Skip to main content Accessibility help

The Playing Field Shifts: Predicting the Seats-Votes Curve in the 2008 U.S. House Elections

  • Jonathan P. Kastellec (a1), Andrew Gelman (a1) and Jamie P. Chandler (a2)

The 2008 U.S. House elections mark the first time since 1994 that the Democrats will seek to retain a majority. With the political climate favoring Democrats this year, it seems almost certain that the party will retain control, and will likely increase its share of seats. In five national polls taken in June of this year, Democrats enjoyed on average a 13-point advantage in the generic congressional ballot; as Bafumi, Erikson, and Wlezien (2007) point out, these early polls, suitably adjusted, are good predictors of the November vote. As of late July, bettors at put the probability of the Democrats retaining a majority at about 95% ( 2008). Elsewhere in this symposium, Klarner (2008) predicts an 11-seat gain for the Democrats, while Lockerbie (2008) forecasts a 25-seat pickup.

Hide All
Bafumi, Joseph, Erikson, Robert S., and Wlezien, Christopher. 2007. “Forecasting House Seats from Generic Congressional Polls.” Legislative Studies Section Newsletter 30 (1).
Gelman, Andrew, and King, Gary. 1994. “A Unified Method of Evaluating Electoral Systems and Redistricting Plans.” American Journal of Political Science 38 (2): 514–54.
Gelman, Andrew, and Huang, Zaiyang. Forthcoming. “Estimating Incumbency Advantage and its Variation, as an Example of a Before-After Study.” Journal of the American Statistical Association. 2008. “2008 US House of Representatives Control. The Democrats to Control the House of Representatives after 2008 Congressional Elections.”
Kastellec, Jonathan P., Gelman, Andrew, and Chandler, Jamie P.. 2008. “Predicting and Dissecting the Seats-Votes Curve in the 2006 U.S. House Election.” PS: Political Science and Politics 41 (January): 139–45.
Klarner, Carl. 2008. “Forecasting the 2008 U.S. House, Senate, and Presidential Elections at the District and State Level.” PS: Political Science and Politics 41 (October): 723–28.
Lockerbie, Brad. 2008. “Election Forecasting: The Future of the Presidency and the House.” PS: Political Science and Politics 41 (October): 713–16.
Nagourney, Adam, and Hulse, Carl. 2008. “Republican Election Losses Stir Fall Fears.” The New York Times, May 15.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

PS: Political Science & Politics
  • ISSN: 1049-0965
  • EISSN: 1537-5935
  • URL: /core/journals/ps-political-science-and-politics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed