    • 2018 Democratic Net Gains: +1
    • Vulnerable Republican Districts: Colorado #03 (Scott Tipton)
    • State Assessment: It is hard for Ds to go further than a 5-to-2 delegation from Colorado unless the party wins the presidency with a national margin exceeding +10 percentage points; however, it is expected, after the 2020 U.S. Census Bureau comes through with its report, that Colorado will go from 7 to 8 districts and from 9 to 10 electoral votes. Best the Ds may be able to do in Colorado is a 6-to-2 majority off a Republican president or with a Democratic pickup-winning president having arrived for his first term.

    ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆


    • 2018 State Margin: D+7.68
    • 2016 State Margin: R+1.06
    • 2016-to-2018 Shift: D+8.74
    • 2016 Presidential Rank: Nos. 21 (D) and 30 (R)
    • 2016-to-2018 Delegation: From the Republicans’ 9-to-5 an even 7-to-7 (Democratic pickups in Michigan’s 8th and 11th districts); its current delegation is 7–6–1 because Justin Amash, from the 3rd district, has since switched his party affiliation—twice—and is running for U.S. President as a Libertarian
    • 2018 Democratic Net Gains: +2 (National Average with Involved States)
    • Vulnerable Republican Districts: Michigan #03 (Justin Amash) and Michigan #06 (Fred Upton). Both are districts with a mix of areas Republican and Democratic. The 3rd includes parts of northwest Kent County (Grand Rapids), a county which Republicans used to carry +15 to +25 above statewide outcomes and is nowadays closer to R+5. Gretchen Whitmer’s 2018 Democratic gubernatorial pickup of Michigan was a margin of +9.56 and she flipped Kent County by +3.95. The 6th district has a PVI of R+4. (Whitmer came within a half-point with each of Michigan #03 and Michigan #06.) This is not out of the question when envisioning a scenario of Michigan with a higher number of Ds vs. Rs in the U.S. House.
    • State Assessment: Michigan (and companion state Pennsylvania) may take over for Ohio as the best bellwether states in the Rust Belt. That is, when identifying two long-established Companion States as ones which trend with the nation. (They two voted the same in 37 of the last 40 presidential elections and, together, have carried roughly 80 percent for presidential winners. Overall average is 69 percent carriage of the nation’s states by presidential winners.) Michigan came closest, than all other states, with the U.S. Popular Vote for U.S. House in both 2016 and 2018. Its spread was just 0.02 and 0.88.

    • 2018 State Margin: R+5.25
    • 2016 State Margin: R+9.50
    • 2016-to-2018 Shift: D+4.25
    • 2016 Presidential Rank: Nos. 24 (D) and 27 (R)
    • 2016-to-2018 Delegation: From the Republicans’ 16-to-11 to an almost equal 14-to-13 (Democratic pickups in Florida’s 26th and 27th districts)
    • 2018 Democratic Net Gains: +2 (National Average with Involved States)
    • Vulnerable Republican District: Florida #15 (Ross Spano)—which includes northern areas of Hillsborough County (Tampa) and Polk County (Bartow)—is commonly cited as most within reach for the Democrats
    • State Assessment: Ds have woefully underperformed their capable electoral results—a problem with the state party and/or candidates and/or campaigns—and, by now, they should have been able to experience a higher number of seats than Rs (under a Republican and an incoming Democratic president). This is especially obvious with the governorship (which the party hasn’t won since 1994). For numerous reasons—including overall outcomes for prevailing parties for U.S. House, U.S. Senate, and U.S. Governors in the 2018 midterm elections—Florida is the best bellwether state in the nation most especially lately for U.S. President. (Unbroken streak since 1996. Within five percentage points of national margins in all of the last six cycles.) So, the Ds should be doing better—and they should be having periods of winning more U.S. House seats than Rs from Florida.

    ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆


    • 2018 State Margin: D+1.71
    • 2016 State Margin: R+7.77
    • 2016-to-2018 Shift: D+9.48
    • 2016 Presidential Rank: Nos. 25 (D) and 26 (R)
    • 2016-to-2018 Delegation: From the Republicans’ 5-to-4 to the exact opposite (Democratic pickup in Arizona #02)
    • 2018 Democratic Net Gains: +1
    • Vulnerable Republican District: Right now, none. All 2018 re-elected Arizona U.S. House Republicans prevailed by at least +10 points.
    • State Assessment: Its 2016-to-2018 shift was 9.48, just 0.16 points less than the national shift of +9.64 for the 2016-to-2018 U.S. House Democrats. It would be difficult for Ds to win more majorities in Arizona if the congressional districts do not get redrawn efficiently.

    • 2018 State Margin: R+2.04
    • 2016 State Margin: R+6.62
    • 2016-to-2018 Shift: D+4.58
    • 2016 Presidential Rank: Nos. 26 (D) and 25 (R)
    • 2016-to-2018 Delegation: Same, with Republicans’ 10-to-3
    • 2018 Democratic Net Gains: +0
    • Vulnerable Republican Districts: North Carolina #02 (George Holding, retiring) and North Carolina #06 (Mark Walker, retiring) are commonly cited
    • State Assessment: In 2018, election for North Carolina #09 was thrown out, making the delegation (for a while) Rs with 9 to Ds’ 3. It ended up a Republican hold anyway. North Carolina is poised for more blue seats; but, its congressional map needs to get redrawn.

    • 2018 State Margin: R+4.54
    • 2016 State Margin: R+20.52
    • 2016-to-2018 Shift: D+15.98
    • 2016 Presidential Rank: Nos. 27 (D) and 24 (R)
    • 2016-to-2018 Delegation: From Republicans’ 10-to-4 to 9-to-5 (a Democratic pickup in Georgia #06)
    • 2018 Democratic Net Gains: +1
    • Vulnerable Republican District: Georgia #07 (Rob Woodall, retiring)
    • State Assessment: For U.S. President, Georgia is closely aligned in margins with Arizona. In the 2018 midterm elections, Rob Woodall was barely re-elected from Georgia #07. This is a good portion of the Atlanta area trending away from the Republicans and toward the Democrats to make the state flippable for Team Blue. But, the rest of the 2016-to-2018 Republican holds, in Georgia, were margins +10 and up. A redrawing of the congressional map is necessary to make more districts competitive.

    • 2018 State Margin: R+3.4
    • 2016 State Margin: R+20.1
    • 2016-to-2018 Shift: D+16.7
    • 2016 Presidential Rank: Nos. 29 (D) and 22 (R)
    • 2016-to-2018 Delegation: From Republicans’ 25-to-11 to 23-to-13 (Democratic pickups in Texas’s 7th and 32nd Congressional Districts)
    • 2018 Democratic Net Gains: +2 (National Average with Involved States)
    • Vulnerable Republican Districts: Texas #10 (Michael McCaul); Texas #21 (Chip Roy); Texas #22 (Pete Olson, retiring); Texas #23 (Will Hurd, retiring); and Texas #24 (Kenny Marchant, retiring)
    • State Assessment: Texas is in transition. Its 2016-to-2018 margins shifted dramatically toward the Democrats in the No. 2 populous state. And, due to the following information, it may be the most interesting state to list. Texas #10 is part of the areas of Greater Houston and Austin. … Texas #21 includes Austin and San Antonio. …Texas #22 gave Trump a margin close to his statewide, +8 vs. +9. It used to be the district of former U.S. House majority leader Tom DeLay. Part of it is Richmond, the county seat of Fort Bend County, a 2016 Democratic pickup for U.S. President nominee Hillary Clinton and a 2018 Democratic pickup for U.S. Senate nominee Beto O’Rourke. … Texas #23 is the southwestern part of the state, bordering with Mexico and including western San Antonio. It is predominantly rural. It is majority Hispanic. It carried in 2016 for Hillary Clinton by +5 points while her statewide margin was –9. … Texas #24 covers suburban areas in the Dallas–Fort Worth areas. I mentioned, in Ronald’s blog on the U.S. Senate races, that a Democratic pickup of the State of Texas is going to happen much attributed to the neighboring counties that are Tarrant County (Fort Worth) and Denton County (Denton), to go along with Collin County (McKinney) and, of course, Dallas County (Dallas) which realigned over to the Democratic column regularly beginning in 2008—first time since 1964—and has since further solidified its levels of blue. So, yes, it would be the Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington areas of Texas that will be key, when the time comes, in flipping the State of Texas to Team Blue.

    ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆


    There are more that I can list.

    Springing to mind are both Nebraska #02 and Maine #02 (a U.S. House Democratic pickup from 2018). … I suggest considering Pennsylvania #01. … Ditto Illinois #13. … Likewise New York #02 (retiring Peter King). … I take into consideration Kansas #02. … And, of course, there is the state of Montana. (It is underestimated by the Democrats.) It will go from one to two congressional districts after the 2020 U.S. Census Bureau makes its report, which includes population changes, official. The current At-Large district in Montana is susceptible as a 2020 Red-to-Blue flip if there is a Democratic pickup of the presidency combined with a Democratic pickup of a U.S. Senate seat and a Democratic hold in its gubernatorial election.

    All this information adds to what was written in this blog by Ronald. There is the flip side. But, right now, this topic is about one side.

  3. Ronald May 3, 2020 7:16 am

    WOW, D, you did it again, amazing!

    This blog gains so much by your contributions, so thanks so much again! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.