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Election Night Observations

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9:20 p.m. There have not been any shockers on Election Night so far, but there have been a few surprises on the presidential race:

1. Ohio being called so quickly for Barack Obama (about 90 minutes after polls closed) and North Dakota being called so quickly for John McCain (the minute polls closed).
2. Virginia remaining so tight of a race, when Obama may be performing above expectations in North Carolina and Indiana.

10:30 p.m. In a bit of a surprise, in South Dakota it appears Initiated Measure 11 is going to fail - an initiative which would have outlawed abortion with exceptions for reported rape, incest, and health / life of the mother.

11:45 p.m. Minnesota voters have not disappointed tonight -- in the face of a Democratic landslide at the top of the ticket, the Gopher State may again have a 'lone man standing' on the GOP side: in 2006 it was Tim Pawlenty, and in 2008 it may be Norm Coleman. However, Coleman's lead is very tenuous, given the number (and location) of precincts that have yet to report.

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2 Comments


  • Stop them before they poll again! The Humphrey Institute record on election polls is horrible. The primary was a debacle and now they missed the presidential race by double and appear to be wrong on Bachman and Coleman. Stop Stop the madness.

  • FYI: this blog, which is a Humphrey Institute blog, correctly projected the Coleman victory, Paulsen's victory in the 3rd CD, and the DFL failing to reach 90 seats in the State House. Smart Politics correctly projected the Bachmann race in the 6th CD would be the closest U.S. House race in the state, although I was on the wrong end of that one.

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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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