Monopoly Politics 2000

Introduction

In Monopoly Politics 2000, we provide a state-by-state, district-by-district guide to U.S. House races. We show the history of elections in each district in the 1990s -- chosen to reflect a full cycle of redistricting -- and predict winners and victory margins in the great majority of House races.  As in 1998, our predictions proved extremely accurate.

Our previous report, Monopoly Politics 1998, is also on our web site, including our predictions made before the 1998 elections and a range of factsheets that support our thesis about what determines the lion's share of a candidate's percentage of the vote. Of the 361 races where we predicted winners in July 1997 -- 16 months before the election -- 358 (99%) won. Of these winners, 346 (96%) won by comfortable margins of at least 10%. Of the three predicted winners who lost, two were in open seat elections; of the 340 incumbents predicted to win in 1997 who ended up running for re-election, 339 won. 

Our predictions are based on a straightforward idea, but one that still can surprise some observers: most people are grounded in their political views and consistent in their voting patterns over time, particularly at any given level of election. If one can find an accurate measure of what we call "district partisanship" -- the partisan leanings of voters in a district -- then most districts tilt toward one major party or the other. In the 1990's, the district partisanship in U.S. House races can be measured with remarkable accuracy, given the simplicity of the method. (Please see "glossary / how we make predictions " for more information.)

The lesson for reformers -- along with participants in the political horserace -- is that the landscape of elections is extremely important. The landscape is the voters. If you are with the right party in the right district, you probably will win. Even if you are a highly-qualified and well-funded candidate, you will lose if running in a district that tilts too heavily toward the other party. This report provides information on the landscape of congressional elections in the United States. By implication, it raises important questions about reforms that must be addressed to give voters more and better choices.

To see our predictions for the November 2000 elections and the electoral history of districts in a given state, please use the links below.