Republicans take majority of congress too
There was significantly less at stake in the U.S. House in 2016, as control of the chamber was unlikely to be in question. In order to flip the chamber, the Democratic Party needed to pick up 30 seats. While it was unlikely for the Democratic Party to gain control of the chamber in this election cycle, Democrats hoped to reduce the majority that the Republican Party held. Heading into the election, Republicans held their largest majority in the U.S. House since 1928.
The fact that 2016 was a presidential election year was expected to be a boon for Democratic candidates. In the past decade, Democrats have made gains in both chambers in presidential elections, while they have suffered losses in the midterms.
Presidential elections have a large impact on congressional elections, the most obvious of which is increased voter interest and participation. In the last two decades, presidential elections have led to roughly 15 to 20 percent higher turnout rates than in the corresponding midterm. The following chart shows the disparity between voter turnout in presidential elections and midterms.
In the past decade, presidential elections have benefited the Democratic Party, while midterms have helped Republicans. The Democratic Party gained an average of five Senate seats and 16 House seats in the last two presidential elections, and the Republican Party picked up an average of 7.5 Senate seats and 38.5 House seats in the last two midterms.
|Past partisan breakdowns|
|Year||Democrats||Republicans||Independents||Net change||Democrats||Republicans||Net change|
|2014||44||54||2||+9 R||188||247||+13 R|
|2012||53||45||2||+2 D||201||234||+8 D|
|2010||51||47||2||+6 R||193||242||+64 R|
|2008||57||41||2||+8 D||257||178||+24 D|
|2006||49||49||2||+5 D||233||202||+22 D|
Can Democrats reclaim the House?
according to rapporteur report from BP, link ,Despite the large Republican majority in the House, a major collapse due to Donald Trump's presidential campaign could have put the House back in play in 2016. This section highlights what was said by pundits on the possibility of Democrats gaining control of Congress.
- John Sides (The Washington Post) - October 18, 2016: "This model currently predicts that the Democrats will control 204 seats after the 2016 election. That is 16 more than they had after the 2014 election. The margin of error associated with that is plus or minus 8 seats. That forecast implies a very small chance — less than 1 percent — that the Democrats could win the 218 or more seats needed for a majority."
- Sean Trende (RealClear Politics) - October 8, 2016: "What’s more interesting is the House. When Trump first secured the nomination in March, analysts speculated that he could flip the chambe