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Election News

NBC News Marist Poll of Early Primary and Caucus States

February 15, 2015

NBC News and Marist are out with polls from the early primary and caucus states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton dominates, with support of 65% or more of Democrats in all three states. The more interesting Republican results are summarized in the table below. Primary and caucus dates courtesy of FrontloadingHQ.

Jeb Bush and Scott Walker had pretty consistent results across the three states and were the only candidates to acheive 10% in all three polls. Bush leads in Iowa, while Mike Huckabee is ahead in Iowa. Lindsey Graham leads in South Carolina, but is a non-factor in the other two polls.  Note that all these leads are well within the margin of error. 

Philadelphia Lands 2016 Democratic Convention

February 12, 2015

Philadelphia has been awarded the 2016 Democratic National Convention, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. This will be the third DNC in Philadelphia. The first occurred in 1936, nominating Franklin Roosevelt for his second term.  In 1948, Harry Truman was nominated for his first full term.

The 2016 Republican National Convention will take place a week earlier, in Cleveland Ohio.

With both nominating conventions in July vs. late August (Republicans) and early September (Democrats) in 2012, the general election campaign will be about a month longer than that year. The 2016 presidential election will take place on November 8, 2016

Nebraska Revisiting Split Electoral College Rules

January 31, 2015

Nebraska is again looking to revisit its electoral college allocation rules, the New York Times reports.  Nebraska is one of only two states that does not award its electoral votes on a winner take all basis.  Both Nebraska and Maine award two electoral votes to the popular vote winner, with one electoral vote being allocated based on the popular vote in each individual congressional district.  There are 3 such districts in Nebraska and 2 in Maine, yielding 5 and 4 total electoral votes, respectively.

Only once has this resulted in an outcome different than winner take all. In 2008, Barack Obama won Nebraska's 2nd congressional district, encompassing the Omaha area.  Thus, despite the fact that John McCain won the state by 14%, he won only 4 of the 5 electoral votes in that state.  

Republicans, unhappy with that, want to change the rules.  The current composition of the state legislature, and a pending election season, have added impetus to the effort.

Interestingly, redistricting after the 2010 census made the 2nd district more Republican, making it less likely that the electoral vote would be won by a Democrat in the future. If there was to be an electoral split in 2016, it is perhaps more likely (although still unlikely) that it would come via a Republican winning Maine's mostly rural 2nd district.

For more on the implications of moving from winner take all, see our feature Gaming the Electoral College.

 

Losing a State, Winning the Election

January 5, 2015

This table shows the last time a party’s nominee won the presidential election while losing one of the states that has been competitive in recent elections.    To see the year for other states, or to find out other trivia, see 270toWin Answers.

State Democrat Republican
Colorado 1996 1908
Florida 1992 1924
Iowa 1976 2000
Michigan 1976 2004
Nevada 1976 1908
New Hampshire 1976 2004
North Carolina 2012 1956
Ohio 1960 NEVER
Pennsylvania 1948 2004
Virginia 1996 1924
Wisconsin 1960 2004

Grimm to Resign at end of Current Congressional Term

December 30, 2014

Rep. Michael Grimm (R), who won re-election to New York's 11th Congressional District in November, will resign that seat effective at the end of the current Congressional term on January 5, 2015. He will not be sworn in as a member of the 114th Congress term that begins next Tuesday, January 6th, 2015.

Grimm plead guilty to a felony count of filing a false tax return on December 23rd, a result that will likely lead to jail time for Grimm.

Once Grimm leaves office, the seat will be vacant until a special election is held.   By New York law, the governor (Andrew Cuomo (D)) will announce a date for a special election, which will be 70 to 80 days after the date he makes the announcement, but no later than next November's general election.  (This time period was extended from 30 to 40 days in 2011, to provide ample time for overseas military personnel to cast their ballots).

Grimm won a third term in Congress in November, defeating Democrat Domenic Recchia by 13%, a surprisingly large margin in this competitive district.  Absent the incumbent, the special election will likely be hard-fought by both parties.

 

WSJ: Civics Instruction Making a Comeback

December 27, 2014

After years on the back burner, civics education is making a comeback in the nation's schools, according to this article from The Wall Street Journal.   This is reversing a trend toward less social studies education, which may have been triggered in part by federal programs such as No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, which focused heavily on testing well in math and reading.

The article goes on to say that coalitions in a number of states have launched a movement to require students to pass the U.S. citizenship exam before they can graduate.  While well-intentioned, this may fall into the same trap as other programs that just require rote memorization as opposed to, in this case, learning how to be a better citizen and thinking critically about issues.

 

2014 Election Results

December 19, 2014

Aside from a state legislature vote in Vermont to elect a governor (will likely be decided for the incumbent Democrat), the results are now in for all 2014 midterm congressional and governor elections.  Select a link below to view a results map.

 

  • Senate: Republicans gained 9 seats, giving them 54 in the new Senate. To view the new Senate, see our 2015 Senate map.
  • House: Republicans gained 13 seats, giving them 247 in the new House. The last time Republicans had this kind of majority was in the 80th Congress (1947-49), when they held 246 seats. Interestingly, that was the 'Do Nothing' Congress, so-named by Democratic president Harry S. Truman. Republicans lost 75 seats in the subsequent election.
  • Governor: Republicans will control 31 governorships next year, up from 29 this year. Democrats lost 3 seats, with one of those going to an independent in Alaska.

 

2015 Senate Map

December 18, 2014

270toWin has launched its 2015 Senate map, reflecting the 100 Senators to be part of the 114th Congress, which will be seated in early January.  The new Senate will have a Republican majority with 54 seats, up from 45 in the prior Congress.  

The new Congress will include 12 new Senators that won seats in the 2014 election, eleven Republicans and one Democrat.  (Of these, two Republicans and the Democrat replace Senators of the same party.  Removing those yields the +9 Republican gain.)

The map is colored to reflect the party composition of Senators in each state. Hover over (or tap) a state to see its Senators. The table under the map divides the Senate by class  / next election date. For those Senators up in 2016, we list the current ratings of Sabato's Crystal Ball

A party breakdown of those classes can be seen to the right of the map.  Interestingly, each class is currently heavily stacked toward one party or the other. There's no historical reason for this distribution. In fact, with no state's two Senators in the same class, it seems like an unlikely evolution.  Yet that is where we are, and 2016 will have 24 Republican seats up for grabs vs. just 10 currently held by Democrats.

  

     

American Thinker: GOP Needs Hispanic on 2016 Ticket

December 18, 2014

According to this article from American Thinker, a Hispanic candidate will be a major plus, and perhaps the deciding factor, to any GOP effort to win the 2016 presidential election. Beyond Florida, a Hispanic might also help the GOP win in New Mexico, Nevada and Colorado.  The author believes the party must win at least two of those three states to have a legitimate chance. Several possibilities are noted, with popular Nevada governor Brian Sandoval highlighted as perhaps the best option.

 

 

270toWin Crowdsourced Senate Forecast

November 4, 2014

If 270toWin voters are correct, Republicans will control the Senate with 52 seats, Democrats will have 47 and a third independent will join the body after this year's elections.

Results are based on about 1,500 valid entries to our prediction contest.  Prizes will go to some of those with the best predictions, with the goal being to encourage people to vote based on who they think will win, as opposed to their own personal preferences.

The first image below shows the projected winner in each race; the 2nd the percentage distribution. The closer races in the polls (AK, CO, GA, IA) trended more Republican in recent days. Kansas was the closest race, with Greg Orman remaining slightly ahead in the end.

While this forecast says Georgia and Louisiana will ultimately go Republican, it is worth noting where we'll be after Election Day. If there are runoffs in both Georgia (possible) and Louisiana (very likely), and no decision by Greg Orman on party affiliation, Republicans would have 50 seats heading into the Louisiana runoff, one short of the number needed to officially control the Senate.