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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

No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

Political Crumbs

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).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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