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Smart Politics Scorecard, Part II: State Legislative Roundup

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The Democratic party scored big wins across Upper Midwest state legislatures on Tuesday night. As projected here at Smart Politics, the Democrats picked up seats in all 8 chambers and took control of three of them: the Iowa House, Wisconsin Senate, and Minnesota House. Some democratic pickups - particularly in Minnesota - were even larger than those projected here on Monday. A few state legislative races were very close, and will likely have recounts; below is a summary of the unofficial election returns.

Iowa House
Smart Politics projection: Democrats +5; Democrats win control of House.
Election results: Democrats +5; Democrats win control of House, 54-46.

Iowa Senate
Smart Politics projection: Democrats +3; Democrats maintain control of Senate.
Election results: Democrats +5; Democrats maintain control of Senate, 30-20.

Wisconsin Assembly
Smart Politics projection: Democrats +7; GOP retains control of Assembly.
Election results: Democrats +8; GOP retains control of Assembly, 52-47.

Wisconsin Senate
Smart Politics projection: Democrats +3; Democrats win control of Senate.
Election results: Democrats +4; Democrats win control of Senate, 18-15.

Minnesota House
Smart Politics projection: DFL +7; DFL wins control of House.
Election results: DFL +19; DFL wins control of House, 85-49.

Minnesota Senate
Smart Politics projection: DFL +2; DFL retains control of Senate.
Election results: DFL +6; DFL retains control of Senate, 44-23.

South Dakota House
Smart Politics projection: Democrats +4; GOP retains control of House.
Election results: Democrats +1; GOP retains control of House, 50-20.

South Dakota Senate
Smart Politics projection: Democrats +2; GOP retains control of Senate.
Election results: Democrats +5; GOP retains control of Senate, 20-15.

Previous post: The Day After: Smart Politics Scorecard, Part I
Next post: U.S. House: GOP Losses Could Have Been Far Worse

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Remains of the Data

Strange Bedfellows: A Historical Review of Divided US Senate Delegations

Over the last century, states have been twice as likely to be represented by a single political party in the U.S. Senate than have a split delegation; only Delaware, Iowa, and Illinois have been divided more than half the time.

Political Crumbs

Haugh to Reach New Heights

The North Carolina U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis may go down to the wire next Tuesday, but along the way Libertarian nominee Sean Haugh is poised to set a state record for a non-major party candidate. Haugh, who previously won 1.5 percent of the vote in the Tar Heel State's 2002 race, has polled at or above five percent in 10 of the last 12 polls that included his name. The current high water mark for a third party or independent candidate in a North Carolina U.S. Senate election is just 3.3 percent, recorded by Libertarian Robert Emory back in 1992. Only one other candidate has eclipsed the three percent mark - Libertarian Christopher Cole with 3.1 percent in 2008.


Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


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