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Kentucky, Oregon Wrap Up: Smart Politics Projections Hit the Target

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As Barack Obama wrapped up the pledged delegate war several weeks ago, the remaining battle for the democratic nomination had two remaining and interrelated battlefronts: momentum and the popular vote. Hillary Clinton's aim since mid-March has thus not simply been to win states to gain momentum and appear to be the more 'electable' candidate, but to win them by large enough margins to eventually catch Obama in the popular vote count. Clinton is on pace to do just that.

On May 14, the day after the West Virginia primary, Smart Politics made popular vote projections for the Kentucky and Oregon primaries.

In Kentucky:

  • Smart Politics projection: 243,000 net vote gain for Clinton

  • Primary results: 249,269 net vote gain for Clinton

  • Difference: 6,269 vote underestimate for Clinton

In Oregon:

  • Smart Politics projection: 99,000 net vote gain for Obama

  • Primary results: 108,458 net vote gain for Obama (99% of precincts reporting)

  • Difference: 9,458 vote underestimate for Obama

Smart Politics projected a total net gain of 144,000 votes for Clinton for the May 20th primaries. The final results: Clinton gained a net 140,811 votes—a difference of just 3,189 votes.

In sum, out of more than 1.3 million votes cast in the Democratic primary on May 20th, Smart Politics' projected net vote gain for Clinton was off by just 0.2 percent.

Previous post: Live Blog: Oregon Primary
Next post: Obama Sustains Advantage Over McCain in Iowa

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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

Small Club in St. Paul

Mark Dayton is one of just three Minnesotans ever elected to three different statewide offices. Dayton, of course, had previously served as State Auditor (1991-1995) and U.S. Senator (2001-2007) before winning the governorship in 2010. At that time, he joined Republicans Edward Thye and J.A.A. Burnquist on this very short list. Burnquist was elected lieutenant governor in 1914 but then became governor after the death of Democrat Winfield Hammond in 1915. He then won the gubernatorial elections of 1916 and 1918 and eight terms as attorney general two decades later (1939-1955). Thye was similarly first elected lieutenant governor of the Gopher State and became governor after the resignation of fellow GOPer Harold Stasson in 1943. Thye won one additional full term as governor in 1944 and then two terms to the U.S. Senate (1947-1959). Twenty Minnesotans have been elected to two different statewide offices.


Respect Your Elders?

With retirement announcements this year by veteran U.S. Representatives such as 30-term Democrat John Dingell of Michigan, 20-term Democrat George Miller of California, and 18-term Republican Tom Petri of Wisconsin, it is no surprise that retirees from the 113th Congress are one of the most experienced cohorts in recent decades. Overall, these 24 exiting members of the House have served an average of 11.0 terms - the second longest tenure among retirees across the last 18 cycles since 1980. Only the U.S. Representatives retiring in 2006 had more experience, averaging 11.9 terms. (In that cycle, 10 of the 11 retiring members served at least 10 terms, with GOPer Bill Jenkins of Tennessee the lone exception at just five). Even without the aforementioned Dingell, the average length of service in the chamber of the remaining 23 retirees in 2014 is 10.2 terms - which would still be the third highest since 1980 behind the 2006 and 2012 (10.5 terms) cycles.


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