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Apportioning the US Senate: A Weekend Fantasia

by: borodino21

Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 3:33 AM EDT

This diary explores the following alternate reality: What if the US Senate was apportioned like the US House? One hundred members, single-member districts, distributed just like House seats (ie, every state gets one seat and then the rest are apportioned using the rule of equal proportions.)

Using 2010 data, the map would look like this:

California, in red, would have 10 seats. Texas, in orange, would have 7. New York and Florida, in yellow, would have 5. Illinois and Pennsylvania, in green, would have 4. Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, New Jersey, and Michigan - all in blue - would have 3. Eleven other states, in purple, would have their current 2. And the remaining twenty-eight states, in grey, would be down to 1.

Two seats would have moved as a result of the 2010 Senate reapportionment, with Texas and Colorado gaining at the expense of Ohio and New York.

(Figures are from the Census Bureau. Since we're doing this just like the House, all you have to do is look at the House priority lists and cut it off at 100 instead of 435. See here for the 2010 data and here for the 2000 data.)

After the jump, I have maps for the 22 states that would have more than one senator in this alternate universe. Please feel free to post your own.

I'd also be very interested to hear who you all think would be in the senate in this alternate universe. I'm having a hard time figuring out how the one-third-at-time-up-for-election rule would work in a reapportioned body, so perhaps in the alternate universe, senators have four year terms and are elected at presidential midterm? That's not a fixed rule for this hypothetical, just a guess.

There's More... :: (54 Comments, 1322 words in story)

MA-Sen: Brown Leads Capuano, Elizabeth Warren

by: brownsox

Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 3:57 PM EDT

(Please give a warm welcome to brownsox (aka Arjun Jaikumar) who is joining our horserace superteam - promoted by DavidNYC)

Pretty reasonable numbers, but a dodgy-looking sample.

Western New England College (PDF) (3/6-10, Massachusetts voters):

Michael Capuano (D): 38
Scott Brown (R-inc): 51

Elizabeth Warren (D): 34
Scott Brown (R-inc): 51
(MoE: ±4.5%)

The toplines are pretty much in line with what other pollsters have shown, like PPP. Brown has a solid lead, hovering around 50%, while his prospective opponents aren't especially well known (one difference between WNEC's poll and PPP's is that Mike Capuano, tested in both polls, has impeccable 30/14 favorables in WNEC's poll and pretty lousy 26/27 favorables in PPP's).

Brown also leads Elizabeth Warren, who WNEC decided to poll for reasons best known to them (though check out those 17/3 favorables - Mike Beebe, eat your heart out!)

Like a lot of university polls, though, WNEC's sample seems bizarre - 34% Democrats, 12% Republicans and 47% independents (the remainder responded "something else"). That's very low on Democrats for a Massachusetts poll - the 2008 exit polls were 43% Dem, 17% Republican, 40% indie. Still, the toplines are close enough to everybody else's numbers that they seem likely to be accurate. So the question is, can Brown lose?

He's popular, but unlikely to get much more popular than he already is, especially as he continues to vote with Republican leadership to cut jobs and slash Medicare benefits. And popular Republicans can lose in Massachusetts in Presidential election years - ask former Governor Bill Weld, who ran for the Senate after receiving an eye-popping 71% of the vote in his 1994 reelection. Weld lost to John Kerry by seven points, 52% to 45%, helped in no small part by Bill Clinton's 33-point romp in Massachusetts.

So sure, Brown can lose. He starts in a strong position for reelection, though, and it will take an exceptional campaign to unseat him.

Discuss :: (95 Comments)

Jim Webb retires

by: Bharat

Wed Feb 09, 2011 at 11:53 AM EST

It's official: http://voices.washingtonpost.c...
There's More... :: (15 Comments, 13 words in story)

The Link Between Senate and Presidential Voting

by: JonathanMN

Wed Feb 02, 2011 at 3:28 PM EST

After seeing a lot of people predict that Ben Nelson and Scott Brown will lose because of their states' respective presidential voting patterns, I was reminded of a section of one of my political science textbooks from last semester. In Chapter 6 of The Politics of Congressional Elections, the author, Gary Jacobson, details the events leading up to each set of congressional elections from 1980 to 2006 as well as the overall results. One thing I found particularly interesting at the time was that the percentage of Senate seats won by the party of the presidential candidate that also won that state has been on the rise over the past decade. Here are the relevant passages from page 218-219 of the book:

The same trend toward greater consistency in voting for president and U.S. representative in 2004 (Figure 6-3) appeared in Senate elections as well, resulting in a four-seat addition to the Republicans' Senate majority. . . The Democrat's main problem was again structural. They had to compete with the more-efficient distribution of Republican voters. Although Gore had won the national vote in 2000, Bush carried thirty of the fifty states, including twenty-two of the thirty-four states with Senate contests in 2004. Democrats had to defend ten seats in states Bush had won, including five left open by retirements, all in the South, where support for Democrats has been eroding for several decades. Meanwhile, Republicans were defending only three seats in states won by Gore. . . Seven of the eight Senate seats that changed party hands in 2004 went to the party that won the state in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections; Salazar's victory was the lone exception. . . More generally, twenty-seven of the thirty-four Senate contests were won by the party whose presidential candidate won the state's electoral votes, tying 1964 for the highest level of congruence in president-Senate election results in the past half century. When the 2004 winners were added to the continuing Senate membership, fully 75 percent of Senators represented states where their party's candidate won the most recent presidential election, the highest proportion in at least fifty years.

So what does this mean for the parties going into 2012. More below the fold.

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 687 words in story)

The Worst Republican Senate Candidates of 2010, Part 1

by: Inoljt

Sun Jan 09, 2011 at 10:22 AM EST

This is the first part of two posts analyzing patterns in the 2010 Senate midterm elections. The second part can be found here.

The 2010 congressional midterm elections constituted, by and large, a victory for the Republican Party. In the Senate Republicans gained six seats. While this was somewhat below expectations, it was much better than Republican hopes just after 2008 - when many expected the party to actually lose seats.

The Senate results provide some interesting fodder for analysis. The table below indicates which Republicans Senate candidates did the worst in 2008. It does so by taking the Republican margin of victory or defeat in a given state and subtracting this by the Cook PVI of the state (the Cook PVI is how a state would be expected to vote in a presidential election in the event of an exact tie nationwide). Given that Republicans won the nationwide vote this year, the average Republican candidate would be expected to do better than the state's PVI. A bad Republican candidate would actually do worse than the state's PVI.

Let's take a look at this table below the flip.

There's More... :: (25 Comments, 688 words in story)

2010 Politicos of the Year

by: markhanna

Thu Dec 30, 2010 at 6:10 PM EST

So, everyone else does lists at the end of the year. Why shouldn't we? Here following, my picks for the 2010 Politicos of the year (in reverse chronological order).  
There's More... :: (43 Comments, 820 words in story)

The 10 best (and five worst) campaigns of the 2010 cycle

by: markhanna

Mon Nov 08, 2010 at 10:09 AM EST

So here we are at the end of the 2010 race (well, almost at the end - there are still a couple of uncalled races). These are my picks for best and worst campaigns of this cycle. What are yours? And tell me if you agree or disagree with any of these
There's More... :: (78 Comments, 670 words in story)

My Predictions for 2010

by: californianintexas

Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 5:04 AM EDT

At long last, I have finished making predictions, this time mixing my "gut feeling" predictions from earlier with the formula prediction methods I had used since 2006. I found the dearth of House polls very annoying, so many of my House predictions could be way off. We shall see in 12 or so hours.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Alabama: Bentley by 15.33%
Alaska: Parnell by 15.67%
Arizona: Brewer by 15%
Arkansas: Beebe by 25.67%
California: Brown by 14.33%
Colorado: Hickenlooper by 3.67%
Connecticut: Malloy by 5.67%
Florida: Sink by 1.67%
Georgia: Deal by 7.67%
Hawaii: Abercrombie by 5%
Idaho: Otter by 22%
Illinois: Brady by 4.67%
Iowa: Branstad by 10.5%
Kansas: Brownback by 27%
Maine: LePage by 11.33%
Maryland: O'Malley by 12.67%
Massachusetts: Patrick by 2.67%
Michigan: Snyder by 16.67%
Minnesota: Dayton by 1.33%
Nebraska: Heineman by 42%
Nevada: Sandoval by 15.67%
New Hampshire: Lynch by 8.33%
New Mexico: Martinez by 8.33%
New York: Cuomo by 22%
Ohio: Strickland by 1%
Oklahoma: Fallin by 18.5%
Oregon: Kitzhaber by 1.67%
Pennsylvania: Corbett by 9%
Rhode Island: Chafee by 8%
South Carolina: Haley by 8.33%
South Dakota: Daugaard by 13.67%
Tennessee: Haslam by 28%
Texas: Perry by 1%
Utah: Herbert by 25.33%
Vermont: Shumlin by 2%
Wisconsin: Walker by 8.67%
Wyoming: Mead by 36%

OVERALL: Republicans gain a net of 5 for the majority of governorships, 27-22-1

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Alabama: Shelby by 28%
Alaska: McAdams by 0.67% (Miller in 2nd; Murkowski in 3rd)
Arizona: McCain by 23%
Arkansas: Boozman by 19.67%
California: Boxer by 6.67%
Colorado: Buck by 1%
Connecticut: Blumenthal by 8%
Delaware: Coons by 14%
Florida: Rubio by 16%
Georgia: Isakson by 25.67%
Hawaii: Inouye by 24.5%
Idaho: Crapo by 44%
Illinois: Kirk by 4.33%
Indiana: Coats by 10.33%
Iowa: Grassley by 31%
Kansas: Moran by 40%
Kentucky: Paul by 3.18%
Louisiana: Vitter by 5.87%
Maryland: Mikulski by 26.67%
Missouri: Robin Carnahan by 0.67%
Nevada: Reid by 0.67%
New Hampshire: Ayotte by 15%
New York A: Schumer by 28.67%
New York B: Gillibrand by 18.33%
North Carolina: Burr by 12.33%
North Dakota: Hoeven by 47%
Ohio: Portman by 9.83%
Oklahoma: Coburn by 40%
Oregon: Wyden by 15.33%
Pennsylvania: Toomey by 4.67%
South Carolina: DeMint by 42% (The Green candidate may get more votes than the Greene candidate.)
South Dakota: Thune by 70-90%
Utah: Lee by 25.33%
Vermont: Leahy by 35%
Washington: Murray by 1.88%
West Virginia: Manchin by 1.33%
Wisconsin: Johnson by 7.67%

OVERALL: Republicans gain a net of 5, but Democrats retain control 54-46

Light Blue = D+1; Light Red = R+1; Red = R+2; Medium-Dark Red = R+3; Dark Red = R+4; Very Dark Red = R+5

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AL-02: Bright by 3.75%
AZ-01: Gosar by 4% (R pickup)
AZ-03: Hulburd by 1.17% (D pickup)
AZ-05: Schweikert by 0.67% (R pickup)
AZ-07: Grijalva by 4.08%
AZ-08: Giffords by 6.12%
AR-01: Crawford by 5.56% (R pickup)
AR-02: Griffin by 11% (R pickup)
CA-03: Lungren by 3.75%
CA-11: McNerney by 2.75%
CA-18: Cardoza by 10.75%
CA-20: Costa by 2.87%
CA-44: Calvert by 13.17%
CA-45: Bono Mack by 15%
CA-47: Sanchez by 8.25%
CO-03: Salazar by 1.25%
CO-04: Gardner by 3.58% (R pickup)
CT-04: Himes by 2.42%
CT-05: Murphy by 4.17%
DE-AL: Carney by 9.83% (D pickup)
FL-02: Southerland by 9.25% (R pickup)
FL-08: Webster by 3.25% (R pickup)
FL-22: Klein by 0.94%
FL-24: Adams by 6.25% (R pickup)
FL-25: Rivera by 3%
GA-02: Bishop by 2.67%
GA-08: Scott by 12.5% (R pickup)
HI-01: Hanabusa by 2.17% (D pickup)
ID-01: Minnick by 2.42%
IL-10: Seals by 7.6% (D pickup)
IL-11: Kinzinger by 5.13% (R pickup)
IL-14: Hultgren by 0.31% (R pickup)
IL-17: Schilling by 2.63% (R pickup)
IN-02: Donnelly by 4.38%
IN-08: Buschon by 8.75% (R pickup)
IN-09: Hill by 0.52%
IA-01: Braley by 10%
IA-02: Loebsack by 8.75%
IA-03: Boswell by 8.07%
KS-03: Yoder by 10% (R pickup)
KY-03: Yarmuth by 10.5%
KY-06: Chandler by 3.69%
LA-02: Richmond by 11.83% (D pickup)
LA-03: Landry by 12.25% (R pickup)
ME-01: Pingree by 12.42%
MD-01: Harris by 4.92% (R pickup)
MA-10: Keating by 2.63%
MI-01: Benishek by 2.71% (R pickup)
MI-07: Schauer by 0.44%
MI-09: Peters by 3.88%
MN-01: Walz by 10.42%
MN-08: Oberstar by 4.88%
MS-01: Childers by 0.88%
MS-04: Taylor by 2.69%
MO-03: Russ Carnahan by 5.63%
NV-03: Titus by 0.33%
NH-01: Guinta by 10.25% (R pickup)
NH-02: Bass by 0.08% (R pickup)
NJ-03: Runyan by 1.13% (R pickup)
NM-01: Barela by 0.63% (R pickup)
NM-02: Pearce by 4.83% (R pickup)
NY-01: Bishop by 7.56%
NY-13: McMahon by 7.5%
NY-19: Hayworth by 1.02% (R pickup)
NY-20: Gibson by 3.46% (R pickup)
NY-23: Owens by 0.88%
NY-24: Arcuri by 3.31%
NY-25: Maffei by 6.58%
NY-29: Zeller by 12.5% (R pickup)
NC-02: Etheridge by 2.5%
NC-07: McIntyre by 3.75%
NC-08: Kissell by 2.38%
NC-11: Shuler by 11.88%
ND-AL: Berg by 4.97% (R pickup)
OH-01: Chabot by 6.25% (R pickup)
OH-06: Wilson by 2.06%
OH-13: Sutton by 10%
OH-15: Stivers by 6.25% (R pickup)
OH-16: Renacci by 0.63% (R pickup)
OH-18: Gibbs by 1.88% (R pickup)
OR-05: Schrader by 2.75%
PA-03: Kelly by 6.25% (R pickup)
PA-04: Altmire by 12.58%
PA-07: Meehan by 3.83% (R pickup)
PA-08: Fitzpatrick by 4.53% (R pickup)
PA-10: Marino by 4.57% (R pickup)
PA-11: Barletta by 2.13% (R pickup)
PA-12: Critz by 5.38%
PA-15: Dent by 11.63%
RI-01: Cicilline by 4.94%
SC-05: Mulvaney by 4.75% (R pickup)
SD-AL: Noem by 0.31% (R pickup)
TN-04: DesJarlais by 1% (R pickup)
TN-06: Black by 12.5% (R pickup)
TN-08: Fincher by 9.5% (R pickup)
TX-17: Edwards by 1.72%
TX-23: Rodriguez by 2.15%
TX-27: Ortiz by 2.88%
VA-02: Rigell by 3.04% (R pickup)
VA-05: Hurt by 5.28% (R pickup)
VA-09: Boucher by 4.5%
WA-02: Larsen by 5.75%
WA-03: Herrera by 3.56% (R pickup)
WA-08: Reichert by 5.38%
WV-01: McKinley by 2.25% (R pickup)
WI-03: Kind by 8.75%
WI-07: Duffy by 7.21% (R pickup)
WI-08: Ribble by 5.46% (R pickup)

OVERALL: Republicans gain a net of 42 for control 220-215

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

The Most Optimistic Set of Predictions You'll See (H: D-24, S: D-4)

by: displacedyankdem

Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 1:42 AM EDT

I think I'm about to post the most optimistic set of predictions this board will probably see. Aside from a brutal South, I think Dems will be relatively okay through the rest of the nation.

(As a side note, I'll be knocking doors in Pittsburgh all day tomorrow, so I'm signing off until 9PM-ish tomorrow.)


There's More... :: (3 Comments, 306 words in story)

House and Senate predictions

by: sacman701

Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 5:33 PM EDT

D-held house seats:

I would be shocked if Dems held any of these: AR 2, CO 4, FL 2, FL 8, FL 24, IL 11, IN 8, KS 3, LA 3, NY 29, OH 1, OH 15, PA 3, TN 6, TN 8, TX 17. +16 R.

I would be surprised but not shocked if Dems held any of these: MD 1, MS 1, NH 1, PA 7, VA 2, VA 5, WA 3. +5.6 R if each has an 80% chance to go R.

I'd bet the Reep if I had to bet, but would not be surprised if Dems held any of these: AR 1, AZ 1, WI 7, WI 8, MI 1, PA 8, OH 16, NV 3, NM 2, SC 5, ND, GA 8, NY 20, NJ 3, CO 3, NH 2, IL 17. +10.2 R if each has a 60% chance to go R.

I'd bet the Dem if I had to bet, but would not be surprised if Reeps took any of these: AZ 5, AL 2, IL 14, NY 19, NY 23, PA 10, PA 11, SD, MI 7, WV 1, OH 18, FL 22, NC 8, IN 9, TN 4, TX 23, MS 4. +6.8 R if each has a 40% chance to go R.

I would be surprised but not shocked if Reeps took any of these: CT 4, CT 5, MN 8, IA 2, ID 1, IN 2, MO 4, NY 24, NY 25, PA 12, MI 9, AZ 8, OR 5, WA 2, NC 7, MA 10, NM 1, CA 11, CA 20, CA 22, CA 47, VA 9, VA 11, OH 6, CO 7. +5.0 R if each has a 20% chance to go R.

I would be shocked if any other Dem seats flipped. That includes NC 11 and NY 22.

R-held seats:

I would be shocked if Reeps held DE. +1 D.

I would be surprised but not shocked if Reeps held any of these: HI 1, IL 10, LA 2. +2.4 D if each has an 80% chance to go D.

I'd bet the Reep if I had to bet, but would not be surprised if Dems took FL 25. +0.4D if the Dem has a 40% shot.

I would be surprised but not shocked if Dems took WA 8 or CA 3. +0.4 D if each has a 20% chance to go D.

I would be shocked if any other Reep seats flipped.

So I have Reeps flipping an expected 43.6 seats, Dems flipping 4.2, for a net of 39.4 to the Reeps...hmm. If I had to bet I'd bet the over, as I suspect my ratings may be too favorable to Dems. I'll just round up to 40.


D-held seats:

ND, AR, IN 100% to flip.
WI 90%
PA 75%
IL 55%
CO 50%
NV 40%
WA 25%
WV 20%
CA 5%
CT 5%
Everything else, forget it. R +6.65.

R-held seats:
AK 20% counting Murk as a Reep.
KY 5%
MO 5%
and that's it. D +0.3.
Net of 6.35 seats to the Reeps, call it 6 because Senate races are easier to keep track of.

So that's a net of 40 House seats and 6 Senate seats to the Reeps.  

Discuss :: (0 Comments)
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