“Why Republicans Could Prevail in the Popular Vote but Lose in the House”

Nate Cohn for the NYT:

Over the last few decades, we’ve gotten accustomed to the idea that Democrats could easily win the popular vote but struggle to win control of government.

This time, there’s a chance of a reversal. After years of winning without carrying the popular vote, Republicans might just need to win the most votes to win the House in 2022. There’s even a small chance of something we haven’t seen since 1952: Republicans winning the most votes, but failing to win control of government.

If you’re finding that a little hard to believe, you’re not alone. I struggled to make sense of it when I first reached these calculations myself. After all, gerrymandering does tilt the House slightly toward Republicans, even if nowhere near as much as it once did.

But FiveThirtyEight has reached a similar conclusion, with Republicans “favored to win a majority of seats if they win the popular vote by at least 0.4 points.” (These types of estimates are very imprecise — even one race going a little better than expected for Republicans could be enough to upset that kind of balance.)

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