Washington, Oct.22 : A political scientist has predicted significant gains for the Democratic Party in the 2008 congressional elections-including 11 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and three seats in the U.S. Senate.
Carl Klarner of Indiana State University published his forecast in the October 2008 issue of PS: Political Science and Politics, a journal of the American Political Science Association (APSA).
The House and Senate forecasts were made in late July 2008, and Klarner's model focuses on the percent of the major-party vote that the Democratic candidate received in a state or district.
Klarner considers three main sets of factors in examining past elections from 1954 onward: district partisan composition, candidate attributes, and national partisan tides.
The weighting of these factors is based on a range of historical and empirical data-including most recent votes for Democrats in a district; results of the most recent presidential vote; incumbency; prior experience in candidates; national vote intentions reported in surveys; presidential approval; performance of the economy; and the "midterm penalty" for the president's party.
The model's House prediction includes the following items of note:
Democrats will receive 247 seats in the House-a gain of 11 seats overall.
There is a 95 percent probability that Democrats will have between 233 and 266 seats after the election and a 67 percent probability that they will have between 240 and 255 seats.
There is a about a 0 percent probability that the Democrats will lose control of the House.he model's Senate prediction includes the following items of note:
Democrats will have 54 Senate seats after the election-a net gain of 3.
There is a 95 percent probability that the Democrats will win between 12 and 19 seats out of the 35 seats up this election.
There is a 2.4 percent chance the Democrats will lose control of the Senate.
There is a 0.3 percent chance that the Democrats will obtain a filibuster-proof majority of 60 seats.