The Fix: 3,000 votes (out of almost 780,000) could decide five House races

You thought Election Day was over, didn’t you? You, as always, are wrong. There are still several House races (and a Senate race!) in which votes are being counted — often with margins of victory that are at best perilous.

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Tad Devine signs on to work with Bernie Sanders on potential 2016 run

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has spent months fishing for a strategist to guide his potential 2016 presidential campaign. On Monday, he hooked a big one: Tad Devine, one of the Democratic Party’s leading consultants and a former high-level campaign aide to Al Gore, John Kerry, and Michael Dukakis.

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The Fix: Only seven of the 30 Democrats from the 2006 wave will be back next year

In 2006, after being in the minority for a decade, Democrats re-took the House. Democratic candidates won 30 seats that had been held by the opposition in the previous contest.

As of January 2015, only seven of those 30 Democrats will still be in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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The Fix: This is why Mary Landrieu is in serious trouble

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) faced an uphill fight for reelection from the outset. Polling averages had her leading last week’s free-for-all jungle primary forever, but have consistently also shown that Landrieu would lose to Republican Bill Cassidy if the race came down to the two of them.

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The Fix: Polarization, and the decline of ‘split districts’

Did you vote for Mitt Romney in 2012 and a Democratic House candidate this year? If you did, you’re pretty unusual. According to our analysis, only five congressional districts that backed Romney voted Democratic in the House this year — thanks in part to heavily party-line voting over the last two cycles.

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The Fix: The Koch brothers won the 2014 election. Also, they had nothing to do with it.

There’s an old saying: ‘Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan.’

A corollary of that in American elections is this: ‘Everything the winner did worked, while everything the loser did backfired.’

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Voter turnout in 2014 was the lowest since WWII

General election voter turnout for the 2014 midterms was the lowest it’s been in any election cycle since World War II, according to early projections by the United States Election Project.

Just 36.4 percent of the voting-eligible population cast ballots as of last Tuesday, continuing a steady decline in midterm voter participation that has spanned several decades. The results are dismal, but not surprising — participation has been dropping since the 1964 election, when voter turnout was at nearly 49 percent.

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Obama admits to a ‘failure of politics’

President Obama on Sunday suggested that Tuesday’s loss in the 2014 midterm elections had more to do with politics than policy.

Appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Obama admitted that he sometimes thinks having the right policies should be enough but that his White House often hasn’t gotten the politics right.

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Hagan, Grimes ask donors to give to Landrieu

Sen. Mary Landrieu’s underdog bid to hold her seat in a Dec. 6 runoff is getting a boost from two of the best fundraisers of 2014 election cycle, who are asking donors to open up their wallets one more time on behalf of the Louisiana Democrat.

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Cory Gardner’s road to Washington started in this rural Colorado town

YUMA, Colo. — Cory Gardner’s first words to the public after being elected to the U.S. Senate weren’t aimed at Washington, or his party, or the broader Colorado electorate. Instead, they were about this small town on Colorado’s windswept eastern plains.

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The Fix: The main thing on voters’ minds heading into Election Day might have been Ebola

There aren’t a lot of great ways to track how popular a topic is in the public imagination. Perhaps the best tool we have is Google’s Trends tool which shows interest in a search topic over time. It may not tell us what people are thinking about precisely, but it offers some insight into what they’re wondering about, at least. And in the run up to the midterm elections, they were thinking about Ebola. (The data below is from the United States alone.)

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The Fix: Enjoy your post-election kumbaya moment. It’s nothing new, and it almost never lasts.

It’s only been a few days since the 2014 election ended, and victors and incumbents have been unable to contain all of their enthusiasm about the change that is about to come to Washington. Legislators are eager to work together on mutual concerns, the president is excited to see what Republicans plan to do, and so much work is going to get done.

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GOP: We won by deciding ‘we couldn’t get Akin’d. No more witches.’

Republican officials on Thursday credited their sweeping midterm wins to recruiting much better candidates than they did in previous cycles, and putting them through rigorous preparations to avoid the public relations blunders that sank past recruits.

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The Fix: In 2012, Democrats won the popular vote but lost the House. Not this year.

It didn’t take long in the wake of the 2012 elections for Democrats to point out an inconsistency: The party had won the popular vote in House races by over a million votes, but the Republicans still controlled more seats. This was fodder for all sorts of prognostication, focusing on redistricting and “the Big Sort” as possible rationales.

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The Fix: How much every Senate winner won by, in 1 chart

Just a quick little bite of data. Below are graphs of the margins of victory — in percent and vote count — that separated the first-place finishers from second place on Tuesday. Three of these races aren’t yet final: Louisiana’s first-place finisher may very likely be its second-place finisher after the run-off, and Alaska and Virginia have yet to be called.

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The Fix: Why Anthony Brown lost in Maryland

Perhaps there’s something in the water of the Chesapeake Bay that affects electoral politics. The Virginia Senate race, expected to be a romp by incumbent Democrat Mark Warner, wasn’t; it still isn’t settled. And the Maryland governor’s race, expected to be a romp for Democrat Anthony Brown, was instead a romp for his Republican opponent, Larry Hogan.

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The Fix: Why Mark Warner’s race turned into a nail-biter

Politics isn’t rocket science, to the eternal detriment of the egos of pundits and consultants. It’s just math: get more of the folks who will vote for your candidate to the polls, and you win. In Virginia on Tuesday, a race that was expected to be a blowout wasn’t, for the simple reason that, one, incumbent Sen. Mark Warner’s (D-Va.) political scientists didn’t get his people to the polls and, two, that the people who did go were less likely to vote for the Democrat.

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The Fix: It’s all but official: This will be the most dominant Republican Congress since 1929

Single-party control of Congress isn’t unusual. Since the Confederate states rejoined the federal government after the Civil War, one party or the other has controlled the House and Senate by itself for three out of four Congresses. (In the early days it was mostly Republican control, but the 20th century was dominated by Democrats.)

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Pelosi will run for another term as minority leader

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) informed her colleagues Wednesday that she is running for another term as the lower chamber’s top-ranking Democrat.

In a letter to Democrats just elected or reelected to the House, Pelosi said that to enact the policies to improve Americans’ economic standing, voter participation needs to be increased. That is a big part of her rationale for running again, Pelosi explained.

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How Pat Roberts pulled off a win in Kansas

Topeka, Kan.—He entered to a battle anthem and Republican Sen. Pat Roberts took to the stage, a survivor.

“No, we weren’t dragged across the finish line — we took the hill,” Roberts told the roaring crowd at the Capitol Plaza Hotel Tuesday night.

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