Tag Archives: Independents

Predicting the Midterms

The midterm elections are less than 30 days away.  Control of the United States Senate and House of Representatives hangs in the balance.  The Democratic Party controls the United States Senate with 53 members.  The Republican Party has 45.  There are two Independents in the Senate who caucus, or work with, the Democrats.  In order to win the Senate, the Republican Party needs a net gain of six Senate seats this November.  The current makeup of the House of Representatives favors the Republican Party as they 233 seats to the Democrats, 199.  In order for the Democrats to retake the House, they would need a net gain of 17 seats.

2012 Congressional Results

According to results posted by the Clerk of the House of Representatives, the voting results for Congress in 2012 were as follows:

Democratic Party candidates – 59,626,252 votes
Republican Party candidates – 58,212,650 votes
Libertarian Party candidates – 1,365,721 votes
Independent candidates – 486,887 votes
Green Party candidates – 369,221 votes
Others – 2,285,289 votes

Yet, even with the Democratic candidates receiving more votes than Republican candidates on a nationwide basis, the Republicans still held the House of Representatives by a 234 to 201 seat count.  What matters more:  The number of votes on a nationwide basis or the number of seats won by a party?

Spinning the Numbers

Take a look at the chart below from the Gallup organization.  According to Gallup, the results were based on “telephone interviews conducted January-December, 2012, with a random sample of 20,800 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.”  The margin of error was +/- 1%.

When we “spin”, we usually embellish facts to suit our own goals and outcomes.  What could you say about Independent voters when you spin the numbers?  About Republican voters?  About Democratic voters?  Remember, “spin” can be positive or negative.

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