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Tue. Nov 04, 2014
Republicans 52
Democrats 45
Independents 3
GOP +7, IND +1
Republicans 245
Democrats 190
GOP +11
Republicans 27
Democrats 22
Independents 1
DEM +1, IND +1
2014 Elections on Demand
Election Day
November 8, 2016
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2014 House Races

After a very close result on Election Day that required a mandatory recount, Republican Martha McSally can now rest easy. She did indeed defeat incumbent Democrat Ron Barber and earn the GOP's 16th official pickup in the House against just three lost seats. This result means the balance of power for the upcoming session of Congress will be 247 Republicans, 188 Democrats. No congress has had more Republicans since 1930.
posted by Scott Elliott at 8:09pm 12/18/14 :: link
The recount in the razor-close race between incumbent Democrat Ron Barber and Republican Martha McSally is winding down. The only remaining item is a sample hand recount in 5% of polling places scheduled to begin on Monday, December 15 at 9AM. Once that is complete, we'll still have to wait until the Arizona Secretary of State's office certifies the results before knowing if McSally has kept her advantage and sealed her victory. The first vote count gave her a 161-vote margin over Barber, an edge that remained unchanged after the machine recount concluded.
posted by Scott Elliott at 3:26pm 12/13/14 :: link
As election night came to a close, Republican challenger Martha McSally held a very thin lead over Democratic incumbent Ron Barber in the Arizona 2nd District Election. On November 5, her lead was just 36 votes. The trickle of votes in the days following Election Days favored McSally at first, but then Barber began to cut into her expanded advantage. With all votes counted, McSally continues to lead, but by a very tenuous 133-vote margin.

That advantage, finalized on December 1, remains despite a suit filed by Barber to allow a small number of additional votes to be added. The next step, since McSally's edge is far too small to declare her the winner, is an official recount, the first ever for an Arizona congressional election. Election officials foresee the recount concluding by December 16. But the drama of this nail biter might not be over then.

The counties told Bennett they would likely be able to have all the ballots counted by Dec. 16. When they finish, Bennett's office will send the results to the Maricopa County Superior Court judge, who will verify the end of the election and announce the final count results.

That may not be the end of the process, because the candidates, political parties or individual voters could file suits in court challenging the results, or the ballots that were or were not counted in the election. This could delay final results.

If McSally holds on, the GOP will earn its 13th and final net gain in the House. Otherwise the final House count will be Republicans +12. Election Projection's 2014 House election numbers projected an 11-seat Republican gain.
posted by Scott Elliott at 5:40pm 12/02/14 :: link
From a prognosticator's point of view, one of the big stories of Election 2014 is the inaccuracy of the polls in favor of non-Republican candidates. Gubernatorial races were especially impacted by this phenomenon, but polls for plenty of Senate races also missed the mark. As a result, Election Projection's numbers were skewed toward Democrats (and Independent Greg Orman in Kansas).

On the other hand, EP's projections for House races - which rely less on polling and more on EP's homegrown formula for quantifying the race predictions of political experts - fared much better. Of 435 congressional races, Election Projection correctly forecasted all but nine. I'm especially pleased that in those nine misses, I projected the Democrat to win 5 and the Republican to win 4 - an almost even split and a testimony to the objectivity of EP's calculations.

Here's a look at how Election Projection did for all 507 races in this year's lineup of Senate, House and gubernatorial elections.

Election Projection's 2014 Report Card
  Total Picks Correct Accuracy
Senate 36 34 94.4%
House 435 426 97.9%
Governor 36 32 88.9%
Total 507 492 97.0%
In the Senate, EP missed Kansas and North Carolina, both won by Republicans. Among gubernatorial races, EP missed Florida, Illinois, Kansas and Maryland, again, all won by Republicans. I will say that better polling would have yielded better results. Nevertheless, 97% ain't too shabby.
posted by Scott Elliott at 11:16pm 11/21/14 :: link
As of this writing, there remain four House races yet to be called. They are Arizona CD-2, California CD-16, California CD-26 and New York CD-25. All four are currently held by Democrats, and, ironically, the one I did not include in EP's competitive House race list, California CD-16, is the race most likely to go down as a Republican takeover. (Arizona CD-2, where GOPer Martha McSally has a 509-vote lead right now, is looking good to end up in the GOP column as well.)

Among the 431 races that have been called, Republicans have won 15 blue seats and lost just 3 of their own for a net gain of 12. With California CD-16 and Arizona CD-2, that number will finalize at 13 or 14. That's one or two more than EP projected and a remarkable outcome considering the GOP's sizeable House majority going in. Thirteen new net seats would give Republicans 247 against just 188 for Democrats, upping the GOP count to a higher level than at any time since Herbert Hoover was president - regardless of the outcome in AZ-02.

Nationwide, though EP's generic congressional preference poll average gave the GOP a 2.4% advantage, actual voters gave the red team a 7.1-point edge, 52.1% to 45.0%. In 2010, the Republican advantage was 51.7% to 44.9%. That means Americans voted for Republican congressional candidates in 2014 at a greater clip, by 0.3%, than we did in the historic tsunami four years ago. The larger GOP advantage buttresses the claim I made yesterday that 2014 was a bigger wave than 2010.

One more note before I close. It is worth mentioning, in the midst of all the excitement surrounding Tuesday's red wave, that Republicans on Capitol Hill still have a ways to go to reach the level of domination enjoyed by Democrats at times over the last century. Two examples stand out. After the 1936 elections, Democrats held over 75% of House seats and commanded a 76-16 majority in the Senate. And more recently, in 1976, Democrats won a staggering 293 seats in the House and 61 in the Senate.

I'm not sure the GOP will attain that kind of success in my lifetime, but, right now, I don't think many Republicans are complaining.

posted by Scott Elliott at 10:25pm 11/07/14 :: link
In 2010, a wave swept across America. It was an electoral tsunami that ushered in a large majority for Republicans in the House. The red team enjoyed a net gain of 63 seats in the lower chamber and 6 more in the Senate. So how does last night's Republican victory compare to four years ago? I think a look at the Senate holds the key to understanding the answer to that question.

Four years ago, while Republicans did increase their numbers in the Senate by a half-dozen, they left many opportunities on the table and failed to gain the coveted majority. This year, they experienced no such shortcomings. From the start, the 2014 Senate playing field tilted in their favor. Six vulnerable Democratic seats were from states Mitt Romney carried by double-digits in 2012. The GOP is poised to win them all - assuming Bill Cassidy is able to maintain his head-to-head lead over incumbent Senator Mary Landrieu in Louisiana's December runoff.

Had all GOP gains come from deep red states, the argument could be made that this was more of a status-quo affair than a sea change. But their wins didn't stop with the easy pickups. Republican success bled into battleground (North Carolina) and even bluish (Colorado and Iowa) states. Pre-election polls showed Republicans Cory Gardner and Joni Ernst ahead in Colorado and Iowa, respectively, but had Democrat Kay Hagan with the edge in North Carolina. In true wave fashion, the GOP won all three of those races as well.

Add to all the victories an enormously unexpected fractional defeat of Republican Ed Gillespie by prohibitive favorite Mark Warner in Virginia, and you have all the makings of a genuine tsunami. I believe, in fact, that what you have is a tsunami even bigger than the 2010 version. Unlike that year, when Republicans lost races that they should have won in Colorado, Delaware and Nevada, 2014 featured exactly zero Republican losses that should have been victories. Moreover, they won their own vulnerable seats in Georgia and Kentucky by margins far exceeding what the polls foretold.

But what about the 63 seats in the House, you might ask. Republicans' 13-17 seat net gain this year in the House might just be even more dramatic than the 5 dozen plus from four years ago. Here's why. Expanding their number to at least 247 seats, Republicans will hold more House seats than at any time since 1928 - including after the 2010 elections. And the results suggest Republicans would have attained this lofty perch even if they had started the day holding 179 seats, their pre-2010 election count.

Even though 13-17 seats in the House don't seem indicative of a tremendous wave, a closer look at the outcome in the Senate reveals the breadth and depth of the GOP election victory on Tuesday. Moreover, when you consider how different the balance of power looked before this election than before November, 2010, the conclusion is clear. 2014 was a bigger wave than 2010, perhaps the biggest wave in generations.

posted by Scott Elliott at 10:52pm 11/06/14 :: link
Yesterday, a wave did indeed form across the country, and the GOP was the beneficiary. In need of six net seats for the Senate majority and facing vulnerable seats in Kansas and Georgia, Republicans ran the table, winning every close Senate election save one. Only Scott Brown's defeat in New Hampshire prevented a true sweep. (Yes, I know Louisiana will now head to a runoff after no one there achieved enough support to avoid it. But who can argue that Republican Bill Cassidy is well-positioned to continue Republican gains into December?)

Eight new seats will reside on the Republican side of the Senate aisle come January's next Senate session. On some levels, even though Republican gains in the House were limited to "only" 12-14 seats, 2014 was a broader and deeper wave than the one that swept America in 2010. That year, though they did accomplish a history-making feat by winning 63 seats in the House, many objectives - particularly in the Senate - went unmet. Yesterday, the GOP met and exceeded any and all reasonable expectations in both Houses of Congress and among the nation's statehouses.

A couple of races are still outstanding, but assessing the results that are complete, Republicans will hold significant majorities in the Senate, in the House and in governorships. The gubernatorial races were most surprising. Election Projection projected Republicans to lose a net of two statehouses, one to the Democrats and one to an independent. Instead, the GOP enjoyed a string of close victories to extend the majority they could already claim.

I'll be taking a look at the election results for each of these groups in the next three days, starting with an in depth look at the Senate races tomorrow. I'll also be continuing updates on the election results (Senate, House and governor) until all race have been officially decided. And then there will be retooling of the Louisiana Senate election page in advance of Senator Mary Landrieu's primary showdown against Cassidy.

posted by Scott Elliott at 10:41pm 11/05/14 :: link
This is where I'll be posting periodic reactions to tonight vote counts as they come in.

2:35am EST: Well, what a night! The big story must be the Senate majority that the GOP earned. But, were it not for that, I think the amazing run of gubernatorial victories would be the headline in the morning. All in all, it looks like the GOP will earn 8 or 9 seats in the Senate, more than a dozen in the House, and several additional statehouses. After a good night's sleep, I'll start reviewing the results tomrrow. Y'all come back, ya here?

11:28pm EST: The Republicans, with the victory of Joni Ernst over Bruce Braley in Iowa, will have control of the Senate for the next two years at least. No need to wait for any runoffs.

11:15pm EST: The results have gotten far enough along to say that Senate Republicans are achieving expectations, and, with North Carolina, Iowa and Alaska still outstanding, they could exceed them. On the gubernatorial front, it looks like a status-quo election, which is pretty much what we are expecting. Though Walker and Snyder winning in Wisconsin and Michigan is a very good result given the vulnerablilities of both men.

10:20pm EST: I've been able to catch up on the Senate election results page. Now, I'll start on the governors. Speaking of governors, Fox News has just called Wisconsin for incumbent Republican Scott Walker. That's a big result and a close call that Election Projection correctly picked.

9:52pm EST: Quick update. Between trying to extend the capability of the server and trying to keep up with 114 races, I'm having a hard time maintaining up-to-date and accurate numbers. I'm working feverishly to catch up!!

7:20pm EST: Polls in three states, Ohio, West Virginia and the critical North Carolina, will close in 10 minutes. (Yes, I did vote today in my home, the Old North State.) We'll start seeing Hagan vs. Tillis votes coming in soon.

7:05pm EST: Kentucky Senate called for McConnell right out of the shoot by Fox News. And Warner's "non-competitive" race in Virginia is "too close to call." This is a huge development that portends a great night for the GOP.

5:55pm EST: The first polls will be closing in any minute now. Indiana's polls close statewide at 6pm EST, and most of Kentucky's as well. The Kentucky Senate election between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Grimes (D) is the only race I'm tracking here at EP from these two states. If an early call comes down for McConnell, look for a very good night for the GOP. If the race remains uncalled for a couple hours, it could be an indication that the GOP will underperform tonight.

You can follow tonight election returns at the links below.

posted by Scott Elliott at 5:54pm 11/04/14 :: link
Projection Statistics for the Final Update

58 New Polls:  22 Senate, 9 House, 21 Governor, 6 Others
16 Pundit Rating Changes:  9 Favor GOP, 7 Favor DEM
Generic Poll Adjustment:  New:  GOP +0.1, Previous:  GOP +0.1

Party Switchers
In Republicans' Favor
   Maine CD-2  Weak DEM Hold to Weak GOP Gain

Other Ratings Changes
In Republicans' Favor
   New Hampshire Senate  Mod DEM Hold to Weak DEM Hold

Good morning and welcome to Election Day, 2014! If you have already voted, good for you; if not, go do it! I'll start of this morning's final countdown post by saying how much fun it has been watching all the polls and calculating all the projections. I hope you have enjoyed Election Projection's trek through the election season as much as I have bringing it to you.

Now on to the final numbers. In the Senate, EP projects the GOP will gain 8 takeovers against just 1 loss (to independent candidate Greg Orman in the Kansas Senate election) for a net gain of 7 seats. Democrats are projected to lose 8, bringing the projected balance of power in the upper chamber to 52 Republicans, 45 Democrats and 3 Independents.

In the House, Republicans are also projected to fare well, bagging 13 additional seats while losing just 2 for a net gain of 11. Democrats are set to avoid a House election sweep with projected takeovers in California CD-31 and the late-breaking Nebraska CD-2. All told, the House make-up after the elections is projected to be 245 Republicans and 190 Democrats. Today's party switcher, Maine CD-2, means the GOP will end on its highest projected House gain of the year.

Moving on to statehouse races, the bright spot in the these otherwise gloomy projections for the blue team, Democrats are projected to pickup three seats - and an ally in the form of Independent Bill Walker in Alaska - against just two losses. Their net gain of 1 seat, plus 1 seat for Walker, leaves the projected balance of power among the nation's governorships at 27 Republicans, 22 Democrats and 1 Independent.

Overall, there stands to be quite a bit more celebrating on the red side of the aisle tonight, but the biggest question of these elections - will the GOP take the Senate - might not be answered. Both the Louisiana and Georgia senate races are likely to go to runoffs. It is feasible, then, for the majority not to be known until January, 2015. I'm of the opinion we won't need to go to the Georgia runoff in January to get to a Republican majority. We may not even need to wait until Louisiana's runoff in December.

After the last 2 elections in which Election Projection experienced difficulties handling the increased Election Day traffic, I'm wary of that happening again today. I am working with my hosting service to ensure it doesn't. But in the event that is does, let me apologize in advance. If the website isn't being updated this evening as the returns come in, please rest assured I am diligently trying to update it.

One last thing before I conclude this post. Pending smooth website operation this evening, I will be posting results on the hour, every hour, starting at 7pm. You can follow the returns as they come in on each state race page and on the pages below.

Now, off to vote!
posted by Scott Elliott at 9:34am 11/04/14 :: link
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
Projection Statistics for Saturday's Update

39 New Polls:  15 Senate, 4 House, 15 Governor, 5 Others
No Pundit Rating Changes
Generic Poll Adjustment:  New:  GOP +0.1, Previous:  GOP +0.1

Party Switchers
In Democrats' Favor
   Colorado Governor  Weak GOP Gain to Weak DEM Hold
   Connecticut Governor  Weak GOP Gain to Weak DEM Hold
In Republicans' Favor
   New York CD-1  Weak DEM Hold to Weak GOP Gain
   New York CD-24  Strong DEM Hold to Weak GOP Gain

Other Ratings Changes
In Democrats' Favor
   Arkansas CD-4  Strong GOP Hold to Weak GOP Hold
   California CD-21  Strong GOP Hold to Mod GOP Hold
In Republicans' Favor
   Louisiana Senate  Weak GOP Gain to Mod GOP Gain
   Hawaii CD-1  Mod DEM Hold to Weak DEM Hold
   Iowa CD-2  Mod DEM Hold to Weak DEM Hold
   Nevada CD-4  Mod DEM Hold to Weak DEM Hold
   New York CD-11  Weak GOP Hold to Mod GOP Hold

Democrats score big on the gubernatorial front in Saturday's update, reclaiming two statehouses that were previously projected to flip to the GOP. In Colorado, incumbent John Hickenlooper edges out Republican Bob Beauprez in the Colorado governor poll average by just 0.2%. With nine polls in the calculations, we can have a high level of confidence that the Colorado governor election is pretty much a toss-up.

The other retention comes from Connecticut where another Democratic incumbent has inched his way back into the lead. Though we have far fewer samples in the Connecticut governor polling pool, Dan Malloy, nevertheless, has taken a 0.7% lead over Tom Foley in their rematch of 4 years ago. Still razor-close, the 2014 Connecticut governor elections promises to be one of the closest in the nation.

As promised, I added six new races to EP's 2014 House elections page. Two Republicans seats increased the total number of GOP seats I'm tracking to 13, while four new Democratic seats - minus 1 seat which is not so competitive anymore - raises the competitive count for the blue team to 30.

One of the Democratic additions, New York CD-24, went straight to the red column. Republican challenger John Katko has polled very strongly against Democratic incumbent Dan Maffei in the limited number of surveys out there, and the pundits have sensed this race moving decidedly in his direction. A look at the pundit ratings for this race since I started tracking the election early this year reveals the rapid shift in their perceptions.


  • At 10 seats, Saturday's projected net gain for Republicans in the House is their largest projected haul so far this cycle.
  • Three polls from the Iowa Senate election show how close this race is. Two give Republican Joni Ernst leads of 1 and 2 points, while the third puts Democrat Bruce Braley in the lead by 1 point.
posted by Scott Elliott at 12:03pm 11/02/14 :: link
Projection Statistics for Friday's Update

23 New Polls:  8 Senate, 5 House, 5 Governor, 5 Others
1 Pundit Rating Change:   1 favors GOP
Generic Poll Adjustment:  New:  GOP +0.1, Previous:  GOP +0.3

Party Switchers
In Republicans' Favor
   Alaska Senate  Weak DEM Hold to Weak GOP Gain

Other Ratings Changes
In Democrats' Favor
   Utah CD-4  Strong GOP Gain to Mod GOP Gain
In Republicans' Favor
   Kentucky Senate  Weak GOP Hold to Mod GOP Hold
   Virginia Senate  Strong DEM Hold to Mod DEM Hold

Early voting is coming to a close today in many areas, and the results are mixed. In the 2014 North Carolina Senate election, for example, black voters are turning out in greater proportion than in 2010. That's good news for Democratic Senator Kay Hagan. But 2010 was a big time Republican year, so the GOP can withstand a marginally increased African-American slice of the electorate and still perform well. That said, almost all recent NC Senate polls give Hagan a slight lead. With just 3 days until the voting concludes, for her to fall short would be a mild upset.

Colorado, on the other hand, looks good for Republicans. As of noon Thursday, the red team's share of the early vote is higher than the 2010 electorate. That's probably bad news for Democratic Senator Mark Udall. Cory Gardner, the Republican challenger, is in a good position to earn the takeover in the Colorado Senate election, but we shouldn't forget Colorado's history. Ken Buck's situation in 2010 looked similarly rosy, but he lost to Democratic incumbent Michael Bennett anyway.

Voting in Georgia looks much like North Carolina with the percentage of black early voters outpacing their proportion of the total 2010 electorate. But like in North Carolina, Georgia Republicans have some buffer because of their substantial margin of victory in 2010. Regardless of who is actually performing better so far, it'll be hard for either candidate in the 2014 Georgia Senate election to earn the outright majority. A runoff has seemed likely these past several weeks, and these numbers do nothing to change that expectation.

Reacting to early voting numbers is somewhat like trying to compare apples to oranges, however. I couldn't find corresponding early voting percentages for 2010 - which would be a more consistent comparison. So, like in every cycle before this, we'll have to wait until Election Night for any definitive results.

Now that November has arrived, I wanted to extend the final opportunity of the 2014 election season to my readers to contribute to the efforts that go into providing Election Projection and its content. Since 2004, reader contributions have been invaluable to me in the labor of love that is Election Projection. If you would like to make a contribution, please click on the button below. You don't need a Paypal account to help out.

Thanks so much!!


  • This evening's update will feature six new seats: AR-4, CA-21, HI-1, IA-2, NV-4, NY-24. Four of the new seats are currently held by Democrats. FL-18, the one race to be removed, is also held by a Democrat.
  • Republican nominee Charlie Baker has now lead in all 5 of the latest Massachusetts governor polls. He must be considered the favorite to best Democrat Martha Coakley in the 2014 Massachusetts governor election. For Ms. Coakley, a loss would be her second statewide loss in the last 4 years or so - no small feat for the Democrat in the Bay State.
posted by Scott Elliott at 12:27pm 11/01/14 :: link
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.


  • 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.


  • 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
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
House Republicans aren't enjoying the kind of wave election we saw in 2010, but that's not so bad when your ranks can swell despite already owning a healthy majority.  Today's calculations - which include two dozen new House polls - reveal another projected takeover for the GOP in the lower chamber.

Aided by a favorable Saint Leo University poll released last week, Republican challenger Carlos Curbelo has moved ahead of Democratic incumbent Joe Garcia in the very competitive Florida CD-26 race.  This isn't the first time Curbelo has lead here.  Highlighting the closeness of this particular election, the projection has switched parties three times in the last month.  As a result of the flip, the balance of power in the House is now projected to shift to 239 Republicans and 196 Democrats, a net gain of 5 seats for the GOP.

In the Senate, unfavorable news concerning Republican Mike Rounds, once heavily-favored to earn a GOP victory in the 2014 South Dakota Senate election, and the independent run by former Republican Senator Larry Pressler have changed the dynamic in the race to replace Democratic Senator Tim Johnson.  Though still projected to win, Rounds' lead has shrunk.

Like the 2014 Kansas Senate election, South Dakota is becoming an unexpected obstacle in the Republicans' quest to gain the majority in the Senate.  Nevertheless, Election Projection continues to show the GOP netting seven seats - one more than necessary to claim the gavel now possessed by Harry Reid.

posted by Scott Elliott at 7:15pm 10/13/14 :: 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
In the two projection updates since I posted my thoughts on a possible GOP mini-wave brewing, generic polling has done an about face.  On Monday, Rasmussen released their weekly congressional preference survey showing Democrats up by 1 point over Republicans.  The previous week Republicans and Democrats were tied.  And yesterday, CNN/Opinion Research released their latest which has Democrats pulling ahead by 2 points.  Their previous poll had Republicans up by 2.

These two polls have combined to flip the generic polling adjustment in the Democrats' favor.  As a result, what was a 6-seat projected gain for the GOP here on Saturday was cut in half once yesterday's 2014 House election projections were posted.

Thanks to favorable polling in the Maine CD-2 election, the GOP did earn a projected pickup on Monday.  However, that gain was lost the next day, joined by three other Democratic switchers from Monday and Tuesday.

In addition to reclaiming the seat in Maine, Democrats have also brought Florida CD-26, Illinois CD-10 and California CD-52 back into the fold so far this week.  All this shifting lands the projected balance of power in the House at 237 Republicans and 198 Democrats.

Come back later this evening to see if today's projection update will yield further decay in the GOP advantage or a measure of renewed strength to that mini-wave which may not be forthcoming after all.

posted by Scott Elliott at 1:25pm 10/01/14 :: link
In the landslide congressional elections of 2010, Republicans gained a net 63 seats in the House.  Election Projection nailed that election by projecting the GOP would bag 64 seats. One characteristic of Election 2010 was a pronounced increase in the number of projected GOP takeovers beginning after Labor Day.

Even as late as September 23rd that year, Democrats were projected to retain control of the House.  Granted, at that point, Republicans were already projected to pick up a boatload of seats, but the bulk of the colossal tsunami that eventually swept over the nation on Election Day had yet to form.  But over the 6 weeks or so from September 23rd through November 2nd, the projected Republican haul increased by 26 seats, from 38 to 64.

Those numbers will not be duplicated - far from it - but this year we are starting to see a bit of a post-labor-day swell in Republican numbers that may portend the rise of a moderate GOP wave.  Two factors contribute to this conclusion.  First, generic congressional polling has moved toward Republicans.  Over the summer, Democrats held on to a small but persistent lead in the aggregate congressional preference numbers.  That lead has vanished since Labor Day, replaced by a comfortable GOP advantage.

Second, political pundits Cook, Rothenberg and Sabato, whom I use to calculated my House projections, have published more and more GOP-favorable updates to their House race ratings.  Over the last few weeks, the trio has made 30 House ratings updates.  73% of them (22) improved the Republican candidate's standing.

These changes, both in generic polls and in pundit ratings, are indications of the electorate's general shift toward the GOP.  So far this month, the 2014 House election projections have flipped from a projected net gain of one seat for Democrats to a 6-seat Republican gain.

To be sure, any further improvement in the numbers for the GOP between now and November 4th won't come close to matching the stretch run in 2010, but, if the trend we seeing now continues, we could see Republicans gain another dozen seats in the House this year.  And given the Republicans' solid majority already, that would be no small feat.

posted by Scott Elliott at 12:06pm 09/29/14 :: link
Yesterday's numbers produced more good news for the red team.  Rasmussen's latest congressional generic poll pegged partisan support at 40-40.  That's a move of three points toward the GOP from last week's poll.  Republicans now lead the aggregate generic metric by 4.3 points, their largest lead so far this year.

This increased advantage in generic polling shifts the projection for the Illinois 10th District election into red territory, moving from Weak DEM Hold to Weak GOP Gain and giving Republican Bob Dold a scant 0.1% edge over the incumbent, Democrat Brad Schneider.

Generics aren't the only force for change in yesterday's calculations.  In the New York 11th District race, Republican Mike Grimm is polling better than one might expect from a congressman facing legal scandals.  The last two surveys coming out of the district are a Siena poll giving the incumbent a 4 point cushion over Democratic nominee Domenic Recchia and a Democratic partisan poll showing the two candidates exactly tied at 46 each.  With the new polling data, this race has moved from Weak DEM Gain to Weak GOP Hold with Grimm projected to win by 1.1%.

Republicans are projected to gain eight seats and lose just two in the 2014 House elections for a projected net gain of six.  The projected balance of power in the House now stands at 240 Republicans and 195 Democrats.

posted by Scott Elliott at 1:21pm 09/24/14 :: link
A bug in my projection calculating program caused the Florida CD-26 election to be mislabeled as a Republican hold.  In fact, recent polling data, both head-to-head and generic, did push the Republican candidate, Carlos Curbelo, ahead in the race.  However, since the incumbent here is a Democrat, Joe Garcia, the projection should denote a Republican gain.  I've corrected the error, and the new tally in the House increases the projected Republican caucus by one to 238 seats against the Democrats' 197 seats, a net gain of 4 seats for the GOP.
posted by Scott Elliott at 11:15pm 09/17/14 :: link
The numbers are posted for today, and ratings changes abound.  In the House, that is fueled in part by a substantial poll harvest.  It's a good time to mention Election Projection's 2014 House election polls page.  It's a great resource for finding hard-to-find polling data on House races, so be sure to make use of it as we move closer to Election Day.

Back to the latest polls.  I want to mention a couple of noteworthy points that stand out to me as I peruse the numbers.  First, Democrats have greatly improved their chances to keep their 100% majority in Massachusetts' House delegation.  Incumbent John Tierney's defeat to Seth Moulton in the Democratic primary was the best thing for Democratic prospects in the Massachusetts CD-6 election.

With Tierney on the ballot, Republican nominee Richard Tisei looked like a better-than-even-money bet to earn the takeover for the GOP.  That changed with Moulton's victory last week, and polls released recently highlight just how much this race has turned.  Granted, the two polls to which I refer were conducted by Democratic leaning polling firms, but margins of 8 and 18 points are hard to completely dismiss because of their partisan source.  The race moves from Weak DEM Hold to Mod DEM Hold.

Another interesting quirk in the numbers comes out of New Hampshire.  The Granite State features two competitive House races this year.  Republicans are very hopeful that they can unseat Rep. Carol Shea-Porter in the New Hampshire CD-1 election.  And though less enticing, the New Hampshire CD-2 election also looks to be competitive.

How justified GOP hopes are depends on what polls we observe.  In August, Frank Guinta, the Republican in the CD-1 race, held a 4-point lead over Shea-Porter in a University of New Hampshire poll.  The same poll put Republican Mari Garcia just 3 points behind the CD-2 incumbent, Democrat Ann Kuster.  That a completely different picture from the one we see in this month's New England College surveys.  Their polls give the Democrats leads of 4 points and 13 points in CD-1 and CD-2, respectively.

Does that mean the tide has turned toward the blue team in the Granite State?  Perhaps, but there's an interesting detail in the mix here, one that Nate Silver has pointed out - polls of registered voters vs. likely voters tend to overstate Democratic performance.  Coincidentally, the New England College polls target registered voters, whereas the UNH surveys polled likely voters.  So the unanswered question (at the present time) is whether Democrats are indeed moving ahead in New Hampshire or whether actual Republican voters are under sampled in the RV surveys.  Stay tuned - I'm sure there will be more polling data to weigh before Election Day.

The last item of interest to me in today's House numbers is the fact that despite all the House polls and all the rating changes, the only party-switcher, Colorado CD-6, moves from Weak DEM Hold to Weak GOP Gain based solely on a very red generic congressional preference poll put out by CBS News/New York Times that shifted the EP Poll Average of this important predictive metric to Republicans +3.5.

The 7-point GOP advantage in the poll marks the sixth of the last seven generic polls to show Republicans pulling ahead.  That's a stark difference from what we saw in June and July when Democrats lead 14 of 18 such polls and were tied with Republicans in three others.  These signs may indicate that the answer to the question I raised last week, Is there a wave coming after all?, is yes.  I won't be sure unless and until the GOP is projected to win more than three seats in the 2014 House elections as EP currently predicts.

posted by Scott Elliott at 10:24pm 09/17/14 :: link
Since the end of August, there has been a marked shift in congressional generic polling.  All six polls released so far in September have given Republicans leads ranging from 2 to 7 points.  The composite generic poll average stands at GOP +2.6 - and that includes a USA Today/Pew Research poll from late August showing the generic Democrat up 5.

The impact of the dramatic turn in this tell-tale metric has moved the projected balance of power in the House toward the GOP.  Over the last two updates, 11 competitive House races have seen their projections become more Republican.  And, among them, four have flipped from blue to red.

Recent House Rating Changes
Election Old Rating New Rating
Arizona CD-1 Weak DEM Hold Weak GOP Gain
Arizona CD-9 Mod DEM Hold Weak DEM Hold
California CD-36 Mod DEM Hold Weak DEM Hold
Colorado CD-6 Weak DEM Gain Weak GOP Hold
Illinois CD-17 Mod DEM Hold Weak DEM Hold
Maine CD-2 Mod DEM Hold Weak DEM Hold
New Hamp CD-1 Weak DEM Hold Weak GOP Gain
New York CD-18 Mod DEM Hold Weak DEM Hold
New York CD-19 Weak GOP Hold Mod GOP Hold
New York CD-21 Weak DEM Hold Weak GOP Gain
New York CD-23 Weak GOP Hold Mod GOP Hold
With four more seats in the red column, the 2014 House elections outcome is projected to be 237 Republicans and 198 Democrats, a net gain of three seats for the GOP.  This is the first time Republicans have been projected to extend their majority in the House of Representatives.  Moreover, since that generic survey favoring Democrats by 5 is the next one to drop out of the calculations, Republicans will more likely than not see their net gain increase.

Note:  In previous elections, I leaned on four pundits for my House calculations.  So far in 2014, I have included only three.  That's because CQPolitics, one of the sources I relied on before, is using Stuart Rothenberg's predictions this year.  To compensate for the merger of Rothenberg and CQPolitics, I have added a new source, Real Clear Politics, to get back to the number previously used.  Today's projections include RCP's House race ratings.

posted by Scott Elliott at 3:45pm 09/13/14 :: link
Fox News released their latest congressional generic poll.  I caught wind of it after posting today's update.  The poll gives Republicans a whopping 7-point advantage.  That's significant, and even more so in light of the recent trend toward Republicans in other generic polls.  Moreover, since it will be replacing last month's Fox News generic survey which showed a 7-point lead for Democrats, the affect on the 2014 House projections will be dramatic.

Be sure to come back tomorrow afternoon to see what that affect will be.  I've looked at the numbers, and this new poll will shift the House races which currently favor Democrats by a point or so.  It's looking more and more like a bit of a wave may be starting to build out there.

posted by Scott Elliott at 8:45pm 09/11/14 :: 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
The Battleground Poll, a collaboration between the Republican Tarrance Group and the Democratic Lake Research pollsters, released its latest findings this week.  The topline generic congressional ballot poll gives Republicans a 4-point edge over Democrats, 46-42.  That is positive news for the red team to be sure, but it doesn't necessarily herald a coming GOP wave.

For Republicans looking to reclaim the Senate, however, a deeper look into the poll seems to offer more substantial encouragement.  Ed Goeas, representing The Tarrance Group, points out how the GOP advantages go beyond the 4-point topline lead.

In states with a competitive US Senate race, Republicans hold a sixteen point advantage (52%-36%) on this generic ballot.  Not only are Republicans getting stronger support on the generic ballot from "hard" Republicans (93%) than Democrats are getting from "hard" Democrats (89%), "soft" Republicans are voting a net sixteen-points stronger for the generic Republican on the ballot than "soft" Democrats are voting for the generic Democrat.  By any measure, Republicans are fired up and ready to deliver victories to their candidates in November, with of the strong backing of Independent (+15-points) and middle class voters (+11-points).
The 16-point lead in states where competitive Senate races are being held is a bit misleading considering the preponderance of red states in that group, but I see two positives for the GOP, nonetheless.  First, the data confirm that Republicans should have little problem keeping control of the House.  Second, the GOP is poised to take the lion's share of these Senate races, and, in doing so, stand a great chance of winning the Senate, perhaps by a good margin.

With the 2016 Senate election slate looking like a very difficult climate for Republicans in the upper chamber, it probably will take a cushion of 3 or 4 seats to avoid having that majority turn into a one-hit wonder.  Election Projection currently projects 51 Republicans, 47 Democrats and 2 Independents.  That's a net Republican gain of six seats in the 2014 Senate elections.

posted by Scott Elliott at 7:05pm 09/03/14 :: 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
Democrat John Barrow, congressman from Georgia's conservative 12th District, has made a career out of surviving close election battles.  This year his task will be no different.  Facing him is Republican nominee Rick Allen.  While they don't claim the same party, their first TV ads seem to tout their common foe - President Obama.

Allen's first ad attacks the President directly, without mentioning Barrow.

"Look at the mess Obama's made," Allen says.  "Veterans dying, ignored by the VA.  The crisis on our border.  His government can't even run a health-care website." The Augusta Republican goes on to say, "Yet, not a single bureaucrat's been fired and the career politicians are letting the president get away with it."
On the other side, Barrow does little to help out Obama.  Instead of a positive message about the President, his first ad takes exception to the administration's policies and questions Obama's leadership.
Barrow's newest ad, which began airing Thursday, shows the congressman at the Port of Savannah as he talks of battling the White House to help jumpstart a $706 million expansion of the port's busy shipping channel.

"When the Obama administration didn't put the funding to deepen the port in their budget, I took them on," Barrow says in the ad.  "And this year, we finally got it done."
[ ... ]
In remarks on the House floor, Barrow urged Obama "to lead, follow, or get out of the way."

Given the President's chronic poor approval numbers, many Democrats will be forced to run away from him this election campaign.  In a conservative district like GA-12, that tact will be especially important for Barrow.

Election Projection currently sees the incumbent retaining the seat with a Mod DEM Hold projection rating.

posted by Scott Elliott at 8:35pm 08/26/14 :: link
I haven't posted anything in a few days, but that doesn't mean that things aren't happening on the election front.  By way of a programming note, the projections here are updated six days a week, even if I don't include a write-up.  That said, I do have some catching up to do.

Hawaii Governor loses primary
Perhaps the most noteworthy event of the last week came out of Thursday's primary election in Hawaii.  Incumbent Democratic Governor Neil Abercrombie, who I had projected to lose pretty badly to Republican nominee Duke Aiona, Jr., was also losing in the primary polls to Hawaii state Senator David Ige.  The polls proved accurate and Abercrombie is headed out, soundly whipped by a 2-1 margin.

Now that Abercrombie is out and Ige is in, tomorrow's update will include numbers for the Aiona-Ige matchup.  A quick look at the Hawaii governor polls shows Aiona in front of Ige as well, albeit with a smaller advantage.  So the Hawaii governor election projection should stay red on the governor map, barring a fresh poll to the contrary.

Margins of victory at a click of the mouse
I've added a new feature to the summary pages here at Election Projection.  You can now click as directed on the Senate, House and Governor summary pages to see the projected margins of victory for all the races I'm tracking.  Currently there are several Senate and gubernatorial races which haven't finalized party nominees.  Margins of victory will be added as tracking comes online for them.

Congressional generics erase recent rating changes
The aggregate congressional preference polling average moved toward the Democrats today with the release of Rasmussen's latest.  Even though Ras still gives Republicans a 1-point edge, the new poll replaced a Rasmussen survey which showed Republicans up by 4.  As a result, several of the rating changes favoring the GOP which we saw last Monday have reverted to their previous, more Democratic, level.

Primaries on top tomorrow
Three states, Connecticut, Minnesota and Wisconsin, will be holding primary elections tomorrow, and one, South Dakota, will vote in a primary runoff.  After that, there will be just nine states remaining on the primary schedule for 2014.

posted by Scott Elliott at 11:46pm 08/11/14 :: link
As I mentioned this morning, we had a ton of Senate polls come out last Tuesday that had very little impact on the projections.  Today we see the opposite.  One generic congressional poll has produced no less than 10 ratings changes in EP's 2014 House election projections.  Remarkably, however, none of the changes results in a party switcher, so the projected House tally remains at 233 Republicans and 202 Democrats, a net Democratic gain of one.

On a good note for Republicans, the move in the generics favors the red team.  By extension, all the ratings changes do too.  Time will tell if this shift is just a momentary blip or the start of a red wave that, in all fairness, should be brewing out there.

posted by Scott Elliott at 9:29pm 08/04/14 :: link
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