Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi may be headed home in spite of being a prodigious fundraiser, keen legislative tactician and likely to win her own seat by 80 percent.
The most recent generic ballot test has Republicans up one point over Democrats – 45 percent to 44 percent. If history holds, when the test is close, Republicans gain seats, not lose them.
In 1994, Republicans were behind one point, yet won 54 seats and retook the House after a 40-year absence. In the 2010 survey taken in October before the election, Republicans were up 7 points in the test and achieved an historic high shift of seats (63).
The pattern has been that Democrats win substantial seats when their lead in the test is 10 or more percent, and they need 25 seats in 2012 to take back their majority. (They won 30 seats in 2006 when they retook the House.)
Although Democrats may gain a few seats, there does not seem to be any trend running in their favor.
· The low esteem Congress is currently held may be mitigating against either party gaining a distinct advantage. The election will likely be fought in trenches seat by seat.
· President Obama’s current advantage is modest and greatly reflects the weakness of the Republican frontrunner. It is not an endorsement of the Democratic Party.