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Midwest Felt Bigger 'Democratic Bump' in '06 Than U.S. Overall

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The nation-wide partisan swing from the Republicans to the Democrats in 2006 was felt across the United States in a number of statewide and district races. Democrats won a majority of governorships, took back control of the U.S. House and Senate, and won back several state legislative chambers.

This change was particularly pronounced in the Midwest. Take, for example, races for the U.S. House. After the 2004 election, Republicans held 232 seats nationwide, or 53 percent, compared to 202 seats, or 46 percent, for the Democrats. After the 2006 election, Democrats held 233 seats (54 percent) compared to 202 seats for the Republicans (46 percent)—a 14-point turnaround.

Meanwhile, across a dozen states in the Midwest (from North Dakota to Pennsylvania), Republicans held 62 percent (69 seats) of the 112 House seats from this delegation after the 2004 election, while the Democrats held just 38 percent (43 seats). After November 2006, Democrats led the way winning 57 races to 55 for the Republicans—good for 51 percent of the seats. A 26-seat advantage from this Midwest delegation for the Republicans was erased into a 2-seat advantage for the Democrats—a 25-point turnaround.

In sum, the partisan move towards blue among the electorate in the Midwest was much greater than it was nationwide. The danger for the GOP in 2008 is not simply whether or not the Democrats sustain this presence in the Midwest, but whether and to what extent this bluish trend creeps further to the south and the west.

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Remains of the Data

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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