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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

    Is There a Presidential Drag On Gubernatorial Elections?

    Only five of the 20 presidents to serve since 1900 have seen their party win a majority of gubernatorial elections during their administrations, and only one since JFK.

    Political Crumbs

    Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

    Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


    Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

    Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


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