Midterms 2018: Our Predictions

November 4, 2018

With just two days to go until we know the outcome of the 2018 United States midterm elections, where all of the possible outcomes, from a 'Blue Wave' to the GOP holding have been considered possibilities. All 435 seats in the House of Representatives will be up for election along with 35 senators, several governors and state legislatures. The Democrats are out of power in both the Senate and the House but face an easier ride in the House where they need 24 net gains for a majority. In the Senate, the Republicans are almost certain to hold control, purely by virtue of the fact that they are defending just nine seats to the Democrats' 26. So, whilst the Democrats are well placed to take the house, they may well fall backwards in the senate. 

We have asked for several opinions and comments about what people think is likely to happen in the Senate and the House and have used these to form the 'Complete Politics Projection'.

Joseph Bevan, Founder of Complete Politics:

House: DEM 226 (+32) GOP 209 (-32) DEM gain majority 17
Senate: DEM 47 (-2) GOP 53 (+2) GOP hold majority 6

The Democrats will win the national popular vote by eight and a bit points but due to its inefficient distribution, they will fall short of the ‘blue wave’ that so many have been talking about. Nonetheless, they will take the House and Nancy Pelosi will become Speaker with a majority of 17 seats. In the Senate, the GOP will pick up Indiana, Missouri and North Dakota but lose Nevada, increasing their majority to six seats.

Mollie Bevan, Complete Politics:

House: DEM 218 (+24) GOP 217 (-24) DEM gain majority 1
Senate: DEM 46 (-3) GOP 54 (+3) GOP hold majority 8

The polls could very easily be wrong by a couple of points, especially with a ‘shy Trump’ factor and the Democrat lead turns out to be five points. As a consequence, the Democrats underperform and take a tiny majority of a single seat in the House and fall backwards in the Senate.  

Jack Bonner, Historian:

House: DEM 220 (+26) GOP 215 (-26) DEM gain majority 5
Senate: DEM 48 (-1) GOP 52 (+1) GOP hold majority 4

The inefficient spread of the Democrat vote means a narrow win in the house. The Republicans survive in the Senate purely thanks to the crop of seats up for grabs this time round.

Dr John Grima, Lecturer in Politics:

House: DEM 225 (+31) GOP 210 (-31) DEM gain majority 15
Senate: DEM 49 (-) GOP 51 (-) GOP hold majority 2

It is all change in the House but much the same in the Senate. Not quite the blue tidal wave but there will still be choppy waters ahead.

Dr Chris Smith, Lecturer in History:

House: DEM 230 (+36) GOP 205 (-36) DEM gain majority 25
Senate: DEM 49 (-) GOP 51 (-) GOP hold majority 2

Despite enjoying a generic Congressional poll lead of 7.5% (RealClearPolitics) and Trump's sustained lack of popularity, the road to controlling the Senate is a very tough for the Democrats.

ElectionMapsUK, @electionmapsuk:

House: DEM 236 (+41) GOP 199 (-41) DEM gain majority 27
Senate: DEM 49 (-) GOP 51 (-) GOP hold majority 2

The Democrats win back the house with plenty of breathing room but fall excruciatingly short of taking the Senate.

Harry Hayfield, Amateur:

House: DEM 215 (+21) GOP 220 (-21) GOP hold majority 5
Senate: DEM 50 (+1) GOP 50 (-1) GOP hold majority 0

The Democrats will suffer from millennials saying “YEA, Trump out” but not actually going to vote in the right areas but will still win the congressional ballot by a good 7 points, thus polarising the country even more.

Political Maps/ Info, @polmapsinfoUK:

House: DEM 223 (+29) GOP 212 (-29) DEM gain majority 11
Senate: DEM 48 (-1) GOP 52 (+1) GOP hold majority 4

The Senate is out of reach for the Democrats this year but they certainly have the momentum to take a majority of the seats in the House.

Hannah Gilsenan, Complete Politics:

House: DEM 239 (+45) GOP 196 (-45) DEM gain majority 43
Senate: DEM 50 (+1) GOP 50 (-1) GOP hold majority 0

The blue wave that everyone has been cautiously discussing will come into fruition, the Democrats will comfortably take the House with a gain of 45 seats but the Republicans will hold onto the Senate by virtue of Vice President Pence’s casting vote.

Jessica Hickman, Complete Politics:

House : DEM 216 (+22) GOP 219 (-22) GOP hold majority 3
Senate: DEM 47 (-2) GOP 53 (+2) GOP hold majority 6

The polls are going to underestimate the strength of the Republicans and they are going to hold the House and make gains in the Senate. 

Paul Hickling, Teacher of Politics:

House : DEM 230 (+36) GOP 205 (-36) DEM gain majority 25
Senate: DEM 48 (-1) GOP 52 (+1) GOP hold majority 4

Democrats will pick up Arizona which is an open seat but will lose North Dakota. Power of incumbency will means they will return either Indiana or Missouri but don't think they will keep both.

Patrick Toulson, Complete Politics:

House : DEM 221 (+27) GOP 205 (-27) DEM gain majority 25
Senate: DEM 45 (-4) GOP 55 (+4) GOP hold majority 10

No wipe out by the Democrats but a good performance. Worth noting this says very little about Trump 2020.

Nathaniel Yeo, Complete Politics:


House : DEM 234 (+40) GOP 201 (-40) DEM gain majority 33
Senate: DEM 49 (-) GOP 51 (-) GOP hold majority 2


Like most people, I think that the Republicans will hold control of the Senate. I am more optimistic about the House and think that the Democrats will take 26/28 of the 'tossup' seats. 


Nick Savage, Complete Politics: 


House : DEM 224 (+30) GOP 211 (-30) DEM gain majority 13
Senate: DEM 48 (-1) GOP 52 (+2) GOP hold majority 4

The Democrats will have a firm grip on the House, provided they win all of the races in districts that currently at least lean Democratic as well as a reasonable chunk of the toss-up seats, and inspire a high turnout with prominent candidates such as Alexandria Ocasio Cortez in New York. As for the senate, the Democrats may actually lose seats, due to the red-state Democrats such as Heidi Heitkamp (North Dakota) and Joe Donnelly (Indiana) having voted against Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court. 


Lewis Spacey, Complete Politics:


House: Too Close to Call

Senate: DEM 49 (-) GOP 51 (-) GOP hold majority 2


The Lone Star state has flipped before and that was important in the 90s, but will it be important now? Beto seems like the better person to be the senator but personality doesn't translate into good politics, should be an interesting race to watch. 


Andrew Bevan, Complete Politics:


House: Too Close to Call

Senate: DEM 49 (-) GOP 51 (-) GOP hold majority 2


Despite the opinion polls, the strong American economy will help Trump and the Republicans.




The Complete Politics Projection:


DEM 226 (+32)

GOP 209 (-32)

DEM gain majority 17



DEM 48 (-1)

GOP 52 (+1)

GOP hold majority 4




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