Cook Political Report, a top nonpartisan election handicapper, is predicting a wave of Democratic victories in the 2018 midterm elections.
In a new analysis, Cook editor Amy Walter says she feels a similarity to a wave of Democratic congressional victories in 2006, in which the party took control of the House, the Senate and a majority of governorships during former President George W. Bush's second term.
“[B]ack in 2006 ... I argued that unlike the last wave election of 1994, the party holding the White House was much better prepared. Republicans in 2006 had significant financial advantages,” Walter writes. “They had structural advantages. And, Democrats couldn’t sneak up on Republicans as Republicans had to Democrats in 1994. Obviously, my theory was wrong.”
Walter argues that the “political mood” surrounding the 2018 race could shift elections in favor of Democrats.
“Do not ignore what’s right in front of us,” Walter writes. “A wave is building. If I were a Republican running for Congress, I’d be taking that more seriously than ever.”
The analysis follows last week's first major elections since the 2016 presidential race. Democrats gained major victories across the country, including sweeping statewide elections in Virginia and winning the New Jersey governor’s race.
Last month, Cook Political Report shifted 12 House districts in favor of Democrats a year ahead of the 2018 midterms.
A poll released at the beginning of November showed Democrats hold an 11-point lead over Republicans on a generic House ballot.
The Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 51 percent of registered voters said they would vote for the Democrat in their district, while 40 percent said they would vote for the Republican.
Democrats will need to gain 24 seats to take control of the House in 2018.