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Economic News, Data and Analysis

Election Results – Little Change

It looks like the Republican party will control the House and Senate.
One story that I think has been overlooked in the hubbub is that there were very few losses by incumbents in national races.
By my count, only 4 of 34 Senate rates and only 10 of 435 house races changed parties. Overall, that is only about 3% (14/469) turnover.
This strikes me as being a very low level (but I haven’t looked at the historical trend recently).
Three possibilities occur to me for the cause of the low level of turnover:
1. The 2000 election and the resulting mess in Florida served to “lock-in” the partisan preference of voters around the country, and thus less likely to switch their vote this time around.
2. September 11th made people shy away from uncertainty – and thus less likely to make a change.
3. Incumbents tend to have an advantage in raising money – so, as more money has been thrown into elections, the better incumbents are at holding their seats.
When we look at races for Governors, however, we get a different story, 16 of 36 races saw a switch in party (44%). This fact would tend to make me discount #3 from above. But I’m open to suggestions…


Here are my counts…
Senate Races: 34
Total changes (Party): 4 (11.8%)
MO: 50-49. R
MN: 50-48. R
GA: 53-46. R
AR: 54-46. D
Net: -2D +2R
House Races: 435
Total changes (Party): 10 (2.30%)
Florida 05: 48-47. R
Indiana 02: 50-46. R
Maryland 02: 55-45. D
Maryland 08: 52-47. D
Michigan 10: 63-36. R
Minnesota 02: 53-42. R
New York 01: 50-49. D
Ohio 03: 59-41. R
Ohio 17: 51-34. D
Tennessee 04: 52-47. D
Net: 0D 0R.
Governor races: 36
Total changes (Party): 16 (44.4%)
AK: 56-41 R
GA: 52-46 R
HI: 52-47 R
IL: 52-45 D
KS: 53-45 D
ME: 48-41 D
MD: 51-48 R
MI: 51-48 D
MN: 45-36 R
NH: 59-38 R
NM: 57-38 D
PA: 53-45 D
SC: 53-47 R
TN: 51-48 D
WI: 45-41 D
WY: 50-49 D
Net:
+3D -2R -1I

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