November 4, 2014
Track the 2014 Races
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2014 Senate Races
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
|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
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
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
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
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.
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
In Republicans' Favor
Iowa CD-3 Weak DEM Gain
to Weak GOP Hold
Wisconsin Governor Weak DEM Gain
to Weak GOP Hold
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
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
Monday, October 27, 2014
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
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
Saturday, October 25, 2014
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
Monday, October 13, 2014
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
- 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.
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
Monday, October 6, 2014
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.
and 197 Democrats
posted by Scott Elliott at 2:08pm 10/06/14 :: link
Thursday, October 2, 2014
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
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
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
posted by Scott Elliott at 7:10pm 10/02/14 :: link
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
After Democrat Chad Taylor decided to bow out of the
2014 Kansas Senate election
, Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach
ruled, due to the lateness of Taylor's announcement, that the Democrat could not be removed from the ballot. That ruling has
since been overturned by the
Kansas Supreme Court
. The biggest beneficiary of the Court's decision is Greg Orman, whose independent candidacy has gathered plenty
of support in the Sunflower State.
Republican incumbent Senator Pat Roberts has alienated many in Kansas Republicans and polls show he's now in the fight of his
political life. All three polls released in the last week give Orman outside the margin of error leads, and today's calculation here at
Election Projection, which I changed to include just Orman and Roberts, increases Orman's position from
Weak IND Gain
to Mod IND Gain
. The new projection confirms
Orman is the real deal and highlights the seriousness of this unexpected obstacle Republicans face as they try to earn the majority in
2014 Senate elections
posted by Scott Elliott at 4:57pm 09/23/14 :: link
Monday, September 15, 2014
|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.
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.
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.
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
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
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
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 -
. The projection update I'll post later this evening
will include all finalized matchups - no more undetermined
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
Monday, September 8, 2014
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:
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
Saturday, September 6, 2014
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.
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
Strong IND Gain
, our first Independent pick-up. The projected tally in the Senate now stands at
, 46 Democrats
. 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
Thursday, September 4, 2014
This week's news has been full of stories concerning Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and her
dubious Louisiana residency
. This new scandal comes on the heels of last month's revelation of her
dubious use of taxpayer money
. Even before these damaging reports hit the airways, Landrieu was numbered among the most vulnerable
incumbent senators in 2014.
Rasmussen released a poll today that provides an indication that the scandals are having a negative effect on her already
teetering re-election chances. The poll
finds her 3 points behind
Republican Bill Cassidy, 44% to 41%. That's a six-point swing in Cassidy's favor from Rasmussen's July survey which had
Landrieu up by a 46-43 count.
As a result of this new poll, the calculations here at Election Projection move Cassidy into the lead in the
2014 Louisiana Senate election
, shifting the projection from
Weak DEM Hold
to Weak GOP Gain
. The Republicans are now
projected to earn seven takeovers in the Senate
and take a 52-46-2
posted by Scott Elliott at 7:53pm 09/04/14 :: link
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
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
, 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
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
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
numbers here at Election Projection provide a useful starting point. Will this cycle fulfill its current promise of a
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
Saturday, August 30, 2014
Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue have held the title CEO, but in very different circumstances. In their
race for the open seat Georgia Senate election
, both are trying to cast
the other in a bad light because of their former executive position. The Telegraph from Macon, GA notes their
|Both candidates are political newcomers who see their business backgrounds as key to wooing independent voters in a race
that has garnered national attention as Republicans seek control of the Senate. The candidates also see an opportunity in
attacking their opponent's business record as they look to the general election.
Nunn highlights her position's philanthropic efforts.
|"David and I do have different real world experiences," Nunn said at a recent candidate forum. "I have an experience that has been about lifting people up over the last 26 years, building and growing organizations and getting things done for the people of Georgia in a collaborative way, a proven way of working across differences and party lines."
While Perdue touts his past experience dealing with the practical issues involved in running a private sector business and improving
|"My issue isn't so much how she ran that organization," Perdue said. "It's just that that leadership does not prepare you, in my mind, to deal with issues we have in a free-enterprise system. I want to focus on why my background is more appropriate to lead in the Senate in regard to bringing economic and free-enterprise solutions to fix the problems that we have with the economy today."
This race continues to be a close battle - one of just two featuring seats currently held by Republicans (the Kentucky Senate race is the
other). Election Projection rates the contest a Weak GOP Hold
with Perdue ahead at the moment
by 2.8 points.
posted by Scott Elliott at 3:29pm 08/30/14 :: link
Friday, August 29, 2014
|This actually makes sense
|Republican U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown is calling on Congress to "immediately" pass legislation that would strip homegrown terrorists of their American citizenship.
Brown's request comes following a Washington Times report indicating that as many as 300 Americans are fighting alongside ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
"One of the greatest threats facing the homeland today is the mayhem that will happen when hundreds of American ISIS fighters return to the United States to spread their terror here," Brown said. "Their goal is to march down Pennsylvania Avenue and plant a flag at the White House, and mass killing is their means for achieving that goal... We need to keep our country safe by stopping these American ISIS fighters from re-entering the country."
Throwing your lot in with a group who has openly vowed to
shed the blood of Americans
should absolutely render your U.S. citizenship null and void.
posted by Scott Elliott at 8:45pm 08/29/14 :: link
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen
to Scott Brown's answer to a question on climate change at the
GOP primary forum in New Hampshire on Saturday. Brown is the likely GOP primary winner and thus Shaheen's likely general
|At a debate over the weekend, New Hampshire US Senate hopeful Scott Brown weighed in on climate change, later prompting
a sharp response from Jeanne Shaheen, the senator he is hoping to unseat.
During the lightning round of a GOP primary forum on Saturday, the moderator asked: "Do you believe that the theory of manmade climate change has been scientifically proven?"
 Brown said, "uh, no."
On Monday, Shaheen responded to a news story about Brown’s answer. "Scott Brown is wrong. Climate change is
very real, and here in New Hampshire we are already seeing consequences," she said in a statement.
At this point, 2 weeks away from New Hampshire's September 9 primary, Shaheen is projected to keep the seat in Democratic
hands. The preliminary rating here at Election Projection is Strong DEM Hold
. That will likely
change after the primaries are over and the official, poll-driven numbers are calculated.
posted by Scott Elliott at 8:07pm 08/26/14 :: link
Last summer, the House passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in an attempt to ban nationwide abortions after 20 weeks
of pregnancy. The Democratic-led Senate has yet to bring the measure to a vote. Pro-life groups have trained their
criticism for the lack of a Senate vote on vulnerable Senate Democrats in Arkansas, Colorado and North Carolina.
|The Susan B. Anthony List, Students for Life of America, Family Research Council Action, and Concerned Women for America
are launching a multi-state "Summer of life" tour this week that will take aim at Sens. Mark Udall of Colorado, Kay Hagan of North Carolina
and Mark Pryor of Arkansas, and aim to bring awareness to the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would curb abortions after 5 months.
All three are locked in tough re-election battles. Election Projection currently numbers the
North Carolina Senate
elections among six projected GOP takeovers
on the 2014 Senate map
Colorado Senate election
is a close one as well, currently listed as a
Weak DEM Hold
posted by Scott Elliott at 5:44pm 08/26/14 :: link