Election night wrap

12

Some quick results:

  • Overall, Democrats hold 49 seats in the Senate, Republicans hold 46, independents hold two, and three are undecided.
  • Republicans have gained Democratic Senate seats in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, North Dakota and Arkansas.
  • Democrats managed to hold onto Senate seats in Connecticut, West Virginia, Delaware, Nevada and California.
  • Democrat Patty Murray is leading by 16,535 votes in Washington state, but vote-counting has been delayed by very high rates of postal voting.
  • Republican Ken Buck is leading by 4899 votes in Colorado.
  • 40% of votes counted in Alaska have been counted for write-ins, compared to 34% for Republican Miller and 25% for Democrat McAdams. If the write-ins maintained a lead, they will all be checked individually. It is expected most will be votes for incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski, but it remains unclear what proportion will be valid votes.
  • Republicans have gained gubernatorial office off the Democrats in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, New Mexico and Wyoming.
  • The Democrats gained gubernatorial office only in the state of California. Jerry Brown has returned to office. He was last elected Governor in 1974 and 1978.
  • Two New England states may elect independent governors. In Rhode Island, former Republican Senator Lincoln Chafee was elected with 36%, defeating the Republicans with 34%. The Republicans previously held office in Rhode Island.
  • In Maine, which was previously governed by a Democrat, Republican Paul LePage is leading over independent Eliot Cutler by 3703 votes.
  • Gubernatorial contests are too close to call in New Hampshire, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota and Oregon.
  • Constitution Party candidate Tom Tancredo won 37% of the vote in the Colorado gubernatorial contest, but fell short of the Democrats. The Republicans polled in single digits.
  • The Democrats have lost control of the House of Representatives. According to MSNBC, the Republicans hold 231 seats, the Democrats 168 and 34 are undecided. It is unclear on the final numbers, but CNN expects the Republicans will gain at least 60 seats.
  • A majority of members of conservative Democrat Blue Dog Coalition’s members in the House of Representatives have lost their seats. Around 30 Blue Dogs have definitely lost their seats, out of Democratic losses of around 60.
  • In Calfornia, Proposition 19 (legalising marijuana) has failed, 44-56.
  • Proposition 20, which would expand the independent redistricting commission to cover congressional districts, passed with 64% support, while Proposition 27, which would have abolish the commission, easily failed.
  • Californians passed Proposition 25, which allows a budget to be passed through the state legislature with a simple majority, and withholds salary and expenses for legislators for every day that the budget is late.
  • Californians also defeated Proposition 23, which would have suspended climate change legislation, voting 42-58.
  • A proposal to change the state’s official name from “Rhode Island and Providence Plantations” to simply “Rhode Island” was massively defeated, with only 22% voting yes.
  • Amendments 5 and 6, which impose strict fairness rules on the Florida legislature in drawing legislative and congressional districts, both passed with over 62%, managing to pass the 60% threshold required for passage.
  • Two-thirds of Illinois voters have passed a referendum creating a process to recall the Governor of Illinois, following Rod Blagojevich’s scandals in 2008.
  • Independents performed well, coming first or second in Alaska Senate, Florida Senate, Maine Governor, Rhode Island Governor and Colorado Governor races.
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12 COMMENTS

  1. A bit of a mixed bag for both parties really; Dems have copped a thumping in the house but would be really pleased with their Senate performance.

    I know you can’t directly translate House/Senate results into Presidential predictions, but it would be a bit worrying for the Dems that the Republicans’ best results have been mostly in swing states: Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Virginia. Apart from Nevada, most of the Dem highlights have been in their own safe seats like Delaware, New York, Connecticut, California, etc.

  2. If the Alaska senate is close, it’s going to make Florida 2000 look like a picnic. It’s just bad luck that ‘Murkowski’ isn’t the easiest name to spell, so expect endless legal squabbles over what constituted a “legal” write in. One mistaken letter? Two? Three? “Lisa M”?

  3. And no doubt arguments over the deciphering of people’s handwriting.

    Nice summary there. With the exception of the guy in Maine, those other independents of course all made their careers as Republicans.

  4. I know you can’t directly translate House/Senate results into Presidential predictions, but it would be a bit worrying for the Dems that the Republicans’ best results have been mostly in swing states: Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Virginia. Apart from Nevada, most of the Dem highlights have been in their own safe seats like Delaware, New York, Connecticut, California, etc.

    Disagree. This is exactly what one would expect in a favourable environment for the Republicans.

    In my view the Senate loss that really hurts is Illinois. Not because it’s Obama’s seat but because it’s a very blue state. For the Republicans, it just goes to show the importance of picking the right candidate in enemy territory. Roland Burris’s indulgence probably also helped.

  5. The Democrats gained gubernatorial office only in the state of California. Jerry Brown has returned to office. He was last elected Governor in 1974 and 1978.

    Which means he served from 1975 to 1983.

    To put that in context, imagine if today we elected Malcolm Fraser Prime Minister!

  6. I can;’t help but think that there will be some internal ructions within the GOP after the losses in Nevada and Delaware and possibly Colorado. It seems that if the establishment candidates had been nominated, particularly Mike Castle in Delaware, the Republicans may well have controlled the Senate!
    I am also interested as to why some seats swung so heavily in New York. Any thoughts?
    And also why some seats did not swing all that much? North Carolina?

  7. Adam, to talk of ‘swings’ is to apply Australian analysis to American elections; which I don’t think is particularly instructive.

    Congressional races are much more localised affairs than they are here. Individual candidate factors are huge and can account for massive changes from one election to the next. Seats with retiring incumbents for instance often produce big changes.

    In an environment more favourable to them than in previous elections, the Republicans were able to throw resources at seats they would not otherwise bothered with. Or at least they were forced to ignore because they were busy defending other seats. Upstate New York was clearly a place the GOP had underperformed in recent years.

    Further, the US news outlets – or at lest the ones I look at – don’t publish ‘swings’ at all. Where are you getting your figures?

  8. Adam, is the fourth graph in your NYTimes link indicating that the Dems had control of the House for 40 years or more? If so, thats quite impressive.

  9. If Murkowski had such support in the electorate, why on earth didn’t she nominate to appear on the ballot as an indy?

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