November 6, 2014


First Impressions: Historic GOP House Majority (David Wasserman, November 5, 2014, Cook Political Report)

It's hard to overstate House Democrats' bad night. By all measures, Republicans enjoyed an historic night, exceeding pre-election expectations across the country. There are fewer than ten races where the outcome is in some doubt, but Republicans appear headed for a 250-seat majority, give or take three seats, for a gain of between 13 and 19. A net gain of 13 would give them their largest majority since Herbert Hoover won the presidency in 1928.

As of 4am Wednesday morning, races that appeared too close to call were Democratic Reps. Ron Barber (AZ-02), Jim Costa (CA-16), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Scott Peters (CA-52), Louise Slaughter (NY-25), and GOP Rep. Lee Terry (NE-02).

Plain and simple, the story in House races was an epic turnout collapse and motivational deficit. Democrats' surprisingly large losses are attributable to "orphan states" where there was little enthusiasm for top-of-the-ticket Democrats. For example, in New York, the lack of a competitive statewide race caused Democratic turnout to plummet, and Reps. Tim Bishop (NY-01) and Dan Maffei (NY-24) suffered surprisingly wide defeats.

Even Rep. Louise Slaughter's normally safe Rochester seat (NY-25), which neither party had on their radar screen appears headed for a recount. In Maryland, where Republican Larry Hogan pulled off an upset in the gubernatorial race, Democratic Rep. John Delaney (MD-06) appears to have barely hung on. And in Iowa, the final insult to Democrats was the loss of failed Democratic Senate nominee Bruce Braley's 1st CD.

It's all but official: This will be the most dominant Republican Congress since 1929 (Philip Bump November 5, 2014, Washington Post)

Now that we can see how the Republicans did at a minimum and, with a few seats still to be determined, how well they could wind up doing, we can erase the uncertainty from our first post. This will be the most dominant Republican Congress since 1929, with an almost-certain 8 percent majority in the Senate and an 11.7 to 17.7 percent majority in the House. That trumps the party's 6.3/13.3 percent majorities in the 80th Congress that began in 1947. (Even if the party loses the Senate races in Louisiana or Alaska, it only needs two of the contested House races that remain to go its way to beat 1947.)

Posted by at November 6, 2014 11:36 AM

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