Democrats would likely need 17 seats to regain the House in 2014.
Although 17 seats is not an extraordinary number, both historical precedent in midterm election years and a deeper examination of this year’s results would argue strongly against Democrats being able to gain that many seats.
There is also reason to suspect that Democrats are unlikely to sustain the sort of losses in the House that they did in 2010. But odds are that the electoral climate in 2014 will be somewhere between neutral and Republican-leaning, rather than favoring Democrats.
In midterm election years since World War II, the president’s party has lost an average of 26 seats in the House, as shown in the chart [above]. The president’s party gained seats only twice, in 1998 and 2002.