Richmond chaos could threaten state legislative takeover but big-picture trends still favor team blue.
— There is at least one plausible Electoral College scenario that produces a 269-269 tie, which would throw the presidential election to the House of Representatives elected in 2020.
— If the House decides the presidency, you might think that Democrats would have the advantage, given their new majority. But it’s the Republicans that hold — and are likely to maintain — the advantage.
In the 2018 cycle, the big story was that the Democrats faced a historically difficult map of Senate races. They had to defend 26 of the 35 seats being contested, including Democratic incumbents in several dark red states. Ultimately, Democrats won 24 of the 35 races, nearly 70% of those on the ballot. But Republicans netted two seats overall, boosting their majority from 51 seats to 53 seats when the new Senate convenes next month. Democrats will hold 47 seats, a total that includes independent Sens. Angus King of Maine and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
— Following the 2018 election, Republicans now control 27 governorships to the Democrats’ 23, but a majority of the American public will live in states governed by Democrats starting next year.
— The 14 governorships at stake over the next two years feature some intriguing contests that will be held on mostly GOP-leaning turf.
— The most endangered governorship for either side is the open seat in Montana, which Democrats are defending.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Democrats appeared likely to hold a 235-200 majority to start the next House, or a net gain of 40 seats , a handful more than it seemed like they had won in the immediate aftermath of the election. A lot of that has to do with the laborious and long vote count in California, where Democrats do better in the votes that are counted later in the process (there’s nothing new or unusual about this, by the way, so please look for conspiracies elsewhere). Earlier this week, engineer T.J. Cox (D) took the lead over Rep. David Valadao (R, CA-21), and as of this point Cox appears to be in the driver’s seat to win.
— Our final picks are coming Monday. In the meantime, our longstanding overall assessment — Democrats favored in House, Republicans bigger favorites in Senate — remains in place.
— Four ratings changes in the House.
— The battles for the state governorships are getting more volatile as Election Day nears. We are moving three races, Kansas, Oregon, and South Dakota, to Toss-up.
— Republican odds of holding the Senate are as good as ever.
— The playing field continues to expand in the House.
Democrats closing in on majority but it's not a sure thing.
Because we know readers want to see the up-to-the-minute state of play, we’re going to be publishing our Senate and gubernatorial maps, along with our House ratings tables, at the top of the Crystal Ball each week from here to the election. One can also always find our ratings at our Crystal Ball site as well as the UVA Center for Politics-Ipsos Political Atlas, which also features projections based on poll-based modeling and social media metrics.