• Strongly Dem (44)
  • Likely Dem (1)
  • Barely Dem (3)
  • Exactly tied (0)
  • Barely GOP (4)
  • Likely GOP (3)
  • Strongly GOP (45)
  • No Senate race
Map algorithm and special elections
An Orman (I) lead in Kansas is a "tie"
New polls:  
Dem pickups : GA

News from the Votemaster

Gubernatorial Races Hotter than Senate Races

While nearly all the election coverage has been on control of the Senate, under the radar, more money has been spent on the gubernatorial races than on the Senate races, $379 million to $321 million. Of the $379 million, $62 million has been spent on one race alone, the Florida race between Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) and former governor Charlie Crist. As many as a bakers dozen governors might lose, which would be a historic number. In order of most endangered to least endangered, here is a updated list from the Washington Post. The (D) or (R) after the state indicates the incumbent governor's party.

  1. Pennsylvania (R). It's all over. Democrat Tom Wolf will replace the extremely unpopular Tom Corbett
  2. Arkansas (D). Former Rep. Mike Ross (D) put up a good fight but Arkansas is too red to stop Asa Hutchison
  3. Maine (R). In a 2-way race, Gov. Paul LePage (R-ME) would be toast, but maybe also in the actual 3-way race
  4. Florida (R). The dispute over a small fan at the debate last week may sink Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL)
  5. Kansas (R). Unpopular Gov. Sam Brownback (R-KS) may be able to barely stave off Paul Davis (D), maybe not
  6. Connecticut (D). Gov. Dan Malloy (D-CT) is unpopular and facing a wealthy former ambassador, Tom Foley (R)
  7. Illinois (D). Gov. Pat Quinn (D) barely beat a a loony in 2010 ; now he faces a mini-Mitt, but he might yet win
  8. Colorado (D). Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) should have won in a walk, but he is neck and neck with Bob Beauprez (R)
  9. Michigan (R). Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI) was a huge Democratic target but he has been edging back from oblivion
  10. Wisconsin (R). Gov. Scott Walker (R) survived a recall but may not survive bicycle executive Mary Burke (D)
  11. Alaska (R). Independent Bill Walker seems to be leading Gov. Sean Parnell (R-AK)
  12. Massachusetts (D). Sometimes Massachusetts elects Republicans as governors and it is 50-50 this year
  13. Georgia (R). If Jason Carter can get to 50% on Nov. 4, he could win but in a runoff, Gov. Nathan Deal (R-GA) will win

Obama Finally Hits the Campaign Trail

Having a sitting President hide in the White House during a white-hot election in which his party could lose control of the Senate might seem odd, but that is the way it has been up to now. Finally, that changed yesterday as President Obama has started helping out very carefully selected Democrats in deep blue states where he is an asset rather than a liability. Most of his campaigning will be in gubernatorial races because nearly all the tight Senate races are in red states. The states he will visit include Maryland, Illinois, Maine, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

While he hasn't campaigned in person up until now, Obama has attended many private fundraisers to help the DNC and DSCC collect money. That can be done under the radar in places like New York and California, where there are no contentious races.

Warren Campaigns in Colorado

Unlike Obama, who energizes his opponents without helping his supporters much, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), energizes both sides, but she doesn't care. She is campaigning for Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO), another liberal, in Colorado, talking to students at the University of Colorado and trying to get them to go vote. Her standard speech covers topics of interest to students, including student-loan rates, same-sex marriage, immigration reform, and raising the minimum wage. She is a fiery speaker much beloved by liberal audiences. While many on the left would like her to run for President in 2016, she has been absolutely clear that she is not going to do that. She seems to like being a senator and getting lots of attention for issues she cares about.

The Most Polarized Voters Are Also the Most Likely Vote

A new Pew poll shows that the more hostility a voter has to the opposing party, the more likely he or she is to vote. Although overall turnout is expected to be about 40%, among conservatives, it is likely to be 75%. Among liberals, about 58% will vote. So the great motivator is hatred of the enemy rather than support for your friends. It is not clear how much of this effect is due to the slew of negative ads day and night portraying the other side as unspeakable monsters rather than showing the candidate as a great person.

Holding Local Elections in Even-numbered Years Could Increase Turnout

While issues that Democrats and Republicans agree on are few and far between, one issue that has some serious bipartisan support is holding local elections (mayors, school boards, etc.) at the same time as congressional elections. Usually local elections are in odd-numbered years and have low turnout. One study showed that aligning local elections with presidential elections boosted turnout 29% and aligning them with midterms boosted it 13%. Eliminating odd-year elections also saves money since it requires only two elections in a 4-year cycle instead of three.

Although alignment is not a partisan issue, it does have opponents. In particular, interest groups that benefit from having their highly motivated voters--and no one else--show up oppose alignment. The system of having local elections separated from congressional elections was actually a reform measure 100 years ago. It attempted to get local officials decoupled from the political machines that dominated in the even-numbered years.

Romney Leading the 2016 Republican Polls

A new WaPo-ABC News poll about the 2016 presidential race puts Mitt Romney on top for the Republican nomination, with 21% of Republicans in favor of him. Second was Jeb Bush, at 11%. Last week Romney's wife made it clear that she had no stomach for yet another run. Jeb Bush is also far from a certain candidate since his wife, too, has had enough of campaigning. If both of them stay on the sidelines, it will be a free-for-all among relatively unknown candidates, all of whom are in the 5-10% range.

Email a link to a friend or share:

---The Votemaster
Oct19 Supreme Court Says Texas May Enforce Voter ID Law in November
Oct19 In Final Stretch, No Pattern is Emerging
Oct19 Black Turnout Could Be the Deciding Factor in Many Races
Oct19 Many Transgender Americans May Lose the Right to Vote Due to ID Laws
Oct19 Hillary Clinton Tests 2016 Themes
Oct18 Pollster Who Worked for Romney Reflects on What He Learned in 2012
Oct18 Bill Clinton Is Trying to Save Pryor
Oct18 Republicans Attack New Ebola Czar
Oct18 Wife of Gov. Christie Earned Half a Million on Wall Street
Oct17 Only 25% of Registered Voters Have Been Contacted
Oct17 Democrats Trying to Paint David Perdue as a Mini-Mitt
Oct17 Ebola Has Been Hugely Politicized
Oct17 Braley and Ernst Battle about Ebola in Debate
Oct17 Races for Secretary of State Become Fiery
Oct17 "Fangate" Heats Up Florida Gubernatorial Race
Oct16 Arkansas Supreme Court Strikes Down Voter ID Law
Oct16 Roberts and Orman Fight about Abortion in Debate
Oct16 Udall and Gardner Deal with Aggressive Moderator at Final Debate
Oct16 Pryor and Cotton Tangle in Their Final Debate
Oct16 All Models Predict a Likely Republican Takeover of the Senate
Oct16 Various Endgame Scenarios Are Possible for the Senate
Oct16 NRSC To Put Another $6 Million into North Carolina
Oct16 Rand Paul Won't Be Getting Help from John McCain in 2016
Oct15 Democrats Give Up on Beating McConnell
Oct15 Alaska Veterans Are Up for Grabs
Oct15 Accidental Experiment Compares Polling Techniques
Oct15 Landrieu Tries to Move Away from Obama
Oct15 Trackers Are Everywhere This Year
Oct15 Republican Leader Attacks National Science Foundation
Oct15 Ann Romney Rules Out a 2016 Romney Presidential Bid
Oct14 McConnell and Grimes Attack Each Other in Debate
Oct14 Voter ID Laws Are Getting More Analysis
Oct14 Voters Prefer Republican Positions on Key Issues
Oct14 New Ads Attack Republicans for Cutting Ebola Vaccine Funding
Oct14 Democrats Don't Trust the Polls
Oct14 Eleven Questions that Will Decide the Senate
Oct14 Christie in Trouble with Religious Conservatives
Oct13 Pressler Says He Is Really an Independent
Oct13 Billionaires Are Lining Up for Orman
Oct13 Ernst and Braley Clash over the Environment
Oct13 The Internet Is Full
Oct13 Candidates Skip Their Day Jobs at Their Peril
Oct13 As Many as 40,000 Voter Registrations Not Yet Processed in Georgia
Oct13 The Battle for the Early Voters Is Ramping Up
Oct13 Judge in Alaska Throws Out Ban on Same-Sex Marriage
Oct12 NRSC Moves Its Money to Six Senate Races
Oct12 Secret Money Dominates Campaigns
Oct12 Not All Large Donors Are Secret
Oct12 Candidates Call in the Big Guns in Iowa
Oct11 Washington Post Model Gives Republicans 95% Chance of Capturing the Senate