New Metrics Show Vulnerable Congressional Districts

Key analytics identify opportunities to run for office.

This year, Xtemp’s data analysts have been hard at work, trying to make analytics clear and easy for aspiring candidates. Working through years’ worth of election results, the team has put together three new metrics to determine the security of a particular district and determine if it would be wise to challenge the incumbent.

PVS – Projected Vote Share

This is the predicted percentage of the vote that the incumbent (or a member of the incumbent’s party) will receive in the next general election, based on trends from the district spanning the past three election cycles.

SPS – Simple Partisan Security Rating

This indicates how secure a particular district is for the incumbent party. A rating below 5 means that the district is likely to flip in the next election and should prompt challengers from across the aisle to mount campaigns to unseat the incumbent. A rating above 5 indicates a difficult race for a challenger from the opposing party.

CD – Candidate Differential

This indicates the deviation from the incumbent’s PVS and that of their party’s presidential nominee. Unlike the PVI (Partisan Voter Index), this number is calculated from voter data in each individual district, and demonstrates if the incumbent is more or less popular in their district than their party’s presidential candidate. A positive CD suggests that the candidate is an asset their party in that district, because they are more popular than the national candidate. A negative CD indicates that the incumbent is a liability to their party in the district, which should prompt challengers to join the race in the primary.

There you have it, three simple metrics for determining the security of a district. These indices can be calculated for any partisan race using our formulas. Potential candidates can look to these indices to get a sense of the possibility of a successful campaign, and they should contact us to get an in-depth look at the data for their districts.