Current
Projections

Click on a map for details
Updated:
Fri. Oct 31, 2014
Senate
Republicans 52
Democrats 45
Independents 3
GOP +7, IND +1
House
Republicans 242
Democrats 193
GOP +8
Governors
Republicans 29
Democrats 20
Independents 1
IND +1
2014 Elections on Demand
Projections
 
Polls
Election Day
November 4, 2014

Track the 2014 Races
Election Projection cannot screen all advertisements appearing here.  Therefore, I do not necessarily endorse the products and/or services shown.

Favorite Links

2014 Gubernatorial Races

Projection Statistics for Tuesday's Update

40 New Polls:  12 Senate, 12 House, 12 Governor, 4 Others
No Pundit Rating Changes
Generic Poll Adjustment:  New:  GOP +0.2, Previous:  GOP +0.1

Party Switchers
In Democrats' Favor
   Alaska Senate  Weak GOP Gain to Weak DEM Hold
In Republicans' Favor
   Georgia Senate  Weak DEM Gain to Weak GOP Hold
   New Hampshire CD-1  Weak DEM Hold to Weak GOP Gain

Ratings Changes
In Democrats' Favor
   Louisiana Senate  Mod GOP Gain to Weak GOP Gain
In Republicans' Favor
   California CD-31  Mod DEM Gain to Weak DEM Gain
   Minnesota CD-7  Mod DEM Hold to Weak DEM Hold
   Rhode Island Governor  Mod DEM Hold to Weak DEM Hold

Two Senate races have shed Monday's color for a new one after last evening's update.  But since the two party switchers cancel out each other, the projected balance of power in the 2014 Senate elections remains 51 Republicans, 46 Democrats, and 3 Independents.

The Alaska Senate election is now projected to be a Weak DEM Hold.  Democrat incumbent Senator Mark Begich benefits from an apparent outlier poll giving him a 6-point lead to reclaim the advantage over Republican Dan Sullivan.  I'll discuss outliers and how I've decided to handle them this year in the notes.

Moving in the opposite direction is the Georgia Senate election.  After a short time in the lead, Democrat Michelle Nunn has again relinquished the lead here as Republican David Perdue is now projected to earn a Weak GOP Hold.  I want to reiterate a point I made earlier.  Perdue's newfound success does not imply a victory on Election Day.  Instead, all signs point to a January runoff to decide who will succeed outgoing GOP Senator Saxby Chambliss.

In the House, one race has flipped.  Last night's numbers from the ever-changing New Hampshire 1st District re-rematch between Carol Shea-Porter and Frank Guinta fall in the Republican Guinta's favor.  He is now projected to win by a fraction, pushing this race from Weak DEM Hold to Weak GOP Gain.

But back and forth they go.  Since I began tracking this race in early May, these two have switched places no less than 7 times.  And it wouldn't surprise me if another switch or two comes down between now and next Tuesday.  With Guinta in the lead, for the moment at least, Republicans are projected to enjoy a nice increase in their majority in the 2014 House elections.  The current tally of 242 Republicans and 193 Democrats would be a net gain of 8 seats.

NOTES

  • A word on outliers.  If you were with me last election, you may remember that I incorporated an outlier test in my projection formula which would eliminate polls too far out of the norm.  I am not doing that this year, but I do reserve the right to ignore grossly irregular polls at my discretion any time up to and including Election Projection's final projections on Monday, Election Eve.
  • Speaking of outliers, the polls coming out of New Hampshire have been all over the map.  To illustrate, the two polls in the calculations for NH-CD1 are 10 points apart.  The latest, a University of New Hampshire survey, gives Democrat Shea-Porter a 4-point lead, while the second most recent, from New England College, puts Republican Guinta 6 points ahead.
  • Upset alert?  Hawaii's 1st District is not on my competitive House race list.  However, that will change before the election.  Three of the last four polls from the district have the open seat race between Democrat Mark Takai and Republican Charles Djou exactly tied.  The fourth has Takai up by 7, but that survey is a partisan poll from Democratic-leaning Global Strategy.
posted by Scott Elliott at 12:24am 10/29/14 :: link
We are now just one week from Election Day, one week from knowing (most of) the losers and winners.  Here are the stats from last evening's update.

New Polls:  56 - 7 Senate, 4 House, 38 Governor, 7 Others
Pundit Rating Changes:  2 - both favor Republicans
Generic Poll Adjustment:  New:  GOP +0.1, Previous:  GOP +0.3

Party Switchers
   In Republicans' Favor
Iowa CD-3  Weak DEM Gain to Weak GOP Hold
Wisconsin Governor  Weak DEM Gain to Weak GOP Hold

Ratings Changes
   In Democrats' Favor
California CD-31  Weak DEM Gain to Mod DEM Gain
Minnesota CD-7  Weak DEM Hold to Mod DEM Hold
Hawaii Governor  Mod DEM Hold to Solid DEM Hold
Idaho Governor  Solid GOP Hold to Strong GOP Hold
   In Republicans' Favor
Arkansas Governor  Weak GOP Gain to Mod GOP Gain
Oregon Governor  Strong DEM Hold to Mod DEM Hold

The numbers seem to be moving ever-so-slightly toward the GOP, but the movement is less like a wave and more like a drift.  However, if the GOP winds pick up a bit, they could push a lot of these razor-close races in their favor and make it look like a wave.

As things stand right now, I see the GOP gaining enough seats in the Senate to take the majority - and my hunch is it won't take until December (Louisiana) or January (Georgia) to ensure their advantage.  I expect either North Carolina or New Hampshire to join the six other projected GOP takeovers to be decided on November 4th and Pat Roberts to survive in Kansas.  Even with Georgia and Louisiana undecided, that will give Republicans 51 seats.

I'll be the first to admit I may be viewing the election through rose (as in red) colored glasses.  And, if you're worried, I won't let my hunches impact the numbers I project here at EP.  The calculations here will always be determined by my formula's use of polls and pundit predictions - no exceptions.

NOTES

  • The latest CBS News/NYT/YouGov poll gives GOP Governor Sean Walker a three-point edge over Bill Walker in the Alaska governor election.  That's the first poll to show the incumbent ahead against the independent Walker since Democratic nominee Bryon Mallot joined his ticket.
  • The last two North Carolina Senate polls peg the race between Kay Hagan and Thom Tillis exactly tied with Libertarian Sean Haugh siphoning off an average of 6 points.  The North Carolina Senate race is tightening, and it is way too close for either candidate to be breathing easy.
  • We are almost certain to have a December runoff in the Louisiana Senate election.  Republican Rob Maness is polling near 10 percent, essentially assuring that neither Mary Landrieu nor Bill Cassidy will reach 50% +1.
posted by Scott Elliott at 1:16am 10/28/14 :: 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
As a way to kick off the countdown this morning, I thought we'd catch up on the party switchers we've seen over the last few days.  Let's start with the 2014 House elections.  A week ago, thanks to a favorable flip in the Maine CD-2 race, Republicans were projected to gain a net 9 seats in the lower chamber.  That was the largest projected gain they've enjoyed so far this year.

Then came Thursday's update.   A not-so-favorable generic congressional preference poll reduced the GOP's advantage in the House projection adjustment and caused three seats to move to the blue column.  One of them was Maine CD-2, which didn't last long as a projected GOP gain.  The second was New Hampshire's 1st District seat, and the third came from Arkansas' 2nd District - a rare competitive GOP seat - where Republican French Hill is battling Democrat Patrick Hays for the open seat of retiring Congressman Tim Griffin.

Accounting for these seats moved the projected balance of power in the House to 240 Republicans and 195 Democrats.  That represents a projected net gain of 6 seat for the GOP - not a wave, to be sure, but still a nice haul given their existing strong majority.

In the Senate, Democrats can claim the only party switcher this week.  Democrat Michelle Nunn has performed better than most expected all year and, lately, polls are starting to show her with a small lead in her Georgia Senate election contest against Republican businessman David Perdue.

A quick perusal of Georiga Senate polls reveals her improving fortunes.  In 12 polls released from early September through the first week of October, Perdue enjoyed the advantage in all but one.  However, Nunn is the one on top in 5 of 8 surveys released since then.  As a result, she is now projected, by a very narrow 1-point margin, to earn a takeover for Democrats.

Hers is the lone bright blue race on the 2014 Senate election map.  But it is, nevertheless, a bright spot in an otherwise difficult year for Senate Democrats.  Republicans boast eight projected takeovers as of today with seats from Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia set to move to the red team if the current numbers hold.

All those projected pickups would give Republicans a 52-seat majority in the Senate - even with Georgia going blue - except for an Independent named Greg Orman.  His campaign in Kansas has been a major thorn in the GOP's side this year.  Though it appeared Republican incumbent Pat Roberts was gaining ground after Orman enjoyed a big lead a few weeks ago, the latest Kansas Senate poll shows Orman maintaining a small but clear lead.

Moving on to the gubernatorial elections, party switchers have abounded this week with at least one showing up each day.  On Monday, Republican Tom Foley started off the barrage by moving ahead of Democratic incumbent Dan Malloy in the Connecticut governor election.  Tuesday showed Democrat John Hickenlooper losing ground to Bob Beauprez in Colorado's governor race.

Wednesday, it was another Republican challenger's opportunity to push into the lead.  This time, Charlie Baker took an unexpected advantage over Martha Coakley in the open Massachusetts governor election.  The next day, Hickenlooper regained the upper hand in Colorado, but Democratic Governor Pat Quinn lost his lead to Bruce Rauner in Illinois.  Finally, on Friday, Republican Sam Brownback, embattled Kansas governor, fell behind Paul Davis again after a short run on top there.

With the week's dust settled, the projected balance of power among the nation's governorships now stands at 28 Republicans, 21 Democrats and 1 Independent.  Despite nine projected takeovers, that tally represents very little change in the current makeup.  Republicans are set to lose a net one chair with the net gain going to Independent Bill Walker in the Alaska governor election.

Well, that's enough for today.  Don't expect everyday's countdown post to be as lengthy as this one - I had a lot to cover to get us all up to date.  However, do expect some electoral observations from me each morning from now until Election Day.  So, y'all come back, y'hear?

posted by Scott Elliott at 10:37am 10/25/14 :: link
Connecticut is colored red on today's 2014 governor election map thanks to Rasmussen's latest survey which shows Republican challenger Tom Foley enjoying a 7 point lead over incumbent Democrat Dan Malloy.  The margin is unchanged from Rasmussen's previous poll released back in August, but it differs considerably from Public Policy Polling's latest published just over a week ago.  That poll gave Malloy a 6 point lead.

Situated almost perfectly between those two polls is a survey from Quinnipiac pegging the race at a dead-even 46-46 tie.  It's probably safe to conclude from these three polls that the 2014 Connecticut governor election will be a nail-biter.  If you'll remember, these two gentlemen fought one of the nation's closet gubernatorial races four years ago with Malloy earning a scant 6400-vote victory out of over 1 million votes cast.

I'm looking forward to another poll testing this race to see which whether the projected outcome moves closer to Rasmussen or Public Policy Polling.  For now, though, the GOP can add a projected statehouse takeover.  However, even with this change, they still stand to lose a net two governorships next month.  The gubernatorial tally stands today at 27 Republicans, 22 Democrats and 1 Independent.

posted by Scott Elliott at 5:24pm 10/20/14 :: link
One of the most competitive gubernatorial races in the country comes out of the Badger State.  Incumbent Republican Scott Walker is trying to fend off a very strong challenge from educator Mary Burke.  Scott has a history of surviving tough election challenges, having earned an historic recall election victory here in 2012.  But this year could see a change of fortune for Democrats bent on seeing the union antagonist overthrown.

Election Projection currently projects Burke to win the 2014 Wisconsin governor election by a scant 0.5%.  With just two polls included in the calculations, her slim margin clearly indicates a toss-up situation.  However, after seeing Walker best her in four out of five Wisconsin governor polls released in September, Burke's lead likely reveals a bit of momentum in her direction since the beginning of October.

I hope more polling is done on this race over the next 2 1/2 weeks.  We really need more data to get a better sense of how this race is unfolding down the stretch.  And I imagine that's what we'll get since the Walker-Burke matchup should be one of the closest and most closely-watched races in the 2014 governor elections.

posted by Scott Elliott at 5:58pm 10/17/14 :: link
Whew!  That was a lot of work!  Today's update is posted - finally - and the House numbers have shifted a bit more in the GOP's favor.  Republicans are now projected to extend their majority by a net 6 seats.  That's one more than they were projected to gain yesterday.  The new member of the red team is seeking a spot in Congress from Maine's 2nd district.  Republican Bruce Poliquin edges just ahead of Democrat Emily Cain for this open seat.

Coincidentally, the man who currently owns that seat makes the update write-up today for reclaiming the lead in the Maine governor election.  Democrat Mike Michaud is trying to deny incumbent Republican Governor Paul LePage a second term and is looking like a good bet to do so if the latest numbers hold up.  A Bangor Daily News/Ipsos poll released this week puts him 6 points ahead of LePage, 42-36, with Independent Eliot Cutler earning a hefty 16%.

Countering the Democratic pickup in Maine, Republican Sam Brownback earns a Weak GOP Hold rating in his bid to retain the top job in Kansas.  Over the summer, it looked like Brownback was one of the more vulnerable sitting governors this election.  Recent polling data shows the race tightening, however.

Even if we cast a suspicious eye on a partisan poll and a Fox News poll giving him leads of three and six points, respectively, the latest Public Policy offering, which puts Democrat Paul Davis up by just one, indicates a much closer race than their September poll showing Davis up 6.  We'll see if Brownback can keep his momentum going as Election Day nears, but it's clear he's in much better shape than he was a month ago.

posted by Scott Elliott at 10:42pm 10/14/14 :: link
I've been able to secure access to the website today and post new numbers.  Three party switchers are on the board after adding the results of today's poll report in the projection calculations.  They include two governorships, both of which have flipped from Weak GOP Gain to Weak DEM Hold, and one House race which represents a new projected GOP takeover.

In the 2014 Massachusetts governor election, Democratic nominee Martha Coakley reclaims the lead over Republican Charlie Baker on the strength of two polls this week giving her small leads of two and four points.  The other gubernatorial flip also comes from New England where Incumbent Democrat Dan Malloy vaults back in front thanks to a Public Policy survey showing him up by 6 over Republican Tom Foley in the Connecticut governor election.

The lone party switcher in the House comes from the California CD-52 election.  Republican Carl DeMaio polls ahead of incumbent Democratic incumbent Scott Peters in this competitive district by an average of 0.5%.  The narrow advantage is enough to barely overcome a Democratic-leaning 0.4% generic polling adjustment.  With this change, the GOP is projected to extend their majority by a net 5 seats in the current 2014 House election projections.

posted by Scott Elliott at 4:12pm 10/08/14 :: 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
The 2014 governor election map has undergone several changes over the last two projection updates.  Yesterday, there were two party switchers, one benefitting each party.  Republicans saw Charles Baker overtake Martha Coakley in the Massachusetts governor election, and Democrats enjoyed seeing the Florida governor election go from red to blue as Charlie Crist staked out a 2-point edge on the strength of a favorable SurveyUSA poll.  Baker's first lead of the cycle has moved the Bay State projection from Weak DEM Hold to Weak GOP Gain, while the Sunshine State's outcome moves in the opposite direction, from Weak GOP Hold to Weak DEM Gain.

Yesterday's updates were followed this afternoon by another gubernatorial party switcher.  Colorado incumbent Governor John Hickenlooper, a Democrat locked in a surprisingly tough re-election bid, has led in the last two published Colorado governor polls.  Rasmussen's poll released today has him up four points, but, more importantly, it cycles Quinnipiac's latest out of the calculations.  That Q-poll, most likely an outlier, gave Hick's GOP opponent, Bob Beauprez, a whopping 10-point advantage.  With that survey out, the Colorado governor election is now projected to stay with Hickenlooper by a still-close three-point margin.

All the fun hasn't been limited to the gubernatorial page.  The 2014 Senate elections map also underwent an update yesterday.  Governor Hickenlooper's Democratic colleague on Capitol Hill, first-term Senator Mark Udall, is also in a very tight contest with Republican Congressman Cory Gardner.  Their battle has been an unexpected pick-up opportunity since Gardner announced last spring.

Since mid-September, signs point to Gardner establishing a bit of a lead here.  All four polls conducted since September 10 have put Gardner ahead.  Still, at just +1 point for the challenger, the projection in the 2014 Colorado Senate election will likely move back and forth a few times before the votes are counted.  For now though, this race moves from Weak DEM Hold to Weak GOP Gain.  For now, with 8 projected Senate takeovers, it looks like the GOP can weather an Independent takeover in Kansas and still earn the majority in the upper chamber.

posted by Scott Elliott at 7:10pm 10/02/14 :: link
This article was published Tuesday, September 9 on PJMedia.com.

How primary results have affected the parties' general election prospects.

Republicans enjoyed a hurricane force wind at their backs going into the 2010 elections.  On Election Day, GOP candidates running for seats in the House realized the full potential of the wave they were riding by earning a massive and historic 63-seat net gain.  However, Republican candidates vying for their place in the Senate did not.  Sure, they did well, picking up six seats in the upper chamber, but they missed out on several additional opportunities.

Amy Walter, National Editor for CookPolitical.com, points out a major reason why. She writes:

In 2010, in what was a "wave year" just two of the seven toss-up races went to Republicans, though public polling predicted that four of those seven (57 percent) would flip to the GOP.  Terrible GOP candidates like Christine O'Donnell, Sharron Angle, and Ken Buck were the real culprits in the GOP underperformance that year.
Party nominees matter - even in wave elections.  So, with the primary season drawing to a close, let's take a look at the candidates from each party who made it past the qualifying round and evaluate how those choices impact their party's prospects for success in Senate and gubernatorial elections this November.

Thirty-six Senate seats are up for grabs this year.  Twenty-three of them are non-competitive races which the incumbent party is very likely to retain.  The remaining thirteen seats are either competitive or non-competitive projected takeovers (South Dakota, for example).  Coincidentally, thirty-six governorships, of which 14 are currently competitive, are also on tap.  Looking at the primary lineups for these competitive races, we see that they fall into three different categories.

Incumbent Running
Seven senators, 6 Democrats and 1 Republican, are seeking reelection in competitive races this year.  The Democrats are Mark Begich (AK), Mark Pryor (AR), Mark Udall (CO), Mary Landrieu (LA), Jeanne Shaheen (NH) and Kay Hagan (NC).  They are joined by Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY).  Eleven incumbent governors are also facing competitive reelection bids in 2014.  They consist of 8 Republicans and 3 Democrats.

Non-competitive Primaries
Thirteen Senate primary contests from eight different states and twelve gubernatorial primaries in eleven states held primaries that were, well, no contest.  I won't list them all here, but it is worthy to note that in some cases - Arkansas GOP Senate, Georgia DEM Senate, for example - having a non-competitive primary meant the nominee was the top choice of the party from the outset.  In other cases - Michigan GOP Senate, Montana DEM Senate - the absence of primary competition resulted from the best choice deciding against running.

The first two categories are included for completeness.  However, these races are not very useful when evaluating the role of primary voters in their parties' prospects.  Their impact is gleaned best from races which featured a primary election in doubt.

Competitive Primaries
Let's take a look at several of these primaries race by race and grade primary voters on whether they have improved or impaired their parties' chances by the choice they made.

Alaska Senate (GOP)
Republicans here are salivating at the opportunity to unseat Mark Begich in this conservative state.  Three high profile candidates vied for that honor.  GOP voters made the right choice by selecting Former Alaska Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan.  While Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell would have given Begich a strong challenge, Republicans avoided a concession by not picking lightning rod Joe Miller.  GRADE: A

Georgia Senate (GOP)
Businessman David Perdue and Congressman Jack Kingston got the most votes in the primary election.  However, since neither was able to eclipse the requisite 50% +1 to avoid a runoff, Georgia Republicans had to return to the ballot box a month later to finalize their pick.  They get high marks for picking Perdue, but the prolonged runoff period subjected the nominee to more intra-party conflict and gave Democrat Michelle Nunn a longer grace period.  GRADE: B

Iowa Senate (GOP)
The biggest accomplishment by GOP primary voters here was to avoid having the state convention decide their nominee.  Joni Ernst, who has an enviable bio well-suited to run for public office, captured more than enough votes to earn the nomination outright.  A convention-brokered selection could have resulted in an untenable general election option.  GRADE: A

North Carolina Senate (GOP)
Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan is one of the more vulnerable incumbents in the Senate this cycle, and Tarheel Republicans had at least three viable options who were faring well, pre-primary, against her in the polls.  Thom Tillis, the GOP establishment candidate, prevailed, avoiding a potentially damaging runoff in the process.  While Tea Party fans aren't as keen on the career politician as they would have been with either physician Greg Brannon or Pastor Mark Harris, Tillis is an electable choice in the general election - and avoiding that runoff is a big positive.  GRADE: A-

Colorado Governor (GOP)
Primary voters on the Republican side get high marks for not nominating unelectable Tom Tancredo.  They settled on Bob Beauprez, 2006 gubernatorial nominee, by just 3 points over Tancredo in a four-way race.  And while Beauprez was not impressive in his failed bid for governor 8 years ago, he has seemed a stronger candidate so far this year.  GRADE: A-

Hawaii Governor (DEM)
Democratic voters in the Aloha state made history this year by handing Neil Abercrombie the largest primary defeat of a sitting governor in U.S. history.  Judging from pre-primary polling, they made a great move in doing so.  As a result, they have improved their chances of keeping this deeply blue state in the fold.  State Senator David Ige still trails Republican nominee Duke Aiona, Jr. in the polls (ed. note: not anymore), but he has the potential of staging the comeback Abercrombie could not.  GRADE: A+

Illinois Governor (GOP)
Bruce Rauner has the funds to finance his campaign for governor.  That's important in a state that contains the expensive Chicago media market.  Also, as a political newcomer, he doesn't have the track record the other Republican contenders have.  That's likely a good thing as well in this race against a wily, battle-tested incumbent like Democrat Pat Quinn.  GRADE: A

Wisconsin Governor (DEM)
Democrats would like to get rid of Scott Walker perhaps more than any other governor.  He survived their recall election in 2012 and has taken steps to undermine their power base in the state.  Democratic primary voters selected educator Mary Burke to take him on in 2014.  Judging from how she is performing in the polls so far, it looks like they have made a good choice.  As of this writing, Election Projection shows Burke defeating Walker by a fraction.  GRADE: A

That's a lot of good grades!  Unlike the Republican primary disasters noted by Walter, this year's primary results show that voters from both parties have done a good job picking the right nominees to make the most of their general election opportunities.

posted by Scott Elliott at 12:07pm 09/15/14 :: link
Yesterday, voters went to the polls in the last four primaries of the 2014 Election season (if you don't count Louisiana's open primary on Election Day).  The final four states were Delaware, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire, where Scott Brown won the GOP nomination to set up his much anticipated battle against Democratic incumbent Jeanne Shaheen.  The other noteworthy result from yesterday was John Tierney's loss in the Democratic primary in Massachusetts' 6th District.  Tierney's defeat marked the first time this election that a Democratic incumbent failed to survive a primary challenge.

I'm always glad when no more primaries remain on the calendar because that means I can finalize all the races I'm tracking here at Election Projection.  This election, I'm tracking 116 races in all - 36 Senate, 44 House and 36 Governors.  The projection update I'll post later this evening will include all finalized matchups - no more undetermined candidates.

So today we begin the 8-week sprint to the finish line.  The year is shaping up to be a good year for Republicans and signs are starting to indicate it may be "wave-worthy" yet.  Regardless, I hope you'll make Election Projection a routine source for your election news and numbers.  I'll be updating the projections with new polls every day, Monday-Saturday, from now until my final projections on Election Eve.  Strap in and hold on - it's going to be an exciting ride!

posted by Scott Elliott at 1:01pm 09/10/14 :: link
A second poll dump from the collaboration between CBS, The New York Times and YouGov has shaken up the numbers here at Election Projection, producing a total of eight Senate rating changes.  However, despite all the movement, the projected balance of power in the 2014 Senate elections remains unchanged at 51-46-3.  The Iowa Senate election is back in the Democratic fold with Bruce Braley forging a small lead over Republican Joni Ernst, but Democrat incumbent Mark Begich is now projected to lose the Alaska Senate election to Republican Dan Sullivan.

Here is the list of rating changes in today's projection update:

Today's Rating Changes
Election Old Rating New Rating
Alaska Senate Weak DEM Hold Weak GOP Gain
Hawaii Senate Strong DEM Hold Solid DEM Hold
Iowa Senate Weak GOP Gain Weak DEM Hold
Kentucky Senate Weak GOP Hold Mod GOP Hold
Minnesota Senate Strong DEM Hold Mod DEM Hold
New Jersey Senate Mod DEM Hold Strong DEM Hold
Oklahoma Governor Mod GOP Hold Solid GOP Hold
Oregon Senate Solid DEM Hold Strong DEM Hold
South Carolina Senate Solid GOP Hold Strong GOP Hold
In addition to the eight Senate rating changes - which split evenly between the parties - the list also includes a change in the Oklahoma governor election.  GOP Governor Mary Fallin moves comfortably ahead of Democratic challenger Joe Dorman.
posted by Scott Elliott at 6:14pm 09/08/14 :: link
Last week saw two major developments in the elections this year.  In Alaska, Democrats abandoned their frontal assault on Republican Governor Sean Parnell and merged their nominee, Byron Mallott, into the ticket of Independent Bill Walker.  By engineering a deal where Mallott becomes Walker's lt. governor candidate, Democrats hope to pool the Democratic and other non-GOP vote to overwhelm Parnell's support and unseat the incumbent.

In a three-way race, Parnell held a large lead in the polls but struggled to get to 40% with the combined Mallott/Walker vote edging into the low 40's.  The new two-man race between Parnell and Walker has been polled but once - a prior Public Policy Polling survey.  Parnell's new found challenge is highlighted by the poll which gives him a scant 1-point lead over Walker, 41-40.  This race has moved from Solid GOP Hold to a much more competitive Weak GOP Hold.

The other significant shift occurred in the Kansas Senate election where Democratic Chad Taylor announced he was withdrawing from the race.  After Kansas Secretary of State Kris Koback (R) ruled Taylor would not be removed from the ballot, the Democrat reiterated that he would not serve if elected.  The net of his decision is that Republicans find themselves with yet another very challenging race in this deep red state.

Now, in addition to trying to save embattled Governor Sam Brownback, Sunflower State Republicans must also fret over a two-way race between their incumbent, Senator Pat Roberts, and upstart Independent Greg Orman.  As in the race for Alaska governor, I could find but one poll testing the new matchup.  It isn't good news for the red team.  I'm doubtful the poll's findings will be confirmed by subsequent polling, but for now, Orman takes a commanding 10-point lead in the 2014 Kansas Senate election.

Until we have further polling data, this race moves from a Mod GOP Hold to a Strong IND Gain, our first Independent pick-up.  The projected tally in the Senate now stands at 51 Republicans, 46 Democrats, and 3 Independents.  As you can see, Republicans are still projected to take the majority, but Kansas' sudden competitiveness complicates their efforts to make that quest a reality.

posted by Scott Elliott at 11:09am 09/06/14 :: link
With Labor Day, summer break's symbolic end, behind us, the 2014 election season is underway in earnest.  The next 9 weeks will witness ever-increasing interest in the upcoming elections as part-time political observers start turning their attention to who is running for office - and who's projected to win.

So, if you're looking for a good time to take a baseline measurement, today's Senate House and gubernatorial numbers here at Election Projection provide a useful starting point.  Will this cycle fulfill its current promise of a status-quo election, or will Republicans start to see a wave building as interest builds and likely voter models become better defined?  As they say, only time will tell, but I hope you'll make Election Projection a daily stop as we keep our finger on the pulse of the American electorate, 2014 edition.

posted by Scott Elliott at 2:39pm 09/02/14 :: link
This one comes as a surprise to me.  The Boston Globe has released a poll showing Republican Charlie Baker ahead of Democrat Martha Coakley in the race for Massachusetts Governor.  This is just one poll and Massachusetts remains extremely liberal.  However, this race might be worth keeping a close eye on.  The primaries here aren't until September 9 - the final day of the 2014 primary season - but Coakley and Baker are heavily favored to prevail.

Point to note: Coakley was Scott Brown's opponent when he surprised the nation in January, 2010 by winning the open Senate seat of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy and ushering in the Republican wave that year.  Perhaps she's headed toward a similar defeat in November.  Again, it's way too early to make any such predictions - especially in a state like Massachusetts.

Look for updated numbers this evening after I publish today's Election Projection.  Coakley will still be projected to win, but the race looks much closer than previously calculated.

posted by Scott Elliott at 12:11pm 08/29/14 :: link
Scott Walker, tried and true political survivor, faces yet another stiff challenge in the 2014 Wisconsin governor election.  You may remember Walker's unprecedented electoral feat back in 2010 when he survived a gubernatorial recall election.

His political opponents are more resolved than ever to unseat the Republican in this bluish battleground state, and recent polling data indicates they have a decent chance of succeeding.  This week's survey published by Marquette University gives the incumbent 47%, two points less than his Democratic opponent, educator Mary Burke.  Rasmussen's poll from earlier this month put Walker one point ahead of Burke, but the average of the two pushes Burke into the lead and gives her a projected Weak DEM Gain in the race.

This flip is the second for Democrats in today's governor projections and brings the projected tally to 28 Republicans and 22 Democrats.  These numbers represent a net 1-seat gain for the blue team.

posted by Scott Elliott at 9:34pm 08/27/14 :: link
Yesterday, Republicans in Arizona settled on state Treasurer Doug Ducey to face Democrat Fred DuVal in the battle to replace term-limited Governor Jan Brewer (R).  Before the primary, Election Projection carried a preliminary projection of Mod GOP Hold for this race.  Now that the nominees are known, I've calculated an "official" projection that is based on actual polling data.

The only two polls I have found testing a Ducey-DuVal matchup are from early in the year.  Nevertheless, they are what I have to go on, so they'll have to do until other polls are conducted.  For the time being, the projection calculations land this race in Weak DEM Gain territory with DuVal projected to win by 1.5%.  My hunch is that DuVal's lead will last just long enough for a couple more polls to be released.  Despite Arizona's bright blue color on EP's 2014 governor election map, I view this race as Ducey's to lose.

posted by Scott Elliott at 9:04pm 08/27/14 :: link
2014 State-by-State Projections
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Texas
Tennessee
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Latest Posts
Support Election Projection
Thank you very much!
Special Thanks To:
Charlie Cook, Cook Political
Dave Leip, U.S. Election Atlas
David Wissing, The Hedgehog Report
Larry Sabato, Crystal Ball
Richard & Tony, The Green Papers
The folks at RealClearPolitics
The Rothenberg Political Report
©Copyright 2003-2014 Scott Elliott, All Rights Reserved