by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Is a violent Democratic tide, thrust forward by the dreams of Resisters everywhere, coming to wash away Republican control in the House of Representatives?
Some analysts define a wave election to be an overwhelming, mandate-issuing electoral romp — the kind that leaves the ascendant party with a sizable advantage in seats. I view things differently.
As I see it, if the Democrats win a net total of 23 seats, which is the magic number they need to flip the House, the 2018 midterms should be construed as a wave election, regardless of the fact that this would leave the Democrats with a razor-thin majority, and regardless of what happens in Senate, state-legislature, and gubernatorial races.
There are obvious counterarguments to the suggestion that acquiring a one-member majority in the House of Representatives should represent a “wave,” but none of them are convincing. Here’s why.
If the Democrats pick up 23 seats in the House of Representatives, that is an astonishing achievement in its own right. In other words, don’t look at the resulting distribution; look instead at how many seats were won and what hurdles were overcome to win them.