An Uncommon Prediction for the U.S. House 2022 Midterm Elections
By Kent R. Kroeger (August 21, 2022)
[Note: The dataset used in this data essay is available on GITHUB.]
As energy prices start to fall from their early 2022 highs and President Joe Biden seems to be convincing Americans that the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is truly a landmark piece of legislation, more and more political pundits are calling into question previous predictions that the Republicans are poised to regain control of the U.S. House and Senate in the upcoming midterm elections.
“After months of ‘Democrats are doomed’ chatter, there’s been a definite shift in mood and momentum toward the party in power,” writes Cook Political Report analyst Amy Walter.
In all probability, regaining control of the Senate is a lost cause for the Republicans. When the GOP’s own Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, openly questions the quality of the party’s Senate 2022 challengers — Herschel Walker (Georgia) and Dr. Mehmet Oz (Pennsylvania) come to mind — you know things aren’t looking good.
[Note to both political parties: Amateur politicians can often be called by another name: losing candidates. U.S. House and Senate challengers are more successful when they’ve had elective experience at other levels of government.]
Presently, PredictIt, a political futures market, is giving the Democrats a 61 percent chance of keeping control of the Senate (see Figure 1), and expects the GOP to hold either 48 or 49 Senate seats in the end.
Figure 1: Current PredictIt Forecast for Control of U.S. Senate (as of Aug. 21, 2022)
The news is somewhat better for the GOP’s prospects in the House, where PredictIt still gives the party a 79 percent of regaining control (see Figure 2) — though that is down significantly after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade in its Dobbs decision in mid-June (see Figure 3).
Figure 2: Current PredictIt Forecast for Control of U.S. House (as of Aug. 21, 2022)