Republicans enjoytheirlargestmajoritysince1928, and
they will remain in control. Democrats could make incremental
gains—projected to be in the net eight to ten range as of this writing—
but they are not in position to challenge for majority control.
U.S. HOUSE OF
Beginning the final stretch of the marathon
presidential campaign, a myriad of national political polls show
Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump, but her advantage
margin continues to narrow.
The 21st Century presidential map has been consistent. Since
2000, voters in only ten states have switched allegiance between
the party candidates, but signs suggest this year may be different.
For Trump to win, he must convert Florida and Ohio and hold
North Carolina in all scenarios. Should he do this, and assuming
he carries the other 23 states that Mitt Romney won, Pennsylvania
switching to him would give him enough electoral votes to clinch
the presidency. Other states, such as New Hampshire, Iowa and
Nevada could play a big role in the final outcome as well. Trump
may venture into traditional Democratic states such as Maine,
Connecticut, Delaware and Oregon in an attempt to take critically
important electoral votes away from Clinton.
For her part, the former Secretary of State needs only to win 80%
of the states that President Obama carried twice. Therefore, she
can give up places like Florida, Ohio, New Hampshire (or Maine)
and Iowa, and still be elected. The Clinton campaign strategists
indicate that they will make a push for Arizona and Georgia, two
consistently voting Republican entities. Clinton winning either of
these important states would likely clinch national victory.
Interestingly, Trump holding North Carolina and converting
Florida, Ohio, New Hampshire (or Maine), Iowa and Nevada
would create an Electoral College tie. This means the House of
Representatives would then choose the next president in a
process that could languish into early next year.
Currently, Republicans hold a 54-46 majority but
must defend 24 of the 34 in-cycle seats this year. For the
Democrats to assume control, they must first protect all 10 of
their in-cycle states and convert any four Republican seats if
Hillary Clinton wins the presidency and five if she does not.
Today, it appears that three Republican seats are prime to
move to the Democratic column:
Illinois: First-term Sen. Mark Kirk (R) is running against the
Illinois Democratic tide and trails Chicago suburban
Representative Tammy Duckworth (D) in all polling. This is the
most likely state to flip from Republican to Democrat.
Indiana: Democrats convincing former Sen. Evan Bayh to
make a political comeback at the last possible minute gives them
a strong opportunity to convert a seat that looked to be a sure