Daily Kos Elections is working to calculate the 2016 presidential election result in all 435 congressional districts. So far we have determined the numbers in 142 districts, or a little under one-third of the entire House. The above graph compares the Democratic presidential margin of victory or defeat with the House margin for the 120 of those seats where both major parties were on the ballot. Just 11 districts voted for one party for House and the other party for president, with four districts backing Hillary Clinton and a Republican, while seven districts favored Donald Trump and a Democrat.
The correlation between the two margins was quite strong (for stats nerds, the R² value is 0.86). However, many incumbents strongly outperformed their presidential ticket, and eight of the 11 races that saw split-ticket outcomes featured incumbents. The only three non-incumbents so far who won a district that voted for the opposite party’s presidential candidate were Democrats in Arizona’s open 1st District, where Republican nominee Paul Babeu had a deplorable personal history; Nevada’s open 3rd District, where Republicans nominated a badly flawed candidate in Danny Tarkanian; and New Hampshire’s 1st District, where the the GOP turned on Republican incumbent Frank Guinta after a campaign finance scandal.
The trend in the House quite strongly mirrors that in the upper chamber, where zero states split their ticket between Senate and president for the first time in history. While the correlation for the House seats we have calculated so far isn’t quite as strong as 2012 or 2014, it was still stronger than any other recent election, particularly those before 2010. Although there was reason to believe that Trump’s candidacy would lead to unusual levels of ticket splitting, the actual outcomes themselves have closely followed the presidential result thus far.
If this recent pattern of very few split-ticket outcomes continues to hold in future elections, Democrats could continue to have major difficulties taking back the House since a decisive majority of congressional districts nationwide appear to have voted for Trump, thanks largely to gerrymandering. Still, the House might now prove an easier (yet still very difficult) takeover target than the Senate. Overall, Republicans won a 241-194 House majority, but since Democrats are defending three-quarters of the Senate seats up in 2018, it might be a better bet to try to pick up the 24 House seats they need to provide a check against President-elect Trump in Washington.