When it comes to U.S. House races, there are still some unresolved contests, but the Republican majority will remain intact in the next Congress. The GOP-led chamber will find its majority smaller than it is now, but we're talking about a shift from a 240-190 advantage to about a 235-200 advantage.
But there is another way to look at the same data. What about the raw popular vote? The Washington Post's Aaron Blake noted that, in the overall picture, more voters backed Democratic House candidates.
According to numbers compiled by the Post's great Dan Keating, Democrats have won roughly 48.8 percent of the House vote, compared to 48.47 percent for Republicans.
Despite losing the popular vote, Republicans are set to have their second-biggest House majority in 60 years and their third-biggest since the Great Depression.
The numbers seem to back up what we've been talking about on this blog for a while: Redistricting drew such a GOP-friendly map that, in a neutral environment, Republicans have an inherent advantage.
Right. A narrow plurality of Americans may have preferred Democratic House candidates, but it didn't matter -- the district lines were too carefully drawn in the GOP's favor after the 2010 midterms. The result is a fairly unusual political landscape: according to one count, this is the first time since 1952 that a party won the congressional "popular vote" but remained in the House minority.
To be sure, I realize this is something of a gimmick. The raw vote totals are interesting but inconsequential, just as in the presidential race, which is decided by electoral votes.
This is political trivia that lacks practical value, but I wouldn't dismiss it entirely just yet.
As the debates over taxes, spending, debt-reduction, and plenty of other policy areas proceed, Republicans are certain to argue that "the American people" elected a GOP-led House to, at a minimum, prevent Democrats from pursuing their agenda. Boehner, Cantor & Co. will insist they're simply reflecting the electorate's will.
And they'll be wrong. Most Americans voted for a Democratic presidential candidate, Democratic Senate candidates, and even Democratic House candidates.