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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

    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 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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