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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 Election News

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
Despite her performance in last month's general election in which Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu won a plurality of the vote, the incumbent's prospects for retaining the seat for Democrats look mighty dim. Republican challenger Bill Cassidy enjoyed a small pre-election lead in polls testing a two-way race between him and Landrieu, but that lead has ballooned to double-digits in the run up to the runoff.

Election Projection's final calculation projects the Louisiana Senate runoff will go to Cassidy by 15.7%, a Solid GOP Gain. A Cassidy victory would be the GOP's 9 takeover in the upper chamber and finalize their newly-earned majority at 54 Republicans, 44 Democrats and 2 Independents who caucus with the Democrats.

Looking ahead to 2016 and the difficult environment which will face Republicans in two year, this race could be critical in determining who holds the majority in the Senate come 2017. It will be much easier for the GOP to hold the majority with a 3-seat cushion than with just 2 seats to give. For this reason, I'm surprised Democratic operatives and special interests did not throw more money into Landrieu's defense.

Check back later this evening for a link to the returns.

Update:  You can track the returns here as they come in this evening. Polls close at 9PM EST.

posted by Scott Elliott at 12:59pm 12/06/14 :: 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
In 8 days, the 2014 Elections will come one step closer to an end as far as Election Projection's numbers are concerned. Louisiana voters will return to the polls that day to settle the last remaining unknown in the 2014 Senate elections - who will win the Louisiana Senate election runoff.

Unlike most states, Louisiana holds an "open primary" each Election Day and requires a runoff to be held if no candidate captures a majority of the vote. Since Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu did not eclipse the 50% mark - she won a plurality of the vote against several other candidates - she and Republican Bill Cassidy, who came in second, will square off in the December 6th runoff.

Since Election Day 3 1/2 weeks ago, Louisiana Senate runoff polls have moved considerably in the challenger's direction. According the latest EP poll average for the race, Cassidy has moved well ahead of Landrieu. At 15.7 points, his lead indicates that a Republican victory may be a foregone conclusion at this point. A GOP win would net another takeover in the Senate and increase their net gain to 9 seats.

posted by Scott Elliott at 11:29pm 11/28/14 :: 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
Late votes favor Democratic incumbents Ami Bera and Jim Costa, giving them come-from-behind victories in CA-7 and CA-16, respectively. After Election Night, Republicans Doug Ose and Johnny Tacherra held the advantage, but once all the votes had been tallied, their apparent victories were overturned.

These two finalized results leave the GOP with 246 seats (assuming two heavily-Republican Louisiana seats stay red). Democrats can claim 188. One seat is still undecided. Martha McSally, Republican challenger in AZ-02, currently holds a fractional lead over Democratic incumbent Ron Barber. Their race will go to recount before a winner is declared. If McSally maintains her lead after the recount, Republicans will hold 247 seats, a 13-seat net gain.

Tomorrow, I will post an evaluation of Election Projection's performance in the 2014 Elections.

posted by Scott Elliott at 10:02pm 11/20/14 :: link
Just before Election Day, I posted some expectations about the upcoming vote. I thought it would be fun to take a look at them again now that the election is in our rear-view mirror. I divided expectation into two groups, things that would surprise me and some that wouldn't surprise me.

I said it would surprise me if...
Democrats gain any Senate seats. They didn't
Nathan Deal has to go to a runoff to win the Georgia governor election. He didn't
Any House race not listed on EP's 2014 House elections page switches parties. None did
Neither the North Carolina nor New Hampshire Senate race is won by the GOP. Tillis beat Hagan in NC
Both the North Carolina and New Hampshire Senate races are won by the GOP. Shaheen beat Brown in NH
Republicans don't win at least half of the six New England state gubernatorial elections. They won just two

I also said it would NOT surprise me if...
Republicans earn the majority in the Senate on Election Day, avoiding the need to win any runoffs. They did
Pat Roberts retains his seat in the Kansas Senate election. He did
The Florida governor election goes to an official recount before the winner is confirmed. It was called Election Night
Republicans win more than half of the six New England state gubernatorial elections.They won just two
David Perdue wins the Georgia Senate election outright on Election Day. He did
Pat Quinn wins the Illinois governor election by 10 times more than the current projected margin (0.6%). Oops - he lost

With a few exceptions, mainly pertaining to gubernatorial races, I was not terribly surprised by the outcome 10 days ago. Looking forward, I'll be very surprised if Bill Cassidy doesn't unseat Mary Landrieu in next month's Louisiana Senate runoff election. If he does win, that would increase Republican gains in the Senate to 9 seats and give them a working majority, one they might even be able to keep through the difficult 2016 Senate election lineup.

posted by Scott Elliott at 8:57pm 11/14/14 :: link
The 2014 Elections turned out to be a red wave perhaps even larger than 2010. Republicans were slated to enjoy gains in the House and Senate, but Democrats were expected to savor a bit of relief from the pounding in the governor elections. As it turned out, the GOP surpassed expectations on Capitol Hill and saw their successes expand beyond Washington to statehouses across the country.

Election Projection saw Democrats scoring three gubernatorial takeovers against just two losses and benefiting materially in a collaboration with an independent candidate in Alaska. Republicans, on the other hand, were expected to see their 29-seat majority in governorships decrease by two.

As of eight days after the election, two governorships have yet to be called - the aforementioned collaboration in Alaska and Democrat Peter Shumlin's re-election bid in Vermont. Alaska should go to Independent Bill Walker and his running mate, former Democratic nominee, Byron Mallott, and Vermont's General Assembly is likely to stay with Shumlin when it convenes in January. While these two races represent positive results for the blue team, the rest of the gubernatorial landscape actually favors the GOP.

Instead of seeing their majority decline, Republican realized an even larger statehouse advantage, moving past 30 total governorships by earning four takeovers to offset losses in Alaska and Pennsylvania. Their 31 governorships include new Republican top executives in Arkansas, Illinois, Maryland and Massachusetts. Election Projection called red team pickups in Arkansas and Massachusetts but missed the other two. The Maryland race was especially unexpected, catching everyone by surprise.

If any more proof of the significance of the Republican wave of 2014 is needed after examining their overwhelming successes this year in the House and Senate, then a look at the governor races should eliminate any remaining doubt. Republicans not only held their own closely fought governor races in Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Maine, Michigan and Wisconsin, they also took the Governor's Mansion in highly-populated, highly-liberal states like Massachusetts and Illinois. (Tom Corbett's futile re-election bid in Pennsylvania was DOA.)

All in all, given the number of governorships the GOP could have lost, it was an amazing run that exceeded even optimistic expectations. Instead of a possible 23 or 24 seat minority, Republicans expanded their majority to a level not seen since the 1990's. Just another sign how overwhelming the Republican wave of 2014 actually was.

Filed under:  2014 Gubernatorial Races 
posted by Scott Elliott at 8:26pm 11/12/14 :: 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
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