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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

Gender Equality in the US House: A State-by State Quarter-Century Report Card (1989-2014)

A study of 5,325 congressional elections finds the number of female U.S. Representatives has more than tripled over the last 25 years, but the rate at which women are elected to the chamber still varies greatly between the states.

Political Crumbs

Final Four Has Presidential Approval

By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.


Three for the Road

A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat with likely 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Burke. Walker is seeking to win his third consecutive election after prevailing in 2012's recall contest. Eight of his predecessors accomplished this feat: Republicans Lucius Fairchild (in 1869), Jeremiah Rusk (1886), Robert La Follette (1904), Emanuel Philipp (1918), John Blaine (1924), Walter Kohler (1954), Warren Knowles (1968), and Tommy Thompson (1994). Three others Badger State governors lost on their third campaign: Democrat George Peck (1894), Progressive Philip La Follette (1938), and Republican Julius Heil (1942). One died in office before having the opportunity to win a third contest (GOPer Walter Goodland in 1947) while another resigned beforehand (Democrat Patrick Lucey in 1977 to become Ambassador to Mexico). Overall Wisconsin gubernatorial incumbents have won 35 of 47 general election contests, or 74.5 percent of the time.


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