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Smart Politics Projections: Iowa State House

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Republicans to take advantage of historically thin Democratic field to win back lower chamber

Current partisan split
Democrats: 56
Republicans: 44

Incumbents
Democratic incumbents: 46
Open Democratic seats: 10
Republican incumbents: 38
Open Republican seats: 6

Unchallenged seats
No Democrat on the ballot: 25
No Republican on the ballot: 8

Analysis
Smart Politics analyzed in early October how Democrats were bracing for a bloodbath in elections for the Iowa House of Representatives.

Democrats are at a disadvantage of maintaining control of the lower chamber on almost every dimension - even putting aside the Republican momentum that is brewing in the Hawkeye State.

Most glaringly, Democrats set a record in 2010 for the largest number of districts in which a major political party has failed to field a House candidate since the lower chamber became a 100-seat body 40 years ago (25).

Meanwhile, Republicans fielded candidates in 92 races - their best showing in 30 years.

Democrats are also having to defend 10 open seats, compared to just six for the Republicans.

All of this adds up to a big day for Republicans, with the real potential of double-digit gains in the House like they enjoyed during the Republican Revolution of 1994.

Projection
Partisan shift: GOP +10
Partisan control: GOP takes control

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Remains of the Data

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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