With less than five months left until Election Day, many political commentators are asking whether this yearâs midterm elections could be a reprise of 1994 when Republicans picked up 8 seats in the Senate and 54 seats in the House of Representatives to take control of both chambers for the first time in 40 years. There is almost universal agreement that Republicans are poised to make major gains in both the House and the Senate. And while the GOPâs chances of gaining the 10 seats needed to take control of the upper chamber appear to be remote, the 39 seats required to take back the House of Representatives may be within reach.
Democrats are in a stronger position to defend their majority in the House of Representatives today than they were in 1994 because a larger proportion of their seats are in strongly Democratic districts and they have fewer open seats to defend. However, if the national GOP tide turns out to be as strong this year as it was in 1994, Republicans would have a reasonable chance of regaining control of the House with a very narrow majority.
Note: As of June 17, 2010 — Professor Abramowitz‘s analysis shows a GOP gain of 39 House Seats