Congressional elections don’t get the same hype as the “Road to 270 Electoral votes.” Regardless, we thought it’d be fun to offer our humble projections for the next Congress. In short, we, like most, think that we’ll have a divided Congress. We see Republicans holding the House and Democrats holding the Senate. No surprises there. In order to take the House, Democrats would not only need to win every toss-up election, but also stage major upsets in at least 11 other districts currently leaning Republican. Pending some sort of enormous miss by multiple polls, we don’t see this happening.
You should keep a keen eye on the Tea Party tonight. If the polls are right, we are looking at a status quo election. In other words, Obama holds the White House, Democrats hold the Senate, and Republicans hold the House. This could translate into another do-nothing Congress. Therefore, the chances that compromise is feasible in the next Congress hinges on the Tea Party caucus in the next House. There will likely be fewer in the 113th than the 112th. However, the Tea Party will still represent a solid voting bloc Republicans will need to maintain a voting majority. With as slim as their numbers may be, it is almost certain that the Tea Party will play a significant role in the next Congress. As it stands now, the chances that we see a very productive 113th Congress are slim to none. The chances the 113th is somewhat productive aren’t that encouraging. In my opinion, those projections only grow dimmer as more Tea Partiers are elected. However, the parties are so far apart right now that it ultimately may not matter.
In the Senate Democrats are likely to retain control. McCaskill’s surge following Akin’s disasterous gaffe certain helped, but we think Democrats made enough gains in MA, VA, WI, and IN to hold onto the majority. Jordan has one more seat for Democrats than I do, which is where you see us hedging our bets that Tester (D-MT) will be ousted/reelected. With 2 Indepedents likely to caucus with Democrats (VT and ME – one definitely, the other probably), Democrats will hold a 6-8 seat vote advantage on strict party line votes.