POLICY BRIEFINGS


Senate Leadership


With Republican control being held in the U.S. Senate on election night, Republican Senate leadership will likely remain unchanged. For Democrats, former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is retiring at the end of the year, and will be replaced in the Minority Leader position by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY). There may be a shake up in the Democratic Minority Whip position, where current Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) sees a potential challenge from the current Ranking Member of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Patty Murray (D-WA).

Figure 6


U.S. House of Representatives


Number of U.S. House Seats up in 2016: All 435

Seats up held by Democrats: 186
Seats up held by Republicans: 246


Balance of Power:


The current balance of power in the U.S. House of Representatives for the 114th Congress is 246 Republicans to 186 Democrats. With 435 total members, it takes 218 to gain control of the chamber. With a differential of 60 seats, Democrats needed to pick up 30 seats to regain the Majority in 2016, which they were unable
to do.

  • Every seat in the U.S. Congress is up for re-election each cycle (two years). Of the 435 seats, 379 (87%) were considered “safe” this time around.
  • According to political analyst Charlie Cook, as of Monday, November 7, 201 Republican seats and 178 Democratic seats were considered safe. That left 56 seats that he believed were truly competitive. Of those 56 competitive races, 25 Republican seats were regarded by Cook to be either “likely” or “lean” Republican, but only 2 of those likely or leaning Republican seats are held by a Democrat. Of those 56 races, 11 were viewed to be “likely" or “lean” Democratic, with 5 of those occupied by Republicans. Together, the likely/lean category reflected a possible pick-up of 3 seats, net, (5-2) for Democrats.
  • According to Cook, of those 56 competitive races, 19 were viewed as a toss-up, where either party was just as likely to win. Of those 19 seats, 16 were held by
    Republicans and 3 by Democrats.
Figure 7



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 -  2018