Skip to main content

Many thanks to the 740 of you who entered the 2014 Daily Kos Elections prediction contest!

Now that it's officially after 4pm EST (or 1pm PST, for those of you protesting East Coast/Eastern Time bias), we thought we'd summarize what you thought — that is, your entries to the prediction contest.

First, the calling-the-tossups part:

Note that the white space in LA-Sen represents the large majority of you that thought the race will head to a runoff in December.

And next, the closest races. I took some liberties here in interpreting your results: I assumed you meant Gov instead of Sen if you put it in the Gov column, and I didn't hold incorrect postal abbreviations against you. But, if for example, you gave Alaska a seventh congressional district or gave Maryland a Senate race, there wasn't much I could do for you. (Also, just because I could interpret your results now doesn't mean I won't assess a penalty when it comes to scoring!)

Summary of Most-guessed Closest Races
In just a few minutes — when the first polls close — you'll have real results to analyze, but in the meantime, enjoy.

We're wrapping up another year here at Daily Kos Elections, which means one of you lucky folks—the winner of this year's Daily Kos Elections Prediction Contest—is getting one of these puppies pictured at right.*

*Note: not actually a puppy, just a chocolate babka. (...which is, arguably, better than a puppy.)

To review, this year's contest had three rounds:

• Part 1, 3 points: we set a "line" for three big-ticket contests and asked if the margin would be under or over that line.
• Part 2, 6 points: we asked you to pick the winner in 6 races across the country where the outcome was not so clear.
• Part 3, 6 points: We asked you for how many GOP-held seats Virginia Democrats would pick up in the House of Delegates.

As we have typically done, we also included a tiebreaker asking you to guess vote percentages—this time in VA-Gov.

We received 400 valid entries exactly: I scored the last entry that you submitted before the deadline (6pm EST on Election Day) if you submitted multiple ones. A few of you submitted entries after the deadline (including one on December 17th), which I did not count.

Continuing a pattern from past years in the pick-'ems, closeness of race wasn't strongly correlated with our collective confidence in the outcome: even though the race went to a recount, almost 90% of people predicted (correctly) that Democrat Mark Herring would win the VA-AG contest. On the flipside, entries were fairly split on the Nassau County, NY Executive race, even though incumbent GOPer Ed Mangano won re-election by 17 points. 125 of you got the full 3 points from Part 1, and 18 of you got the full 6 points from Part 2 (8 of you ran the table, getting the full 9 points from Parts 1 and 2 combined).

Chart of Correct Entries by Question
The Virginia House was a bit of a disappointment for Democrats, who did not gain as many seats as ultimately expected. The median and mode entry was a gain of 8, as compared to an actual pickup of 2. The distribution of guesses was as follows:
Distribution of Part 3 Entries
As to the tiebreaker: we've never adhered to that "it-must-add-to-100-percent" orthodoxy, but 19 of you took some rather, er ... sizable liberties, and entered percentages summing to greater than 100 percent. Misplaced expectations factored in here as well, with the average tiebreaker entry overstating Terry McAuliffe's final margin (just as the polling did).

No one ultimately got a perfect score (your Daily Kos Elections team definitely did not ...), but two of you came pretty darn close: BK in the HV and UKDemocrat each got 14 of 15. BK's only miss was being one off in the VA House count, and UKDemocrat's only miss was calling WA SD-26 for Democrat Nathan Schlicher instead of Republican Jan Angel.

BK in the HV had the better tiebreaker score, however, meaning he or she is this year's winner! Please message David Nir, who will get you hooked up with your babka!

The full list of results, for the truly curious, is available here. Congratulations, and thanks again to everyone who participated in this year's contest.


It's November, which means ... it's babka time at Daily Kos Elections! We're using a format similar to last year's contest, but with a few changes to fit this year's races.

The Questions
This year's contest has only 10 questions, in 3 parts (plus a tiebreaker):

• Part 1, 3 questions. The outcome isn't really in doubt in many of the "big-ticket" contests this year—I know we've all been counting on the inevitable ascent of Comrade de Blasiovich in Novoyork okrug (or is it oblast?). To keep in interesting, we've set "lines" in three races (NJ-Gov, VA-LG, and NYC Mayor) and are asking you to think if the likely winner in each will under- or over-perform the line.

• Part 2, 6 questions. The traditional "pick 'em" questions, we're asking you to pick the winner in 6 races: VA-AG, the AL-01 special primary runoff, the WA SD-26 special general election, the mayoral races in Boston and St. Petersburg, and Nassau County (NY) Executive.

• Part 3, 1 question. We're also asking you to predict how many Republican-held seats Democrats will pick up in the Virginia House of Delegates. Democrats currently hold 32 seats, but are poised to make gains. The question for you, is exactly how many.

• Tiebreaker: At this point, we're having a hard time seeing Republican Ken Cuccinelli pull off an upset win against Democrat Terry McAuliffe in the Virginia gubernatorial race, but that doesn't mean we won't ask you about it! This year's tiebreaker, consistent with that of years past, asks you to predict the percentages that each of three candidates (including Libertarian Robert Sarvis) will receive.

The contest will be scored as follows: Each question in the first two parts are worth one part, for a total of 9 possible points. Part 3 is worth up to 6 points: if you're guess exactly the net change, you get 6 points. 5 points if you're one off (in either direction), 4 points if you're two off, and so on.

With 15 points available, we're expecting some ties, and as the name suggests, that's where the tiebreaker comes in. Ties will be broken for the entry closest to the percentages actually received by each of the 3 candidates (with closest measured by the minimum absolute deviation between entry guess and actual vote received).

We're taking entries until just before polls close on Election Day, 6pm EST on November 5th. Feel free to submit as many entries as your heart desires, but we'll score only the last one entered before the deadline. And by all means use this thread to chat about your predictions and talk smack. Have at it!

12:20 PM PT (David Nir): Due to some confusion, we've clarified our question in part 3 (Democratic gains in the Virginia legislature). We're asking only for the number of Republican-held seats that Democrats pick up. Careful observers know that Democrats failed to field a candidate in one (dark red) Dem-held open seat, so that one will automatically become a Republican pickup.

But you don't have to worry about that -1 seat Dems start off with. If you did take it into account when initially submitting your guesses, feel free to submit again.


Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers -- "I Won't Back Down"

Quarterly fundraising reports for federal candidates, covering the period from April 1 through June 30, were due at the Federal Elections Commission on Monday night. We've narrowed down our list to competitive races (both primary and general), as well as potential open seats (due to either retirements or bids for other offices):

As always, all numbers are in thousands. An explanation of each column:
• "CD" stands for congressional district.

• "Raised" is the amount the candidate has received in donations from donors during the quarter, not including any loans.

• "Self Fund" is the amount of direct contributions a candidate has made to his or her own campaign. This number, if any, is also counted in the "Raised" column.

• "Self Loan" is the amount of any loans a candidate has made to his or her own campaign. This number, if any, is not counted in the "Raised" column.

• "Spent" is the amount of money the campaign has spent during the quarter.

• "CoH" stands for total cash-on-hand at the end of the quarter.

• "CTD" indicates a candidate's contributions raised cycle-to-date, as of the end of the quarter.

To access our spreadsheet directly, click here. Over on the far right, you'll also see two additional columns, one labeled "Fundraising Period" and the other "Transfers." The former shows any exceptions to the April 1 through June 30 reporting period (some candidates have filed reports covering shorter or longer timeframes, for various reasons). The latter shows transfers from other committees.

You can also find our 1Q fundraising roundup here.

10:38 AM PT: On our list, 10 incumbents were outraised by their challengers, whose names are in parenthesis (we didn't include Jo Bonner in AL-01, who has already announced his intention to resign, or Mel Watt in NC-12, whose nomination to the Federal Housing Finance Authority is still pending):

Mike Honda in CA-17 (Ro Khanna)
Julia Brownley in CA-26 (Tony Strickland)
Gary Miller in CA-31 (Pete Aguilar)
Scott Peters in CA-52 (Carl DeMaio)
Bill Young in FL-13 (Jessica Ehrlich)
Brad Schneider in IL-10 (Bob Dold!)
Howard Coble in NC-06 (Mark Walker)
Chris Gibson in NY-19 (Sean Eldridge)
Scott Desjarlais in TN-04 (Jim Tracy)
Jim Matheson in UT-04 (Mia Love)

Additionally, 6 incumbents find themselves at a cash-on-hand disadvantage:

Mike Honda in CA-17 (Ro Khanna)
Mike Coffman in CO-06 (Andrew Romanoff)
Brad Schneider in IL-10 (Bob Dold!)
Mike Grimm in NY-11 (Domenic Recchia)
Chris Gibson in NY-19 (Sean Eldridge)
Scott Desjarlais in TN-04 (Jim Tracy)

Finally, freshmen Tom Cotton (AR-04 and may be running for Senate) and Patrick Murphy (FL-18) had the two best hauls for freshman, at $606k and $530k, respectively. On the other end, Kerry Bentivolio (MI-11) and Gloria Negrete McLeod (CA-35) had the lowest hauls among the freshman class, at $65k and $25k, respectively.


As we promised when we released the initial version of our 2012 presidential results by congressional district, we've been busy checking our math and calculating results by downballot races as well. And thanks to the tireless efforts of the indispensable Jeff Singer, we're also pleased to begin providing statewide election results by state legislative districts as well.

All of our resources are linked below. Above the fold you'll find our summary table, while below you'll find tables with links to detailed calculations for each state.

• The CD Summary, linked in the summary table, provides finalized results for president and statewide downballot races (as well as key ballot measures) by congressional district and their county components.

• The LD (Upper) and LD (Lower) Summaries, also linked in the summary table, provide presidential results by district for the upper and lower chambers of each State Legislature, respectively. States that use the same districts for both chambers, and states that nest multiple lower chamber districts within upper chamber districts, are noted as "coterminous" and "nested" respectively.

• Detailed CD Calculations provide our underlying calculations (including precinct data where required) for the presidential and downballot races. These are linked in the state-specific tables below the fold, which you can access from the state name links in the main summary table.

• Detailed LD Calculations, also accessible via the state name links in the main summary table, follow the same format as the above workbooks. Results are shown by each district and its county component; precinct data where relied upon are provided here as well.

You can also review our in-progress methodology statement that explains exactly how we've calculated our data, as our methods and data sources vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

State CD LD (Upper) LD (Lower) State CD LD (Upper) LD (Lower)

Continue Reading
Map of Congressional Districts colored by 2012 Presidential Result
2012 Presidential Results by Congressional District
Daily Kos Elections is pleased to announce the preliminary completion of our project to calculate presidential results from the 2012 election for all 435 congressional districts nationwide.

All of the results are available on this page. More detailed calculations—showing county- and town-level calculations and vote totals—for almost all states are available on this page.

Nassau County NY, the county that made it most difficult to access their election results, may have finally coughed up its results (you can download what they sent us here for 2010 and here for 2012), but this project isn't over just yet! Consistent with our goal of unprecedented transparency, we'll be working on the following over the next several weeks and months:

• All results will be re-verified against finalized results from states and counties. This process was already performed once, but in the months since the certification of results across the various states, many have amended their "final" totals.

• All of our data sources will be compiled and uploaded. We'd started this process on this page, which will be continually updated as more results are re-verified. This should allow for our results to be subject to scrutiny by you, the users, and ultimately, replicated.

• Our methodology will be documented explicitly. For each state, we'll answer all of these questions and more: From where did which results come? How are precincts split across districts considered in our calculations? How are block-reported early votes allocated across districts?

• Results for other statewide races, such as senator, governor, and state attorney general, will be calculated and reported as well, where available. (Different states conducted different sets of races last year.)

The process of gathering election results necessary to complete this project was no easy task, and the innumerable efforts of data enthusiast John M. and Daily Kos Executive Assistant Faith Gardner—as well as the many Daily Kos Electioneers who sent us data and pointed out corrections—were critical to this process.

As always, many thanks to John, Faith, and everyone else that helped make this possible. We've reached a major milestone in this process, but certainly not the finish line by any means, so stay tuned for everything else we have in store.


Two years ago, a GOP-controlled Minnesota legislature—swept in with the 2010 wave—referred a state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage to the voters. But as they say, elections have consequences, and on this issue, the consequences were particularly obvious. Not only was the Amendment defeated (earning 47.4 percent of the vote), but the DFL (Minnesota’s Democratic Party affiliate) also retook both chambers of the legislature. With an equality-supporting Mark Dayton in the governor's mansion, DFL legislators quickly introduced a marriage equality bill. The bill is moving forward, no less, with passage through committee appearing very likely in both chambers.

The State Senate, which has 67 members, now has a 39-28 DFL majority (a gain of nine seats from the previous session); 34 votes are needed to pass legislation. Each Senate district is also subdivided into two House districts, with "A" or "B" appended to the district number to distinguish the two. The House is, consequently, twice the size of the Senate at 134 members (meaning 68 votes are needed to pass legislation), and has a 73-61 DFL majority (a gain of 11 seats).

But, what happens after the bill reaches the floor of each house? Well, thanks to the results from Amendment 1, we can get a sense of how supportive each House district (HD) and Senate district (SD) is of marriage equality. Of course, opposition to a constitutional ban does not directly translate into support for marriage equality. Consider, for example, state Rep. Kim Norton (DFL-Rochester), who voted against referral (of Amendment 1 to the ballot) in 2011, but is currently on the record as wavering regarding support of marriage equality. Indeed, you'd expect a bit a drop-off between opposition to a constitutional ban on same-sex marriages and outright support for marriage equality.

That marginal difference, however, is where the fate of marriage equality in Minnesota hangs. In the House, Amendment 1 received less than 50 percent of the vote in 78 of 134 HDs (recall that undervotes counted as effective "No" votes), but less than 47 percent only in 62. Similarly in the Senate, Amendment 1 received less than 50 percent in 39 of 67 SDs, but less than 47 percent only in 31. Assuming that legislators followed the preferences of their district (more on this later), a 3 percent drop-off from opposition to a ban to outright support would mean that this bill would fail, but a 1.5 percent drop-off would mean that the bill would pass: Amendment 1 was below 48.5 percent in 35 of 67 SDs and 71 of 134 HDs.

Below are maps showing the HDs and SDs by the party of their legislator and whether "Yes" on Amendment 1 received more than 50 percent in the district. Red indicates a district with a Republican legislator; dark red if it voted "Yes" on Amendment 1 and pink if it voted "No." Blue indicates a district with a DFL legislator; dark blue if it voted "No" on Amendment 1 and light blue if it voted "Yes." The House is on the left; Senate on the right. On top are full statewide maps for each chamber; below those are more detailed maps of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area:

Map of MN House by party affiliation and Amendment 1 resultsMap of MN Senate by party affiliation and Amendment 1 results

Map of MN House by party affiliation and Amendment 1 results, Metro AreaMap of MN Senate by party affiliation and Amendment 1 results, Metro Area

Continue below the fold for more analysis.

Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 10:29 AM PT: I just realized that I hadn't uploaded the underlying spreadsheet, which is now available here.

Continue Reading

Polls have opened the special primary election to replace Dem Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., and the Democratic field has narrowed to about two and a half serious contenders: former Cook County official and state Rep. (and 2010 state treasurer nominee) Robin Kelly, former IL-11 Rep Debbie Halvorson, and Chicago 9th Ward Alderman Anthony Beale. Given the state of play, Kelly is the presumed frontrunner, and the question in many of our minds has shifted from "Will Kelly win?" to "How much will Kelly win by?" The winner will almost certainly cruise to a victory in the general election in this district that Barack Obama 81 percent of the vote in November.

Halvorson's pushing a poll showing her up by four ... at 21 percent (to Kelly's 17 percent). We don't have to look back too far, though, to recall an instance in which Halvorson was stuck in the 20s—she did suffer a 71-29 drubbing at Jackson's hands less than a year ago. We can look to that race to see where Halvorson can expect pockets of strength ... and also why she's unlikely to win today.

map of the 2012 Democratic Primary
Head below the fold for our analysis of this map.
Continue Reading

Red Hot Chili Peppers -- Soul to Squeeze

We're taking Presidents' Day off, but we'll be back as usual on Tuesday.

10:03 AM PT (David Jarman): Actually, there's one big story that cropped up on this holiday: Republican Sen. Mike Johanns of Nebraska, up for re-election in 2014, has decided to retire after just one term. It's a surprise, since he's only 62 and hasn't been on the rumored receiving end of a tea party primary (though maybe the odds of that increased with his support of Chuck Hagel for SecDef last week). We'll have full coverage of this development tomorrow.


The 2012 Elections were (generally) pretty great for Team Blue: we re-elected Barack Obama, picked up a few seats in both houses of Congress, and affirmed marriage equality/defeated anti-equality efforts in four states, among others. But, for one of you – the winner of the 2012 Daily Kos Elections Prediction Contest, that is, it's going to get even better. A whole ... Green's chocolate babka better!

To review, we asked you to pick a winner in the 40 races that Daily Kos Elections had rated as "Tossup" in the week prior to the election. (We moved one race, CT-Sen, away from Tossup and three races, KY-06, NY-01, and NY-24, to Tossup after we announced the contest.) As a tiebreaker, we also asked you to guess the percentage that each of the three major candidates – Democrat Cynthia Dill, Republican Charlie Summers, and Independent (Senator-elect) Angus King – would receive in the Maine Senate Race. The tiebreaker was scored using lowest absolute deviation, so no least-squares (ordinary or otherwise) or anything else fancy. (Sorry, you regression junkies!)

Collectively, our judgment was pretty good: in aggregate, the entries called 30 of the 40 races correctly. We were particularly confident (and correctly so) about Chris Murphy in CT-Sen and Tim Kaine in VA-Sen, with 98.6 percent and 97.4 percent of entrants predicting their respective victories. Though the margin in WA-Gov was close, the prediction race was not; 96.4 percent of people chose eventual victor, Dem Jay Inslee. Here is the full list of percentage of entries that called contest correctly:

Chart of Correct Entries by Contest
The entries overall were pretty bullish on Dems, and the nastiest surprises were a trio of house races narrowly won by the Republican candidate –€“ PA-12, OH-16, and IL-13. Only 12.5, 21.0, and 26.9 percent of entries called those correctly. The most "unexpected" pieces of good news, arguably, were Eric Swalwell'€™s defeat of Pete Stark in the CA-15 Dem internecine (72.2 percent thought Stark would win), and Heidi Heitkamp's victory in ND-Sen (57.7 percent thought Republican Rick Berg would win).

Overall, the Maine Senate predictions were rather good as well. The median predictions were King 49.7, Summers 34.4, Dill 14.0, good for a deviation of 7.57. (mr hungry dude submitted the best tiebreaker entry, calling the race with only 1.11 points of deviation.)

The individual ranges for each candidate, though, varied widely – Dill from 3 to 72, Summers from 3 to 70, and King from 0 to 83. A few of you didn't quite follow the instructions about percentages, but worry not, I interpreted them to the best of my ability: usually, this meant replacing commas with decimal points (sorry, this ain't Europe!), and taking something like, for example, 0.52 to represent 52 percent.

I know we told you in the instructions that "you may not want your results to add perfectly to 100," but, man, some of you really took that advice to heart – entrants thought that between the three of them, Dill, Summers, and King would receive between 78 percent and uh...161 percent (?).

But enough of that math thing, to the babka!

dwb115, WisJohn, and StephenCLE each called a whopping 36 of the 40 races correctly. (I assure you, that is substantially better than your Daily Kos Elections team did.)

Of the three, StephenCLE had the best tiebreaker score, at 7.19. (WisJohn's tiebreak score was 10.41, and dwb115's 14.49.) Stephen, please come on down (by which I mean PM David Nir) – he'll get you set up with your babka!

The full list of results is available here. (If you submitted multiple entries, I thought about disqualifying you, but instead, I took the latest entry you submitted.)

Thanks again to everyone who participated in the 2012 Daily Kos Elections Contest, and congratulations to the winner!

8:21 AM PT: I forgot to mention: we received about 800 entries, but from 785 unique (non-Daily Kos staff) entrants.


On Tuesday, we brought you our quarterly House fundraising roundup, in which we gathered up fundraising numbers for the 94 races that we are rating as competitive, including various incumbent-on-incumbent races. As usual, we'll take a look at which challengers outraised incumbents, and which have more cash-on-hand than the members of Congress they're trying to unseat.

First up, the challengers who beat their opponents in the third quarter of the year (all numbers in thousands). We are making one methodological change; you can call it the "Pete Coors" effect: we're now including transfers from other committees and excluding self-funded totals, both of which are counted as part of the "topline" total amount raised (this is distinguished from self loans, which are not). You can click column headers to sort:

CD Challenger Party Raised Incumbent Party Raised
CA-07 Ami Bera (D) 730 Dan Lungren (R) 510
CA-09 Ricky Gill (R) 727 Jerry McNerney (D) 523
CA-10 Jose Hernandez (D) 493 Jeff Denham (R) 317
CA-36 Raul Ruiz (D) 540 Mary Bono Mack (R) 381
FL-10 Val Demings (D) 503 Daniel Webster (R) 207
FL-16 Keith Fitzgerald (D) 468 Vern Buchanan (R) 227
FL-26 Joe Garcia (D) 431 David Rivera (R) 122
IA-02 John Archer (R) 417 Dave Loebsack (D) 312
IL-08 Tammy Duckworth (D) 1508 Joe Walsh (R) 254
IL-11 Bill Foster (D) 642 Judy Biggert (R) 624
KY-06 Andy Barr (R) 804 Ben Chandler (D) 504
MA-06 Richard Tisei (R) 646 John Tierney (D) 508
MD-06 John Delaney (D) 399 Roscoe Bartlett (R) 208
MN-08 Rick Nolan (D) 484 Chip Cravaack (R) 462
NC-08 Richard Hudson (R) 512 Larry Kissell (D) 220
NH-01 Carol Shea-Porter (D) 675 Frank Guinta (R) 363
NH-02 Annie Kuster (D) 725 Charlie Bass (R) 472
NY-11 Mark Murphy (D) 323 Mike Grimm (R) 249
NY-18 Sean Maloney (D) 926 Nan Hayworth (R) 573
NY-19 Julian Schreibman (D) 537 Chris Gibson (R) 388
PA-06 Manan Trivedi (D) 436 Jim Gerlach (R) 334
PA-12 Keith Rothfus (R) 543 Mark Critz (D) 501
UT-04 Mia Love (R) 999 Jim Matheson (D) 469
VA-02 Paul Hirschbiel (D) 352 Scott Rigell (R) 311

Of this list of 24, 17 are Democrats; this makes sense since again, there are more vulnerable Republicans. (Pete Coors, the Republican in CO-07 is not on this list. While on paper, his $1.77 million haul dwarfs incumbent Dem Ed Perlmutter's $725k, $1.35 million of Coors' total was self-funded. Excluding his self-funding, Coors raised "only" $417k, explaining why he isn't on this list. CO-07 is the only race affected by the exclusion of self-funded amounts.)

Next up is an even more elite crew, the ten challengers (six Democrats, 4 Republicans) who have banked more cash than the incumbents they're facing ("CoH" = cash-on-hand):

CD Challenger Party CoH Incumbent Party CoH
CA-09 Ricky Gill (R) 1,146 Jerry McNerney (D) 1,038
IL-08 Tammy Duckworth (D) 763 Joe Walsh (R) 592
MD-06 John Delaney (D) 249 Roscoe Bartlett (R) 221
MI-01 Gary McDowell (D) 604 Dan Benishek (R) 571
NH-02 Annie Kuster (D) 922 Charlie Bass (R) 752
NY-18 Sean Maloney (D) 855 Nan Hayworth (R) 785
NY-25 Maggie Brooks (R) 857 Louise Slaughter (D) 411
OH-06 Charlie Wilson (D) 440 Bill Johnson (R) 388
RI-01 Brendan Doherty (R) 510 David Cicilline (D) 241
UT-04 Mia Love (R) 457 Jim Matheson (D) 307

Finally, we've conducted similar analyses for the five remaining incumbent-vs.-incumbent matchups, three of which are intra-party (thanks to California's top-two system and the Louisiana jungle "primary"). Head below the fold for our charts.

Continue Reading
You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.


Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site