Final
Projections

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Updated:
Tue. Nov 04, 2014
Senate
Republicans 52
Democrats 45
Independents 3
GOP +7, IND +1
House
Republicans 245
Democrats 190
GOP +11
Governors
Republicans 27
Democrats 22
Independents 1
DEM +1, IND +1
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Election Day
November 8, 2016

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2014 Georgia Governor Race

Millions across the nation have already voted, and many millions more will cast their vote tomorrow. Dozens of close, exciting elections will be settled tomorrow night as the votes are counted. As we near the end of this election cycle, I thought I'd offer some things to consider as the returns come in.

I will be surprised if...

  • Democrats gain any Senate seats.
  • Nathan Deal has to go to a runoff to win the Georgia governor election.
  • Any House race not listed on EP's 2014 House elections page switches parties.
  • Neither the North Carolina nor New Hampshire Senate race is won by the GOP
  • Both the North Carolina and New Hampshire Senate races are won by the GOP
  • Republicans don't win at least half of the six New England state gubernatorial elections.

I will NOT be surprised if...

  • Republicans earn the majority in the Senate on Election Day, avoiding the need to win any runoffs.
  • Pat Roberts retains his seat in the Kansas Senate election.
  • The Florida governor election goes to an official recount before the winner is confirmed.
  • Republicans win more than half of the six New England state gubernatorial elections.
  • David Perdue wins the Georgia Senate election outright on Election Day.
  • Pat Quinn wins the Illinois governor election by 10 times more than the current projected margin (0.6%).

Three 2014 Flameouts
These candidates far underperformed down the stretch, proving early optimism to be misplaced.

  • Republican Terri Land held the early lead in the Michigan Senate race, but faded dramatically over the Spring and Summer.
  • It looks like Democrat Domenic Recchia, New York CD-11, won't be able to defeat an incumbent House member who faces 20 counts of breaking federal law.
  • Democrat Martha Coakley gets a second walk of shame on the flameout list. After losing to Scott Brown in the famous Massachusetts special Senate election in January, 2010, it looks likely she'll fall short in this year's Massachusetts governor election as well.
Later, I'll post more on what to look for once the returns start coming in.
posted by Scott Elliott at 11:39am 11/03/14 :: link
Well, the absence of polls on Saturday was more than made up for by yesterday's poll deluge.  Almost six dozen polls fill the latest poll report this morning.  The CBS News/NY Times/YouGov collaboration published their third round of polling.  They have been doing extensive work, surveying many races other pollsters largely overlook, and their results contribute greatly to the large number.  With all the new data, I thought today would be a good day for a few lists.

Top six closest Senate races
1.  Georgia - EP margin:  Nunn +0.3 (DEM Gain)
2.  Kansas - EP margin:  Orman +0.6 (IND Gain)
3.  North Carolina - EP margin:  Hagan +1.6 (DEM Hold)
4.  New Hamp - EP margin:  Shaheen +2.2 (DEM Hold)
5.  Iowa - EP margin:  Ernst +2.4 (GOP Gain)
6.  Colorado - EP margin:  Gardner +2.8 (GOP Gain)

Top six closest House races
1 (tie).  Arkansas CD-2 - EP margin:  Hays +0.3 (DEM Gain)
1 (tie).  California CD-7 - EP margin:  Ose +0.3 (GOP Gain)
1 (tie).  Illinois CD-10 - EP margin:  Schneider +0.3 (DEM Hold)
1 (tie).  NH CD-1 - EP margin:  Shea-Porter +0.3 (DEM Hold)
5.  Illinois CD-12 - EP margin:  Bost +0.4 (GOP Gain)
6 (tie).  California CD-52 - EP margin:  DeMaio +0.5 (GOP Gain)
6 (tie).  Iowa CD-3 - EP margin:  Appel +0.5 (DEM Gain)

Top six closest governor races
1.  Wisconsin - EP margin:  Burke +0.1 (DEM Gain)
2.  Colorado - EP margin:  Hickenlooper +0.8 (DEM Hold)
3 (tie).  Florida - EP margin:  Crist +1.3 (DEM Gain)
3 (tie).  Georgia - EP margin:  Deal +1.3 (GOP Hold)
3 (tie).  Illinois - EP margin:  Rauner +1.3 (GOP Gain)
6.  Kansas - EP margin:  Davis +1.5 (DEM Gain)

The problem with these nail biters, for prognosticators like me, is that they introduce more likelihood of getting the outcome wrong.  A classic example of this occurred in 2008.  That year, Election Projection correctly projected 48 out of 50 states in the presidential elections.  One of the incorrect picks, North Carolina, was projected to go to John McCain by less than one percent.  It ended up going for Barack Obama by less than one percent.  So, even though my projection was within a point or so, I still got it wrong. Oh well...

Come back this evening for a new set of numbers and tomorrow morning for another write up.  Tomorrow will be exactly one week away - anybody else sitting on the edge of their seat?

posted by Scott Elliott at 10:22am 10/27/14 :: link
Before I get into today's numbers, I want to give you a programming note.  I am currently traveling and will have limited access to the website this week.  So, I'm not sure how much updating I will be able to do between now and the weekend.  However, regular daily updates will resume on Saturday and, barring unforeseen circumstances, continue uninterrupted until Election Day.

Now back to today's new numbers.  In the Senate, Democratic Senator Mark Udall has moved back in front of his Republican challenger, Congressman Cory Gardner in the Colorado Senate election.  Even though Republicans are also projected to lose the seat in Kansas to Independent Greg Orman, the projected majority remains in their sights thanks to 7 other Democratic seats currently leaning their way.

Among the nation's statehouses, the 2014 Georgia governor election, briefly projected to go to Democrat Jason Carter, flips back to red today with Republican Nathan Deal two points in the lead.  The GOP holds the majority of governorships, but that edge is projected to decrease with both the Democrats and an Independent (in Alaska) draining one state executive from the Republican fold.

Finally, we come to the House where we find the third of today's party switchers.  A favorable WeAskAmerica Illinois 12th District poll gives Republican Mike Bost a razor thin 0.2% advantage over incumbent Democrat Bill Enyart in the Illinois 12 District election.  The new projected GOP takeover would give Republicans a net 4-seat gain in the House, shifting the current balance of power to. 238 Republicans and 197 Democrats.

posted by Scott Elliott at 2:08pm 10/06/14 :: link
This article was published on Monday, August 11 on PJMedia.com.  It has been edited for currency

A lot of focus this election season is trained on the battle for Capitol Hill.  And rightly so, with the majority in the Senate up for grabs and Democrats hoping to avoid another harmful midterm election in the House.  But there are also a host of gubernatorial battles being waged this year.  In fact, the midterm elections every four years mark a bonanza of statehouse contests.  Thirty-six of the nation's fifty states will be choosing their chief executive this November.

In 2010, the last midterm election, thirty-seven gubernatorial elections produced a staggering 17 partisan takeovers - 11 by Republicans, 5 by Democrats, and Independent Lincoln Chafee in Rhode Island.  Add to that count several states in which sitting governors were term-limited, decided against running for reelection or lost their primary, and you have a remarkable statistic.  Twenty-six states - over half the states in the country - welcomed a new governor in 2011.

So do we have the same kind of shakeup in store in 2014?  Probably not, but that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of interesting and competitive races to enjoy this year.

Here's a look at a baker's dozen of states which have at least a decent chance of electing a governor from a different party on Election Day.  I've ranked them and categorized them according to their level of vulnerability.

Easy Pickup (1 Republican)

  • 1.  Pennsylvania - Republican Tom Corbett is struggling mightily under approval ratings that make President Obama's numbers look enviable.  Former Pennsylvania Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf is the prohibitive favorite to earn the takeover.

Lean Toward Takeover (2 Democrats)

  • 2.  Arkansas - If Democrat Governor Mike Beebe were free to run for a third term, this race would not be on this list.  As it turns out, however, he is term-limited, and the door is open for a Republican to win the statehouse this year in this ever-reddening state.  Asa Hutchinson, former congressman, is the GOP nominee.  All three polls taken recently give him leads ranging from 3 to 6 points over Democrat Mike Ross, another former congressman.
  • 3.  Hawaii - Democratic Governor Neil Abercrombie had a treacherous re-election path ahead of him.  First, he had to contend with a strong primary challenge from state Senator David Ige.  Then, had he survived, he would have faced a daunting three-way race with Mufi Hannemann, former Democratic Mayor of Honolulu, siphoning off votes as an independent.  But he didn't survive that primary challenge, and now it is Ige who will have a hard time holding this seat for Democrats.  That's because the Republican nominee, former Lt. Governor Duke Aiona, is ahead in the polls.  Despite Hawaii's very deep blue hue, Aiona appears well-positioned to earn the governorship.

True Toss-up (3 Republicans, 2 Democrats)

  • 4.  Illinois - Polls give Republican Bruce Rauner the lead here, but Governor Quinn has a history of finding a way to come out on top.  And deep blue Illinois is not the best place for a Republican, even in gubernatorial races.  Though Rauner currently leads in the polls, I'm not confident in his chances.  One reason: Polls put Republican Bill Brady almost five points ahead of Quinn in 2010.  Quinn won by 0.5%.
  • 5.  Maine - Republican Paul LePage, like Neil Abercrombie, faces a three-way race in his reelection bid this year.  But that's not unusual in a state that has given at least 20% of the gubernatorial vote to an independent in all but one election since 1994.  Democratic Congressman Michael Michaud is LePage's biggest threat, however.
  • 6.  Florida - This race is probably the most visible, anticipated and important statehouse election on this year's slate.  Former Republican Governor Charlie Crist, who ran for the Senate as an independent after losing the 2010 GOP Senate primary to Marco Rubio, later switched to the Democratic Party.  He is now challenging Republican Rick Scott for a ticket back to the Governor's Mansion.  In a major battleground state, this race is truly a toss-up.
  • 7.  Connecticut - Democrat Dan Malloy won the statehouse here in 2010 by less than one point over Republican Tom Foley.  One word tells why this race is on this list in 2014 - rematch.  Connecticut is a blue state to be sure, but Foley's likely nomination gives Democrats a headache in the Nutmeg State.  The latest polls put Foley in the lead, further illustrating Malloy's difficult road ahead.  This one will be close again.
  • 8.  Michigan - In 2010, Republican Rick Snyder capitalized on term-limited Governor Jennifer Granholm's poor approval ratings to score an open seat gubernatorial takeover.  Four years later, Snyder must contend with sub-par approval himself as he faces a strong challenge from former Congressman Mark Schauer.

Lean Toward Hold (4 Republicans, 1 Democrat)

  • 9.  Wisconsin - Scott Walker famously survived a recall election in 2012 by a slightly larger margin than he first gubernatorial win in 2010.  In 2014, the Republican faces another challenge in this Democratic-leaning battleground state.  Educator Mary Burke is the likely Democratic nominee.  Polls show Walker and Burke locked in a very close battle.  Two surveys were released in July.  One gave Walker a one-point lead.  The other had Burke up by the same margin.
  • 10.  Kansas - Even though it is a deep red state, Kansas has a propensity for Democratic governors.  Half of the chief executives elected here since 1966 have been Democrats.  So, it's not terribly surprising to see this race on the competitive list.  What is surprising is that Sam Brownback, who has won two senate races and the 2010 gubernatorial race by an average margin of 36 points, is the vulnerable incumbent.
  • 11.  Georgia - Republican Governor Nathan Deal hopes Georgia's conservative tilt will overcome the name recognition of his Democratic opponent Jason Carter, the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter.  Deal must also overcome the pall of scandal which clouds further his reelection prospects.  For now, he maintains the upper hand, but this race might become a full-fledged toss-up before too long.
  • 12.  Colorado - Democratic incumbent John Hickenlooper enjoyed comfortable leads against a crowded Republican field throughout the primary season.  Recently, however, now that Colorado Republicans have settled on former Congressman Bob Beauprez, he has fallen back into a very close battle.
  • 13.  New Mexico - Republican Susana Martinez made history four years ago becoming the first female Hispanic governor in U.S. history.  This year, she's facing a tough reelection battle against New Mexico Attorney General Gary King.  Though she still enjoys a "Likely R" label from Charlie Cook, a recent Rasmussen poll shows her exactly tied with King, 43-43.

As things currently stand, Election Projection is projecting Republicans to pick up Arkansas, Hawaii and Illinois and Democrats to gain Florida, Maine and Pennsylvania.  That works out to a net change of zero.  However, with so many very close gubernatorial contests out there, I'm sure the map will be in constant flux between now and Election Day.

posted by Scott Elliott at 7:37pm 08/18/14 :: link
Republican Nathan Deal, incumbent governor of Georgia, is facing an ethics investigation at a most inopportune time.  There is never a good time to be the subject of an investigation, but during a re-election campaign is just about the worst.  Deal's bid for another term should not be difficult.  However, investigations usually complicate things, and a recent poll on the race bears that out.

Landmark Communications released a poll that indicates Deal is struggling, and the beneficiary is Democratic nominee Jason Carter.  The poll gives former President Jimmy Carter's grandson an 8-point lead - just enough to offset last month's InsiderAdvantage survey and give him a fractional lead in the Georgia governor election and flip the Peach State to blue on the latest governors map.

In other news relating to the 2014 governor elections, two races are closer than expected if today's polling report is accurate.  Republican Governor Mary Fallin is only 5 points ahead of Democrat Joe Dorman in the Oklahoma governor election, and the likely Democratic nominee for Massachusetts governor, Martha Coakley, is but 3 points clear of her likely Republican opponent, Charlie Baker.  Though both races are in states whose ideology is decidedly partisan, they also have a history of voting for minority party chief executives.

Carter's advance leaves the projected governor tally at 29 Republicans and 21 Democrats.  That's identical to the current partisan makeup of the nation's statehouses.

posted by Scott Elliott at 8:01pm 07/18/14 :: link
When Sonny Perdue was elected Governor of Georgia in 2002, he became the first Republican to assume the office since Reconstruction.  After winning again in 2006, Perdue was unable to seek a third term in 2010 because of Georgia's two-term limit on governors.  He left behind a crowded, competitive primary field vying to replace him.

Secretary of State Karen Handel took the plurality of the primary vote, coming in with just over 34%.  Her share outpaced runner-up Nathan Deal, at the time a GOP Congressman from Georgia's ninth district, by 11%.  Due to Georgia's primary runoff electoral system, Handel and Deal advanced to a head-to-head partisan showdown.  In the time between the primary and the runoff, Deal was able to close the gap with Handel and ended up prevailing by less than one half of one percent to take the GOP nomination.

In the general election of 2010, Deal faced Democrat Roy Barnes, a popular former Governor himself.  Like Deal, Barnes had launched his gubernatorial run, in 1998, after earning a seat in the U.S House of Representatives.  Georgia's transition from blue to red was unmistakable on Election Day that year as Deal marched to an impressive 10-point win over a formidable opponent.

That deep red hue of the Peach State should serve Deal well in the 2014 Georgia Governor race as he seeks re-election.  He does face some primary opposition but should have little trouble retaining the GOP nod.  On the other side of the aisle, a man with a familiar last name could end up being his general election challenger.  That man is Georgia State Senator Jason Carter.

Yes, he is related to Jimmy Carter.  Jason is the former President's grandson.  Unfortunately for him, the political landscape of Georgia has changed radically in the 40+ years since his grandfather took residence in the Governor's Mansion after his victorious 1970 gubernatorial campaign.  He'll have plenty of name recognition from the outset of this race, assuming he wins the Democratic nomination (he's the only declared Democrat at this writing), but it won't be enough to seriously threaten Deal in what promises to be a rather easy run to a second term.

Preliminary projection:  Solid GOP Hold

You can track this race throughout the 2014 election season here at Election Projection by visiting the Georgia Governor Election page for polls, projections and updates.  Also, check out the 2014 Governor Elections page for a summary of all gubernatorial races on tap in 2014 complete with EP's colorful red and blue Governor map.

posted by Scott Elliott at 8:18pm 02/17/14 :: link
Election Projection
Nathan Deal-inc  +4.0
Weak GOP Hold
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