Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Why It's Getting Easier For Democrats to Retake the House

You lose a whole lot of voters when you move that far right.
Nate Cohn makes me wish we had a new Intrade; prediction markets are a great way to help people get a handle on who's bullshitting and who's not. Not that I think Nate's bullshitting. He makes very good points, and he cares about the facts. He makes such a good argument, in fact, that if we had a prediction market with real money, he'd be convincing enough to the "smart" money to keep the prices down on shares of Democrats to win control of the US House in 2014.
If there’s anything I could get people to understand about the next election, it’s this: Even a 2006 or 2010-esque tsunami might not give Democrats control of the House.
Democrats don't need a tsunami to take control of the US House.

When the Great Gerrymander of 2010 gave the GOP a wave of US House districts that John Boehner surfed into the speakers office, they had a lot of help beyond simple Gerrymandering. The natural tendency of midterms to go against the President's party, a lot of anger whipped up by the Tea Party, and a whole lot of money.

But Gerrymandering has hidden costs.
Sam Wang's analysis of recent PPP polls.
It is a common fallacy to believe that seats gained by partisan gerrymandering are safe seats. In fact, the converse is the case. Gerrymandering achieves a net gain of seats by packing the opposition party into as few districts as possible. 
[...]
Representatives who benefited from the great partisan gerrymander of 2010 were given enough of an advantage to get into office narrowly. In a district designed to give Republicans a narrow advantage, Republican loyalists are likely to be spread thinly, with the balance of the needed votes being drawn from independents. Some of these independents might be more prone to anger about the current situation. These polls suggest that Republicans in those states might be particularly ripe targets for pressure.
Apparently Cohn has complained about the accuracy of PPP generic Dem polls (which Sam Wang is using in his latest calculations) vs the eventual reality. I haven't seen those numbers, and would gladly take a look. But there are enough things happening right now to make me a buyer for Dems to win the House at about $2.00/share (meaning I'd win $8 on the bet).
For those of you who aren't following the links, this is from the last one:
Not only have the Democratic campaign committees that back House and Senate candidates outraised their GOP counterparts, but unrestricted super PACs that support Democrats have pulled in close to three times what GOP super PACs have so far.
Three times as much as the GOP in super PAC money? Maybe I'd be a buyer up to $2.50 a share, even higher if the wingnuts keep talking.