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Check out http://racesandredistricting.blogspot.com/ for more election analysis.

One more dawn, one more day, one day more!

Here are my final election predictions. After an extremely rocky road to the Election day with polls showing 10 tossups according to RCP, this is going to be an exciting night! The Democrats are looking to lose some House seats (I predict eight) and gain three Governorships. The Senate is too close to call and we may not know the final outcome until January.

Reps will automatically pick up Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia. Arkansas looks increasingly likely to go red too. The other seats however will be explained in the post.

Also, I will be including county baselines with the two party vote. The baselines were calculated using the Obama 2012 numbers as well as numbers from a recent statewide race that one of the candidates on the ballot ran in before 2014. This statewide race is factored in to look at regional trends while Obama 2012 looks at recent trends. Also, click on the maps for the full picture.

Poll

How many Senate seats do the Republicans gain?

26%43 votes
25%42 votes
20%33 votes
11%19 votes
7%13 votes
9%15 votes

| 165 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

Cross posted on http://racesandredistricting.blogspot.com/ which has more 2014 election analysis and predictions.

This post is first in an installment continuing to Election Day looking at competitive Senate/Gubernatorial races and examining the dynamics and county benchmarks in each state.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) is no stranger to competitive races. She has been in the Senate since 1996 but has consistently faced close elections. She won by a few points in 1996, back when Louisiana voted Democratic at both a federal and statewide level. In 2002 however, she did not get 50% in the first election and due to Louisiana's jungle primary rules (all candidates regardless of party run in a primary on Election Day and if no candidate gets 50% of the vote, there is a runoff in December). Most polls show her opponent Rep. Bill Cassidy (R) from Baton Rouge with a slight lead but turnout in Louisiana is unpredictable in runoffs so it could shift (but the author predicts Cassidy has an advantage).

These percentages show the percentage that Landrieu needs in order to avoid a runoff and in the runoff avoid losing the seat. The vote totals are the 2010 vote totals in the Vitter/Melancon race and turnout was uniformly increased by 10%. The results were calculated using the Landrieu 2008 results (to factor in regional strengths that Landrieu has including in the New Orleans suburbs and Cajun heavy Parishes in southern Louisiana) and the 2012 Presidential results (to show how current political trends have affected Louisiana voting patterns). Election data is courtesy of Stephen Wolf and his amazing spreadsheets.

Here is a map of the benchmarks (map is courtesy of US Census Quick Facts, the colors however are the writer's):

Also, after each description of each region of Louisiana, there will be the benchmarks of the important Parishes to watch in each region.

 photo Louisianabaselinemapfor08and12basiccolor2_zps9eba3037.jpg

Poll

What's the runoff margin?

17%10 votes
22%13 votes
10%6 votes
38%22 votes
8%5 votes
1%1 votes

| 57 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

Thu Oct 09, 2014 at 02:56 PM PDT

Senate Ratings: Tossing the Tossups

by Alibguy

Cross posted on http://racesandredistricting.blogspot.com/ which has more election analysis.

The Senate has been very competitive and conventional wisdom by inside the beltway pundits has suggested that Republicans have a narrow advantage. 2014 was supposed to be the year that Republicans nominated moderates so they could take the Senate unlike in 2010 and 2012 when they nominated far right candidates (we will never forget Todd Akin with his legitimate rape comment and Christine O'Donnell who ran an ad saying she's not a witch).  Many Republicans however have shown extremist views such as in Iowa where Joni Ernst (R) believes that federal agents promoting the ACA should be arrested and in North Carolina where State Senate President Thom Tillis (R) lost his lead with Sen. Hagan (D) due to his extremism in the legislature.

Thanks to these extremist candidates and an Independent candidate in Kansas, Democrats have a stronger chance at keeping the Senate. If I had written a Senate outlook in March of 2014, I would have probably stated that the Republicans would take back the Senate, thanks to the anti ACA numbers in the polls. The anti ACA movement has died down a bit and there is no major issue uniting the Republicans this year unlike 2010 which was about ACA and the economy. About the economy actually; the U.S. under President Obama has gained nearly 10 million new jobs over the last four years so Republicans cannot use the economy as a major issue. They may be able to attack him on foreign policy but they need to offer solutions and show the voters how foreign policy affects them personally. Still, midterm turnout is generally low for Democrats so my assessment is that Democrats have a very slightly better chance of keeping the Senate but not by much. Even if Democrats do lose the Senate, they will retake it in 2016 with winnable Republican seats up in Illinois, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida. Anyway, here are the races:

Poll

How many seats do Republicans gain

20%57 votes
27%76 votes
24%67 votes
6%17 votes
12%33 votes
5%16 votes
2%8 votes

| 274 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 09:05 AM PDT

Florida Fair Redistricting Map

by Alibguy

Cross posted at http://racesandredistricting.blogspot.com/ which has more election analysis and redistricting maps.

Last July, a 5-4 panel of judges ruled that the maps for Florida's congressional 5th and 10th districts needed to be re-drawn due to VRA violations. No surprise there. Florida has a "Fair Districts Amendment" which requires Florida's legislature to re-draw congressional districts fairly without political considerations. This was similar to California's fair redistricting plan except that California's maps were redrawn by a commission of Democrats, Republicans and Independents. Florida's maps, though, were re-drawn by its Republican-controlled Legislature. While the map they drew in 2011 allowed Democrats to pick up a few seats, Republicans controlled Florida's congressional delegation 17-10 even though President Obama won Florida in 2012. The 5th and 10th districts are key to this issue.

The highly gerrymandered 5th district connects primarily African American neighborhoods in both Jacksonville and Orlando with a few in between in Gainesville. This district voted 71% for President Obama in 2012 while many of the surrounding districts voted 51%-55% for Romney, showing that this gerrymandering prevented Democrats from winning in those other districts. The argument Republicans used for keeping the 5th district intact was that the VRA required that a majority African American district should be drawn. As courts have ruled though, the VRA's goal is to create African American (and Hispanic) majority districts in areas with large African American populations instead of creating a district that connects African American communities that are far away from each other. In this case, Jacksonville and Orlando are more than 100 miles away from each other.

Florida's 10th district was a major beneficiary of the 5th. The 10th represents parts of Lake and Polk Counties, two Republican leaning counties bordering Democratic leaning Orange County (Orlando) and the 10th district also represented part of Orange County. The 5th, though, covered the Democratic areas in Orange County, so the 10th was able to represent more Republican parts of Orange County keeping the 10th Republican leaning.

The Republican Legislature is tasked with redrawing the 5th and 10th (plus surrounding districts) and their new proposal released on August 7th keeps the Jacksonville to Orlando string on the 5th district and keeps the 10th Republican leaning.

Poll

Does the new map keep the Jacksonville Orlando string?

60%12 votes
40%8 votes

| 20 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

Cross posted on http://racesandredistricting.blogspot.com/ which has more election analysis and maps.

California with its 55 electoral votes used to be a competitive state in national elections that leaned Republican. In 1992 though, California voted for Clinton by 14 points and never looked back. California now is Democratic and voted 60% Obama in 2012. California is next to impossible for Republicans to win because of the Hispanic vote, Republicans would need to win 60%+ of the white vote to even get close which is hard to do because of the Bay Area and Los Angeles liberals. 2010 was the last hurrah for Republicans with Meg Whitman who was a Silicon Valley billionaire who was pro choice, not extremely anti gay but extremely rich and still lost by 13 points. Fiorina, another rich Silicon Valley former CEO lost by 10 points, despite running against one of the most liberal members of the Senate in the best year possible for Republicans. All statewide offices are held by Democrats and there seem to be no registered Republicans running who are serious contenders for any of those offices.

A recent initiative though may go on the ballot which will split California into six states. A Silicon Valley billionaire is funding the signature process. If there are enough signatures, the measure will go on the ballot this November. If California passes it, then Congress will need to approve the measure. It is unlikely that both the House and Senate would approve this measure because the Republicans would not want extra Democratic Senators that West CA, North CA and Silicon Valley would likely send and Democrats would not want to risk losing some of California's electoral votes. This post though will examine hypothetically who would run for the newly created statewide offices in each state if California's voters and Congress managed to approve this measure. Also, while predicting which candidates will run for statewide office, the article will not always specify which statewide office a candidate will run for if she does not seem to have a clear preference for Governor or Senator. The author however does oppose this measure and will vote against it if it reaches the ballot.

This is Part I of the six state California series and Part II will show how California should be drawn into six states if California were forced to do so. Part III will be a hypothetical redistricting of the six states.

Disclaimer: None of these politicians listed in the post have announced any plans to run for any of the positions if California splits into six states. These are just hypothetical predictions.

Poll

Will Californians vote to split into six states?

9%12 votes
89%116 votes
0%1 votes

| 129 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 11:02 AM PST

Virginia Statewide Election Guide

by Alibguy

Cross posted on http://racesandredistricting.blogspot.com/ which has more election analysis.

2013 is an odd numbered year which means that there are no major U.S. House, Senate or Presidential elections (except for a few specials) so it is a relatively quiet year. There are two major Gubernatorial elections though and those are in New Jersey and Virginia. In New Jersey, the RCP average shows Republican incumbent Chris Christie ahead by 25 points due to goodwill from his Hurricane Sandy response (the effects still impact New Jersey today.) Virginia though has a streak of not electing a Governor of the same party as the incumbent President since the 1970s but a combination of factors look to break that streak. Virginia's demographic changes in Northern Virginia as well as Republican Gubernatorial candidate State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's (R) stands on social issues are helping former DNC chair and friend of the Clintons Terry McAuliffe (D) lead Cuccinelli in every poll since July (even polls conducted by Republican leaning firms such as Rasmussen.) The final PPP poll (PPP is known for its accuracy) shows McAuliffe leading by seven. Cuccinelli also seems to have realized he is in trouble, he recently tweeted that "the only poll that matters is Election Day." This is one of the six things losing candidates say according to well known political analyst Staurt Rotheberg. Others include "I'm the next Scott Brown" and "My son is running my campaign."

The two other statewide offices up for a vote in Virginia are Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General. For Lieutenant Governor, State Senator Ralph Northam (D) is posting double digit leads. Those leads grow as Virginian voters learn more and more about his opponent E.W. Jackson's views which include that "gay people are perverted and psychologically sick"  and that Planned Parenthood is the "KKK." When a reporter asked Jackson why he made these statements, he pretends he never said them. That strategy however is not working as Northam continues to lead (the final PPP poll shows Northam ahead by 13.)

The Attorney General's race is much closer though where it is a contest between two State Senators named Mark. The Democrat, Mark Herring (D) is from Loudon County, the main bellwether county in Virginia (since 2001, only one Virginia general election candidate has won without carrying Loudon County.) Herring's record includes working on fixing transportation issues and bringing tech jobs to Northern Virginia. His opponent, Mark Obenshain (R) is from the Shenandoah Valley, one of the most conservative areas in Virginia. While the other two statewide offices are locked up for the Democrats, this race has been close, mainly because Obershain is more moderate than Cuccinelli and Jackson. The Attorney General race is important policywise if there is a lawsuit against the gay marriage ban because the Attorney General can decide not to defend the ban. Also, the Attorney General of Virginia is important for other issues. For example, Cuccinelli in 2010 sued the U.S. Government over the Affordable Care Act and brought the case to the Supreme Court. The final PPP poll shows Herring leading by 2 and while PPP is almost always accurate, they have been off by 2 points in a few races (the 2010 Florida Gubernatorial race is one example. PPP showed Alex Sink leading by 1 point and she lost by 1 point.)

This post overall will be devoted to dividing up the areas in Virginia and explaining how well Herring needs to perform in order to win.

Poll

Who wins the Attorney General race

5%7 votes
38%46 votes
44%53 votes
7%9 votes
1%2 votes
0%1 votes

| 118 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

9:30 As Yogi Berra said, "It gets late early out there." It's late for me so I'm going to call it a night. I may check back later but I probably will not update this. Good luck to Supervisor Perez!

9:29: Leticia Perez 20,384            51.7%
     Andy Vidak    19,062            48.3%

What the SOS site has now that they added Fresno County to the totals. Kings County though is not included in the votes here however.

9:26: Perez now at 37% in Tulare County, up a bit from 34%. Hope the trend keeps going her way.
V 4,420
P 2,533

9:04: I'd recommend this twitter account too for updates, KernQuirks: https://twitter.com/...

8:56 No updates yet but just remember, the results did not look too good on primary night so it could turn around, especially with absentee ballots mostly reporting. If more precincts (especially from Fresno,) start reporting and Vidak stays where he is, then I'll be worried.

8:46 Update from AD-52 where State Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod (D) left to become congresswoman from the 35th district. Right now
Leon 29.4%, (I) (formerly a Republican)
 Rodriguez 15.4% (D)
Pineda 15.1% (R)

6 Dems are running against 1 Rep and the Independent. This could be the 2nd time in the San Bernardino area that a Dem does not make the top two in a heavily Dem district.

8:35 From adding up the results posted at 8:31 and the results posted at 8:26 and 8:09, I have:
Vidak 29,472 55.6%
Perez 23,564 44.4%

We really need to clean up on the election day votes. This is not looking too good.

8:31 First votes appearing on the SOS page.
Leticia Perez 9,376     49.9%
Andy Vidak    9,422             50.1%

This is not the news I was hoping for. Even though these are mostly absentee, Vidak is leading with only Kern and Tulare showing up on the SOS page. Also, it shows 48.7% of precincts reporting in Kern and if Perez is only winning 58% in Kern with that much in, it's not good. Hopefully the next results are coming from the more Democratic areas.

8:26 Now all the counties have reported their absentees.
Kings County: Vidak 10,553 75% Perez 3,469 25% (hat tips to DrPhillips and Darth Jeff)

Tulare County:
Vidak 4277 66%
Perez 2243 34%

8:21: And just as I post that, I find out Perez is leading 58-42 in the absentees in Kern County (hat tip to DrPhillips.) Good margin for Perez but if she wants to win, she needs in my opinion to get 65% of the total vote from Kern County.

8:20: This could be a very long night (and few weeks, not all counting should be done until August 2nd.) The only county to report early votes so far is Fresno, no word on Kern, Kings or Tulare.

8:15: The Fresno CBS Twitter feed is going to be following the election too: https://twitter.com/...

8:12: If anyone has other links for results, post in the comments below.

8:09 First votes in, early votes from Fresno County. Here they are:
LETICIA PEREZ        10719 53.02%
ANDY VIDAK        9497    46.98%

The baseline for a 51% win for Leticia was 59% in Fresno County but keep in mind that the first votes always lean Republican (in 2010, Boxer was tied statewide in the early vote but won by 10 when everything was counted.)

8:02: county election websites sometimes report results before the SOS page so I will provide those:

Fresno County: http://www.co.fresno.ca.us/...
Kern County: http://elections.co.kern.ca.us/...
Kings County: http://www.countyofkings.com/...

Update: I will be liveblogging the results as they come in. The polls close at 8pm in California and the link to the election results are here: http://vote.sos.ca.gov/...

A few things to keep in mind: early votes (absentee ballots) usually report first and will be on the SOS page, even if the page says 0% of precincts reporting (because the votes are in absentee votes, not election day votes from precincts.) Also, these absentee votes that report first historically lean Republican so do not get scared if Vidak is leading a little bit (if he's ahead with 55%+, then that may be another story.)

======================

Cross posted on my blog http://racesandredistricting.blogspot.com/ which has more election analysis. For facebook updates, go here: https://www.facebook.com/...

On May 21st, 2013, the voters of California's SD-16 (a State Senate District spanning Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern Counties,) voted in a special election for State Senate. This election is pivotal for the Democrats in order to maintain their 2/3rd majority there which allows them to pass legislation more easily. The previous State Senator, Michael Rubio (D) had retired in order to accept a lobbying position at Chevron. Rubio recently came under fire from Democratic pundits for not challenging former State Sen. David Valadao (R) in a race for California's 21st Congressional district which covered much of Rubio's district. Valadao went on to win with 58% of the vote, despite President Obama winning 54% in the same district. Rubio now may cause the Republicans to win another seat, this time his State Senate district.

The SD-16 race so far has been very close. The Democrats nominated Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez (D) whose campaign platform is increasing the minimum wage and supporting the high speed rail project (the high speed rail project is a very contentious issue in the Central Valley with some voters supporting it due to job creation and others opposing it saying it is a waste of tax dollars.) The Republicans have nominated Andy Vidak (R), a rancher from Kings County who ran against Rep. Jim Costa (D) in 2010 under similar district lines and nearly beat Costa. This race is drawing attention, $400,000 was spent on TV ads between June 9th and July 6th and experts predict that $4.5 million will be spent on the race. Even though President Obama won 58% of the vote in 2008 in this district, Vidak nearly won the primary, winning 49.8% of the vote on May 21st, 2013. This primary featured candidates from all parties and if no candidate received 50% of the vote or more, there would be a July 23rd runoff. Vidak at first seemed to have won with 51.9% of the vote on the morning after election day but after late provisional ballots were counted, his vote percentage dropped to 49.8%. Perez received about 43% of the vote but the rest of the votes that Perez and Vidak did not win went to Democrats so hopefully Perez can win over those voters. This post though will feature a description of the district and show the county baselines for Perez.

I previously wrote a similar post focusing more on turnout in SD-16 and why Leticia Perez should not concede. It was written just after the May 21st primary. It can be found here: http://racesandredistricting.blogspot.com/...

 photo District_Map_CA-SD-16_zps8fa5b652.png

Poll

Will Supervisor Perez win?

41%32 votes
35%28 votes
23%18 votes

| 78 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

Cross posted on http://racesandredistricting.blogspot.com/ which has more election analysis. Follow on facebook too.

On May 21st, the voters of California's 16th Senate District nearly voted to elect a Republican even though President Obama won the district handily in 2012. This district is a 71% Hispanic district representing all of Kings County and heavily Hispanic parts of Fresno, Tulare and Kern Counties. This was a special election for the seat that State Sen. Michael Rubio (D) vacated in order to serve as a lobbyist for Chevron. The rules for this special election are that all candidates will run in an all party primary and if no candidate receives the 50.1% majority or more, there will be a runoff on July 23rd. The seat is important for Democrats so they can retain their 2/3 majority in the State Senate. The main Democratic candidate is Leticia Perez (D), a young Kern County Supervisor and the Republican candidate is Andy Vidak (R), the 2010 candidate for the 20th Congressional district representing parts of Fresno, Kings and Kern Counties. Perez campaigned on the high speed rail, raising the minimum wage to $9 and not raising taxes on working families. The CA Democratic Party also encouraged Democratic organizations (including the USC Democrats which I am a proud member of,) to campaign for Perez. Despite the hard work, Perez fell short on election night with Vidak winning 51.9% on the morning of May 22nd. Provisional ballots are being counted and have brought Vidak's numbers down to 49.8% and Perez's up from 41% to 43.8% (the other 8% went to less advertised Democratic candidates.) The race will now probably go to a July 23rd runoff because no candidate won 50.1% of the vote or more. There are almost no ballots in Fresno and Kern Counties but there are 135 left in Kings County and 170 left in Tulare County. Vidak needs to get a 211 vote margin from these 305 votes which means 85% of the remaining ballots must break for him which is unlikely. Many Republicans however are touting Vidak's numbers as a resurgence for Republicans in California and evidence that Republican candidates can win Hispanics. No exit polls were conducted on this race but this race should be seen not as a sign of Republican resurgence in California or with Hispanics. This race should be seen as a sign of low turnout especially with Hispanic voters which is typical in off year California elections, especially in the Central Valley.

Poll

Will Supervisor Perez win the July 23rd runoff?

50%28 votes
20%11 votes
29%16 votes

| 55 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 09:33 AM PDT

California House Races 2014

by Alibguy

Cross posted on http://racesandredistricting.blogspot.com/ which has more election analysis.
2012 was a fantastic year for Democrats in California. Obama won 60% of the vote here, Democrats won 2/3 majorities in the State Assembly and State Senate and Democrats gained four U.S. House seats (from 2002-10, they gained only one.) Democrats overperformed expectations by winning all the tossup House seats and winning Assembly seats such as one in formerly Republican leaning Lancaster. Democrats have even more opportunities in 2014 though and can gain three more U.S. House seats if everything goes right. Having everything go right does not happen often but in 2012, most projections showed Democrats gaining two House seats in California but they gained four, winning CA-36 and CA-7 which were previously thought to be Republican leaning tossups. They also performed well in CA-26 and CA-52, two districts with many upscale white voters. These districts voted for Obama in both 2008 and 2012 but in 2010, voted for Whitman in the Gubernatorial so Democrats need to prevent the upscale voters from reverting back to the Republicans in 2014. Also, Democrats need to retain those seats because the base will have lower turnout in 2014 and midterms always have a more conservative electorate. With more resources in 2014 devoted to House races than in 2012 though, Democrats stand a strong chance to retain their wins in 2012 and expand on their 38-15 seat majority of California's Congressional delegation.

Here is an interactive map of California's current congressional districts:
http://www.govtrack.us/...
Here are my last rankings for the 2012 elections: http://racesandredistricting.blogspot.com/...

Poll

How many seats will the Democrats win in Cali?

16%11 votes
1%1 votes
4%3 votes
10%7 votes
25%17 votes
20%14 votes
22%15 votes

| 68 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 11:50 AM PST

Minnesota Redistricting 7-1 Democratic

by Alibguy

Cross posted on http://racesandredistricting.blogspot.com/ which has more redistricting maps and election analysis. Also, follow my political updates on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/...

Although the 2011 redistricting season has passed and the next redistricting will take place around 2020, Minnesota has the possibility of undergoing mid decade redistricting. In 2010, Republicans and Democrats had split control of the state Government with Democrats controlling the Governorship and Republicans controlling the Legislature. Democrats now control the Legislature though so they have the trifecta. Republicans were able to retain control of the U.S. House despite losing the House popular vote by redistricting seats that were favorable to Republicans in states such as Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Also, Republicans have done mid decade redistricting in Texas and Georgia during the 2000s so it would not be unfair if the Democrats did it. Currently, the map is 5-3 Democratic but with a bit of redistricting, Democrats can bring it up to 7-1 Democratic without splitting St. Paul and Minneapolis which is a big no no in Minnesota redistricting. I doubt Minnesota will undergo mid decade redistricting but this is the map I would recommend. In this map, besides not splitting the Twin Cities, I created a Republican vote sink in the western suburbs that combined John Kline's home with most of Michelle Bachmann's district. I also made the 3rd district more Democratic and changed its configuration greatly. The reason is that many of the incumbents such as Erik Paulsen (R) and John Kline (R) have become entrenched so I added unfamiliar territory to their districts. Anyway, here is the map.

Poll

How many seats do the Democrats win?

0%0 votes
12%4 votes
40%13 votes
40%13 votes
6%2 votes

| 32 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 10:55 AM PST

Outlook for 2014 Senate Races

by Alibguy

Cross posted on my blog http://racesandredistricting.blogspot.com/ which has more election analysis.

Also, like my blog's facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/...

After an amazing 2012 election, it is already time to start previewing the 2014 Senate races. I have not posted many posts analyzing the 2012 election results yet because I like to wait until all the votes are tallied. In 2014 though, Democrats face a tough map. Like 2012, the majority of the seats up for reelection are held by Democrats and like 2012, some of those Democrats such as Kent Conrad (D) ND and Claire McCaskill (D)-MO, represented Republican leaning states which turned out strongly for Romney. In the beginning of 2011, most pundits were expecting a Republican takeover of the Senate. However, Republican candidate implosions (such as Todd Akin's,) and stronger than expected Democratic candidates (such as Heidi Heitkamp,) allowed the Democrats to retain the Senate and even gain two seats. Another point that compares this election to the 2004 election is that in 2004, Republicans gained seats across the South to create a string of red seats from Oklahoma to North Carolina which helped the Republicans have 55 seats. In 2012 though, Democrats have a string of seats across the North from Massachusetts to Montana which helped give them 55 seats.

Anyway, it is possible Democrats could surprise conventional wisdom and protect their seats in 2014 but it is a harder task than it was in 2012. In 2008, Democrats swept almost all of the competitive races so the 13 seats that Republicans do have up (the Democrats have 20,) are mostly in solidly Republican states such as Wyoming, Alabama and Kansas where Democrats are not going to win. The only opportunity for the Democrats is in Maine where moderate Susan Collins (R) could decide to retire. Another possibility is Georgia with Saxby Chambliss (R) where Democrats came within three points of unseating him in 2008. That year though, there was high African American turnout which is unlikely in 2014. Still, Georgia is having an influx of African Americans and Hispanics and Romney won by 7 points in 2014 when most observers predicted a 10-12 point victory. I am not going to predict Georgia as competitive just yet but if Democrats find a strong candidate to challenge Chambliss, that race could become interesting. As for the Republicans, they have a large range of seats they can win in such as Alaska, Arkansas North Carolina, South Dakota, Minnesota, West Virginia They need to gain six seats though and Democrats seem favored to prevent that. They have a disadvantage in South Dakota but in states such as Alaska, Arkansas and North Carolina, Democrats may be unpopular nationally but the Senate candidates are popular statewide. Anyway, italicized names are potential retirement and here are the ratings:

Poll

How many seats will Republicans pick up

18%28 votes
7%11 votes
18%28 votes
18%29 votes
12%19 votes
5%8 votes
10%16 votes
9%14 votes

| 153 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

What makes Florida such a close swing state? What must the President and Romney do in order to win there? I will examine those questions in my post.

This is my 2nd post in my swing state series. The first post examined Colorado here: http://racesandredistricting.blogspot.com/...  In this post, I will look at the demographics and political trends of certain regions in Florida. I will also use election baselines to estimate what percentages the President needs to win Florida. For the baselines, I incorporated the 2008 Presidential election results and the 2010 Gubernatorial results. They show the minimum percentage the President needs in each county in order to win statewide. Anyway, here is a brief political history of Florida:

For the last 20 years, Florida has been a close swing state. It was heavily Republican in the 1980s but in 1996, Clinton won Florida by keeping down Republican margins in North Florida and winning big in the Gold Coast. In 2000 however, Al Gore (D) lost Florida by the painstaking margin of 537 votes. He won big margins in the Gold Coast area but did not do well enough in North Florida and the swing I-4 Corridor to win. When Bush won in 2004, it seemed that Florida was trending Republican because of the heavily Republican Cuban voters and the Republican trend in North Florida. In 2008 though, the President shocked many observers by pulling Florida back to the Democratic column. He did so by winning large margins in heavily Hispanic Miami Dade County. He won 57% of Hispanics statewide which helped him win the I-4 Corridor which is the swing part of the state. In 2012 though, Romney hopes to win Florida and he may be able to do so by eroding Obama's margins in the Gold Coast and doing well in the fast growing parts of Florida. Anyway, here are the three main regions of Florida:

Poll

Who wins Florida?

5%10 votes
15%28 votes
55%101 votes
18%33 votes
4%8 votes
1%3 votes

| 183 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading
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