Reviewing forecasts of House election results

In my webcast on Tuesday, I explained that most media pundits and forecasters, who based their predictions on polling data, generally predicted that Republicans would pick up between 50 and 60 seats in the House (e.g. Cook, Rothenburg, Nate Silver, Sabato, etc.). Political scientists, making projections back in September based on more fundamental indicators like the economy and President Obama’s approval rating, predicted that Republicans would pick up between 25-35 seats, leaving Democrats in control of the House. Some political scientists combined these fundamental indicators with polling data and predicted a Republican gain more in the range of 40-50 votes, just barely taking control of the House, but by a slim margin. Based on all this, I took an educated guess that Republicans would win around 40 seats, give or take 8 seats.

The results? As of 9:00 AM this morning, CNN is projecting that Republicans will pick up about 64 seats when all is said and done.

Wow. The final results exceed even the most Republican-friendly estimates on the part of the media prognosticators. Not only was this more than Republicans won when they gained control of the house in 1994 (54 seats), but the most that any party has won in the House in any election since 1948 when the Democrats won 75 seats.

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