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CSPG Report: Potential for Change in the Senate Recount

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The Center for the Study of Politics and Governance released a report this week which puts into perspective what seemed like large changes in the vote count for Al Franken between the end of Election Day to just before the recount.

From the CSPG report:

A study of the change between the initial vote count and the official results posted by the Minnesota Secretary of State’s results for the 2000, 2006, and 2008 U.S. Senate elections reveal four critical findings that may provide some perspective on the adjustments to the Coleman and Franken tallies.

• The change in 2008 between the “initial? count on Election Day and the official count was smaller than previous years. If the past is a guide, this suggests that the recount may change the final vote tallies by several thousand votes.

• The Democrats have consistently benefited from the changes after Election Day.

• If the initial vote count was changed by a similar proportion in 2008 as in previous Senate elections, Franken would move into the lead and by a larger margin than that currently separating the two candidates.

• Although there may be an assumption that a recount will increase the number of votes that each candidate receives, past Senate elections suggests that the vote tallies may actually decline. The tendency for vote totals to decline may be something to consider during the recount process.

Click here for the full report.

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Remains of the Data

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

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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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