As expected, Republican State Treasurer John Kennedy won the Louisiana Senate runoff Saturday, defeating Democrat Foster Campbell by over 20 points.
Democrats gained two seats in the 2016 elections, but the party was unable to wrest control of the body from the Republicans. It was a missed opportunity for 'Team Blue', as 24 of the 34 seats up in 2016 were held by Republicans. The situation is reversed in 2018, with 25 of the 33 races that year held by the Democrats. Playing that much defense, it will be very difficult for the party to make gains.
The new Senate will be comprised of 52 Republicans, 48 Democrats. Republicans have both seats in 20 states, Democrats in 18 states. There is a split in 12 states. Mike Pence will become president of the Senate on January 20th, giving Republicans the advantage in any tie votes.
There will be 7 new Senators sworn in this January:
California: Kamala Harris (D) won seat held by retiring Barbara Boxer (D)
Illinois: Tammy Duckworth (D) defeated incumbent Mark Kirk (R) Dem. Gain
Indiana: Todd Young (R) won seat held by retiring Dan Coats (R)
Louisiana: John Kennedy (R) won seat held by retiring David Vitter (R)
Maryland: Chris Van Hollen (D) won seat held by retiring Barbara Mikulski (D)
Nevada: Catherine Cortez Masto (D) won seat held by retiring Harry Reid (D)
New Hampshire: Maggie Hassan (D) defeated incumbent Kelly Ayotte (R) Dem. Gain
One final note: Donald Trump has nominated Jeff Sessions (R) of Alabama to be Attorney General, with North Dakota's Heidi Heitkamp (D) a lead contender for Secretary of Agriculture. If confirmed, those Senators would be replaced. Heitkamp would bring a Democratic voice into the Trump administration, but her replacement would likely be a Republican, adding one to the GOP majority.
The 538 electors will cast their votes for president on Monday, December 19th. We've had some requests for an interactive map that lets people game out the possibility of one or more 'faithless' electors in that vote. To that end, we've modified our historical interactive map code to create a preliminary 2016 version. This map lets you split any state, thus allowing for the introduction of faithless electors in one or more states.
A faithless elector is one who casts their vote contrary to the candidate for whom they have pledged to vote, or one who abstains from voting. For example, Trump won Texas and thus the Republican slate of 38 electors will vote on December 19th. If one of those voted for someone other than Trump - which now seems likely - they would be considered a faithless elector. Likewise, a Washington state elector has previously indicated that he cannot support Hillary Clinton.
There have been very few faithless presidential electors, fewer than 10 since 1900 and none since 2004. (There were some additional faithless VP electors in 1912). In modern times, most electors are party loyalists, with little incentive to 'go rogue'.
Despite the long-shot odds, there is a campaign to flip 37 or more Republican electors away from Donald Trump, which would bring him below the 270 needed to win and send the election to the House of Representatives. This effort is being spearheaded mainly by a group of Democratic electors, who would support the effort by voting for a Republican alternative to Trump, thus being faithless to Hillary Clinton in the process. Those leading this process are attempting to agree on a person who, with 37+ Republican electoral votes plus some number of Democratic electoral votes, would be positioned as an acceptable alternative for consideration by the Republican-controlled House.
After weeks of uncertainty, North Carolina governor Pat McCrory has conceded the race to his Democratic opponent Roy Cooper. This was the last of the 12 gubernatorial races to be decided, and the only Democratic pick-up. Republicans swung 3 state houses, taking Missouri, New Hampshire and Vermont.
This leaves Republicans with control of 33 state houses, to 16 for Democrats. Alaska's governor is an independent. According to Wikipedia, the last time Republicans controlled this many governorships was 1922.
Only two governorships are up in 2017. Republican Chris Christie of New Jersey and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia are both term-limited, thus unable to run again.
Unique among the 50 states, Louisiana's Election Day for Congressional races consists of a non-partisan primary (sometimes called a 'jungle primary'), where all candidates, from all parties, appear on the ballot. Unless one candidate receives more than 50% of the vote, the top two vote getters advance to a runoff.
One Senate and two House seats will be contested in this year's Louisiana runoff, set for this Saturday, December 10th. All three seats are expected to remain in Republican hands.
While these races will 'complete' the faces of the new Congress, some of President-elect Donald Trump's nominations may result in open seats in 2017.
U.S. Senate: Republican state treasurer John Kennedy faces off against Foster Campbell, a member of the Louisiana Public Service Commission. The latest polling has Kennedy ahead by double-digits. A win by Kennedy will give Republicans 52 seats in the new Senate, with Democrats gaining two seats overall in the 2016 election.
U.S. House: Districts 3 and 4 are moving to a runoff. Both seats are currently held by Republican incumbents that retired to make (unsuccessful) bids to win the above-referenced Senate seat. In the 3rd District, both participants in the runoff this Saturday are Republican, guaranteeing a party hold of that seat. While a Democratic vs. Republican runoff exists in the 4th District, the race is rated 'Safe Republican' by most pundits. Republican wins in these two races will give them 241 seats in the new Congress, down six from today's 247.
Impact of Trump Nominations on Congress: Several of Donald Trump's cabinet and other picks currently serve as Republican members of Congress. If confirmed, these seats would open up, to be filled by appointment and/or special election (laws vary by state, we haven't looked into the specfics). These include Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama (nominated for Attorney General), Rep. Tom Price of Georgia (Health & Human Services), Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas (CIA). Other current Members appear to be in contention for positions where Mr. Trump has not made a selection as of yet.
Donald Trump was formally declared the winner of Michigan by that state's Board of Canvassers Monday afternoon. This action allows us to complete the 2016 electoral map, pending the actual vote of each state's Electors on December 19th.
The 10,704 vote win, out of 4.8 million votes cast, marks the closest presidential race in the state in more than 75 years*.
Click the map for an interactive version.
As we noted the other day, but will repeat here, the win in Michigan gives Trump 306 electoral votes, marking a 100 vote swing from Mitt Romney in 2012:
Michigan will certify the results of its 2016 presidential election on Monday, November 28th. Donald Trump is all but certain to win the state, completing a remake of the electoral map that includes several states that haven't voted Republican in over 25 years.
Trump is expected to win the state by 10,704 votes, following the certification of results by each of the state's 83 county clerks. The state's Board of Canvassers will officially certify the results on Monday. We expect Associated Press to call the race at that time, and we'll finally be able to complete the 2016 electoral map, pending the official vote of Electors on December 19th.
It is the closest race for president in Michigan history.
Once Michigan is official, Trump will have 306 electoral votes, marking a 100 vote swing from Mitt Romney in 2012.
Based on preliminary popular vote totals, the 2016 presidential election saw a significantly larger number of states decided by a margin of 5% or less than in 2012, when only four states met that criteria. Four of these states were within 1%, including Michigan, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
The four states meeting the criteria in 2012 were Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida. While the latter two were again within 5% in 2016, Ohio and Virginia were decided by between 5 and 10%.
Click the map for an interactive version.
Donald Trump remains on track to win Michigan's 16 electoral votes, but the state won't officially certify the result until the end of November. At present, Trump leads by 0.3% or about 11,600 votes out of about 4.8 million votes counted.
The Detroit News reports: While there is a possibility Clinton could narrow the gap as county clerks and canvassing boards double check their results and report them to the Board of State Canvassers, the process is unlikely to change the outcome.
“In every election, small vote shifts occur during the canvassing process but nothing to the degree of having a 13,000-vote margin overturned,” said Secretary of State Office spokesman Fred Woodhams.
We'll continue to show Michigan in a lighter red on our 2016 electoral map, until the results are certified.
The Associated Press has declared Hillary Clinton the winner in New Hampshire, bringing her total to 232 electoral votes. President-elect Donald Trump has 290 electoral votes, with Michigan still not called.
As of late Monday, Trump led Michigan by 0.3%. That's about 12,000 votes out of 4.8 million cast in the state. We believe the AP is waiting to declare a winner in Michigan pending the possibility of a recount.
Trump is likely to win the state, which would bring his final total to 306, pending the official vote of Electors on December 19th. To that end, we show Michigan in a lighter red in our election results map:
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Defying almost all predictions, Donald J. Trump was elected president of the United States on Tuesday. Trump, who has never held political office, expanded the electoral map into states Republicans have not won for a generation or more.
Trump won large electoral prizes in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, neither of which has voted Republican since the 1980s. He took Ohio, which again proved an election bellwether. Trump also won an electoral vote in Maine, the first time that state has split its four votes.
The current map:
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