The electoral fortunes of President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party have eroded so badly over the last several weeks that there are now more than 100 House seats up for grabs, according to NBC Nightly News Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd.
Leading the network's nightly newscast Monday night, Todd reported that more than 100 seats are now “in play” – meaning the incumbents that hold them will poll less than 60 percent on election day.
Todd cited analysts from both the Republican and Democratic parties. Republicans only need to net 39 to take control of the chamber.
The result is that President Barack Obama is looking at losing nearly twice the average number of seats lost by a sitting president since World War II – a staggering assessment by voters on the most activist Congress since the 1960s.
Citing their latest polls, including an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll in which 51 percent say Rep. Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker is “unacceptable.” NBC said analysts in both parties now expect Republicans to gain control of the House, and possibly, the Senate, where 10 seats are needed to tip the balance.
“Since World War II, a president's party has lost, on average, nearly 25 House seats and four Senate seats in a midterm cycle,” Todd wrote on NBC’s “First Read” political blog.
“The numbers are essentially the same in a president's FIRST midterm, 25.5 House seats and 2.5 Senate seats. (However, the average is lower -- nearly 20 House seats and slightly more than one Senate seat -- if you don't count Truman's and Ford's first midterms in 1946 and 1974 because they had assumed office instead of being elected to it.)”
But Todd, citing both the Cook Political Report and the Rothenberg Political Report, says that Democrats are looking at a loss of 40 to 50 seats at least, making this what could be the third straight “change election.”
“With three weeks to go before Election Day, this year is shaping up to be something of a repeat of the 52-seat House and eight-seat Senate rout of Democrats in 1994,” Charlie Cook, founder of the Cook Political Report, wrote last week.
“All signs are pointing to this NOT being an average midterm cycle for President Obama's party,” Todd writes. “Our current Voter Confidence Index stands at -41. To put that into perspective, the VCI was -35 in 1982, when Ronald Reagan's party lost 26 House seats; it was -30 in 1994, when Democrats lost 54 House seats; and it was -65 in 2006, when Republicans lost 30 House seats.”
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