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Fri. Oct 24, 2014
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Independents 3
GOP +6, IND +1
Republicans 240
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GOP +6
Republicans 28
Democrats 21
Independents 1
IND +1
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2014 Election News

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
We are just 11 days now from Election Day 2014!  Starting tomorrow, Election Projection will begin a 10-day countdown to November 4.  In addition to daily poll reports and projection updates, each day will begin with my reactions to the previous day's calculations.

Ten days, ten posts.  All culminating on Tuesday morning, November 4th with EP's final thoughts and final projections.  Check back everyday to see where the numbers stand and which way they're headed.  And perhaps a bit of electoral insight along the way.

Filed under:  Website Administration 
posted by Scott Elliott at 5:05pm 10/24/14 :: link
Connecticut is colored red on today's 2014 governor election map thanks to Rasmussen's latest survey which shows Republican challenger Tom Foley enjoying a 7 point lead over incumbent Democrat Dan Malloy.  The margin is unchanged from Rasmussen's previous poll released back in August, but it differs considerably from Public Policy Polling's latest published just over a week ago.  That poll gave Malloy a 6 point lead.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

posted by Scott Elliott at 10:42pm 10/14/14 :: link
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
Now that I'm back in the saddle, refreshed from a week long cruise, I'm excited about this final three week run to Election Day.  That's right, just 3 weeks from tomorrow we'll be counting votes and crossing fingers!  During last week when I was unable to post my customary daily updates - an unexpected and unfortunate obstacle (don't rely on cruise ship internet!) - a lot of polling data and pundit rating changes piled up.  Therefore, I want to let you know what to expect over the next couple days.

This evening's update will include more than two dozen new House polls that have been released over the last week or so.  And tomorrow's update will feature a mountain of rating changes from the four pundits I use to calculate my House projections.  I don't have a feel yet for how all the changes will affect the balance of power in the House election projections, but the GOP should maintain the edge.  With all this new data, the updates today and tomorrow will probably be a bit later than usual. So stay tuned as we round the final turn and head for the finish line!

Filed under:  Website Administration 
posted by Scott Elliott at 9:58am 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
The 2014 governor election map has undergone several changes over the last two projection updates.  Yesterday, there were two party switchers, one benefitting each party.  Republicans saw Charles Baker overtake Martha Coakley in the Massachusetts governor election, and Democrats enjoyed seeing the Florida governor election go from red to blue as Charlie Crist staked out a 2-point edge on the strength of a favorable SurveyUSA poll.  Baker's first lead of the cycle has moved the Bay State projection from Weak DEM Hold to Weak GOP Gain, while the Sunshine State's outcome moves in the opposite direction, from Weak GOP Hold to Weak DEM Gain.

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

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

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

posted by Scott Elliott at 7:10pm 10/02/14 :: link
Today we're just 5 weeks away from Election Day 2014.  Since the calendar has turned to a new month, I'd like to extend another invitation to my readers to contribute to Election Projection.  Last month, I held the first fundraiser of this election cycle, and several readers took advantage, generously giving to support my efforts on the website.  I am deeply grateful to those who contributed last month.

This month, I'm hoping even more folks will participate to help keep EP up and running.  Frankly, Election Projection's traffic this year has not yet reached the level it attained at this point during the last midterm election cycle in 2010.  That makes reader contributions even more important this time around.  So, if you appreciate the wealth of information EP provides and the ton of effort it requires and you have the means, please consider clicking on the button below and contributing.  No Paypal account is required to make a contribution.

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posted by Scott Elliott at 7:17pm 10/01/14 :: 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
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