This is your headquarters for the 2020 US House election predictions. Final predictions were issued on October 31.
We made our calls in all 435 races from Alabama to Wyoming, and now, we bring you the overall picture. At the links below, you can jump to any state’s predictions. These picks will be updated as needed between now and the November election, which also means the tote board below will be as well.
All 435 races were rated on a 1-4 star scale, with one star meaning a “weak lean” and four being “very safe.” Electionarium does not do tossups in order to give a complete prediction picture.
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2020 US House Video: June 27 Prediction Rundown
Current 2020 US House Election Predictions
We believe that no matter what, the Democrats will win 210 seats and the Republicans 169 seats. It is likely that the fewest seats the Democrats will win is 218, and the fewest for the Republicans is 176. We believe the field of seats in play is 55 seats large (27 D, 28 R) and the expanded field of play is 107 seats. 328 seats are not in realistic contention.
Baseline prediction: Our current US House seat prediction down to the number.
Probable min/max: The best we think each party can do in a highly ideal election night, which one might consider to be a “wave election.” Many things would have to go right for a particular party to hit their probable max, which is basically all or most of the in-play seats flipping their way. There is a low probability of either party getting there.
Theoretical min/max: What an apocalyptic, once-in-a-lifetime electoral event would look like for each party; a 1932 US House election sort of thing for the party in power. Where this is more useful is to say that each party will win their theoretical minimum number of seats no matter what. This number is in essence all of the safe seats and a handful of the leans.
2020 US House Election Predictions: August 10 Update
We do not want to say at this point that the Republicans cannot retake the House, but it is very unlikely. Their map is not growing: it’s shrinking. The GOP is on defense in more seats today than it was at the start of the campaign, and a handful of seats Democrats flipped away from them in 2018 are no longer in reach this time. Even if the Republicans had as good an election in November as could be reasonably expected, they would still struggle to retake the House.
In fact, a narrow Republican win is just as likely in our projections as a collapse in which they are reduced to less than 180 seats. As of today, we believe they will dip below 200 and the Democrats will expand their majority.
2020 US House Election Predictions: June 24 Update
With the exception of the swing of California-25 in a special election and Iowa-04 turfing Steve King, most of the ratings changes we have made in May and June have been in the Democratic direction. These are subtle shifts but the map is overall slightly more Democratic than it was a month ago and Republican odds of retaking the House are minimal.
2020 US House Election Predictions: May 30 Analysis
In our first full House forecast of the year, we predict a Democratic gain of four seats to give them a 39-seat majority. Republicans will drop below 200.
At this point, we are just not willing to give too many seats away other than the most obvious flips, and two of them are redistricting layups in North Carolina. We think the playing field is about 53 seats large, with about two-thirds of those seats held by Democrats. Not every seat that flipped in 2018 is in play today; in fact, more than a handful are not. Also, not every seat that ended up closer than expected last time is going to be in play in 2020 because of expected shifts due to presidential turnout.
The Democrats have seats like SC-01, OK-05, and UT-04 that will be highly problematic to defend, but pending primary results and the evolution of the general election campaign, we are not willing to flip any right now. Though our “seat ranges” are wide at the moment, we expect them to compress down a little over the next five months. The Republicans or Democrats with a net gain of five to ten seats would not be surprising.
One thing we would be willing to say at this stage is that we are dealing in smaller numbers this time. Whereas 2018’s Blue Wave saw a swing of over 40 seats, 2020 is not likely to have a major shift. Only if things get very sour for the GOP could this turn into a 2008 redux, where a healthy Democratic majority tilted into a very sizable one thanks to a broad presidential win. At this point, we are not going that far but we are willing to say the Democrats are in line for modest gains.