Heading into December, we look back at the November midterm elections. Here are some numbers from the recent elections with a comparison to the results in previous elections.
In 2012, Republicans held control of the House of Representatives by a 233-199 (3 vacancy) margin. After the 2014 elections, Republicans held 244 seats, Democrats held 188, and three are undecided.
In 2012, Democrats had a majority in the United States Senate. There were 53 Democrats, 45 Republicans, and 2 Independents in the upper chamber. After the 2014 midterms, Republicans held 53 seats, Democrats held 45, and Independents held 2. There is one undecided seat, but that seat will probably switch from Democrat to Republican with the expected loss of Senator Mary Landrieu in Louisiana.
Republicans gained 2 seats for Governor in November. They now hold 31 seats. Democrats have 27 state executive seats. There is 1 Independent Governor (Alaska). One seat is still undecided (Vermont).
What do you think the reasons were for the Republican wave in 2014? Why did Republicans gain so many seats? Conversely, why did the Democrats lose so many?
The average age of members from the 113th Congress (2013-2014) were as follows:
House: 57.0 years
Senate: 62.0 years
In order to be elected to the House of Representatives, you must be 25 years of age when the newly inducted Congress is seated. For the United States Senate, you must be 30 years old. With voter turnout so low amongst younger voters, do you believe that it has something to do with the age of the candidates?
Source: Calculations based on CQ Roll Call Member Profiles
This week’s installment of Evaluating the Ads takes us to Alaska, where the polls close at a given time, but the results may take days before anyone knows of a winner. Desolate and out of the way places can get in the way of a timely outcome.
United States Senator Mark Begich (D) is looking for a second term in Washington. His opponent, former state Attorney General Dan Sullivan (R) has a waged spirited campaign against him.
Here are two ads that were run at the end of each campaign.
The first is from Senator Begich.
This ad is from Attorney General Sullivan.
For this week’s question, I want you to think of how negative campaigns can be. Mudslinging is a term that we like to use in political circles. To dirty up an opponent is almost a necessity in a campaign. However, here are two ads that are positive and are being run at the end or near the end of each candidate’s bid for the Senate. Do you think that it is a good strategy to end a campaign on a positive note? Would you rather see the candidates finish on a contrast/negative ad?
In this week’s installment of Evaluating the Ads, Georgia is on our mind. There’s an open seat for the United States Senate involving Michelle Nunn (D) and David Perdue (R). The reason for the vacancy is due to retirement of Senator Saxby Chambliss (R). Republicans are hoping to hold on to the seat. Nunn is the daughter of former United States SenatorSam Nunn (D). Perdue is a cousin of former Governor Sonny Perdue (R).
The first ad is from Perdue’s campaign.
Does a biographical ad resonate with you?
The following ad is from Nunn’s campaign.
Does an endorsement from former Senator Nunn make a difference to you?
United States Senator Alben Barkley of Kentucky died on April 30, 1956. He was a Congressman, United StatesSenator, and Vice President. After his term as VP under President Harry S. Truman ended in 1953, he ran for the Senate once again and won. Most Presidents and Vice Presidents slowly fade away into private life. There are exceptions, however. John Quincy Adams became a member of the House of Representatives in 1831 after his defeat to Andrew Jackson in 1828. After losing a re-election bid in 1912, President William H. Taft became the Chief Justice of United States Supreme Court in 1921.
In Lexington, Virginia, at a convention, Senator Barkley’s last words were recorded.
Why do you believe it is rare to see Presidents and Vice Presidents run for or serve in other national offices (other than President)?
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.
This week’s “Evaluating the Ads” post focuses on two ads from two different United States Senate races in two states. The common theme in each ad is that each candidate running receives what they hope is an important endorsement that will put them over the top in their respective race. The first ad is for former United States Senator Scott Brown (R). He was a Senator from Massachusetts, but now is running in New Hampshire. His endorsement is from former Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The second ad is for Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) who is running in the state of Kentucky. Her endorsement comes from former President Bill Clinton
Here is the Brown ad.
Here is the Grimes ad.
Which ad do you believe is more effective? Do you believe that endorsements make a difference?
In this week’s installment of “Evaluating Campaign Ads”, we travel to North Carolina for a hotly contested United States Senate seat. The incumbent is Democrat Kay Hagan. Her opponent is Republican Thom Tillis. He is North Carolina’s House Speaker.
Senator Hagan’s ad is up first.
Who is this ad aimed at? Does this ad appeal to you?
Here is Speaker Tillis’s ad.
Is this an effective way of utilizing contrasting data in an ad?
For more insight into the race, here is a recent Elon Poll.