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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

Strange Bedfellows: A Historical Review of Divided US Senate Delegations

Over the last century, states have been twice as likely to be represented by a single political party in the U.S. Senate than have a split delegation; only Delaware, Iowa, and Illinois have been divided more than half the time.

Political Crumbs

Haugh to Reach New Heights

The North Carolina U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis may go down to the wire next Tuesday, but along the way Libertarian nominee Sean Haugh is poised to set a state record for a non-major party candidate. Haugh, who previously won 1.5 percent of the vote in the Tar Heel State's 2002 race, has polled at or above five percent in 10 of the last 12 polls that included his name. The current high water mark for a third party or independent candidate in a North Carolina U.S. Senate election is just 3.3 percent, recorded by Libertarian Robert Emory back in 1992. Only one other candidate has eclipsed the three percent mark - Libertarian Christopher Cole with 3.1 percent in 2008.


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).


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