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Big GOP Gain in NY-09 Mirrors 50-Year Average in New York US House Special Elections

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Turner's 29-point net bump from the 2010 general is just 1-point shy of the 30-point average gain against the vacating party since 1962

bobturner.jpgWhile Democrats are licking their wounds from David Weprin's loss to Republican Bob Turner in New York's 9th Congressional District special election on Tuesday, it should come as little surprise that the GOP made such large strides in the district compared to last November.

Last week, Smart Politics profiled special elections in the Empire State over the past 50 years and noted that not only had 5 of the last 18 such contests seen a flip in partisan control (now 6 of 19 with Turner's victory), but the challenging party had consistently gained on the vacating party by substantial margins.

As it turns out, the five-decade historical trend was a dead on predictor in Tuesday's race.

The previous 18 U.S. House special elections held in New York State over the last 50 years found the vacating incumbent's party average a 30-point average drop in margin of victory during this span.

In New York's 9th CD contest Tuesday, Republicans came storming back to the tune of a 29-point turnaround from the 2010 general election.

With more than 92 percent of precincts reporting, the GOP erased Anthony Weiner's 21.7-point victory over Bob Turner in 2010 with a margin of victory in the special election that currently sits at 6.9 percent - or a 28.6-point overall bump from 10 months prior.

Such large turnarounds are quite common in special elections, with the challenging party notching a 28+ point net gain in now 12 of the last 19 such races since 1962 including four of the last six since 1998.

Tuesday's race marked the eighth out of the last 19 races decided by a 7-point margin or less, including four of the last five special elections.

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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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