In 2016, 4,799,284 voted in the presidential race. The current figure suggests that 5,519,348 participated last Tuesday. This means turnout increased 13.1% in the Wolverine State, again far higher than the 7.8% national average. Unlike Arizona and Georgia, where population figures are expanding by one percentage point each year, Michigan’s total population growth has only been around 1% for the entire decade.
At this point, only three states saw incumbent Senators being defeated: Doug Jones (D-AL), Martha McSally (R-AZ), and Cory Gardner (R-CO). Under Georgia law, since both of their Senate races, the regular cycle campaign and the special election, failed to produce a majority winner, a runoff election will be held for each position on January 5th.
In races of note, Maine Sen. Susan Collins (R) defied pollsters projecting a Democratic victory for state House Speaker Sara Gideon (D) and won by nine percentage points. Despite over $100 million being spent against both Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), both were re-elected with victory percentages exceeding 58 and 54%, respectively. Democratic Sen. Gary Peters (MI) scored a close win over GOP challenger John James; Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Steve Daines (R-MT) recorded strong victories despite polling suggesting that both could lose.
In the four open seat campaigns, the incumbent party won each. The new Senators are Roger Marshall (R-KS), Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY).
Two races, in addition to both Georgia Senate seats going to runoffs, remain uncalled but with a clear trend. With only 50% of the votes counted in Alaska, Sen. Dan Sullivan (R) has a strong 62-32% lead. In North Carolina, with the post-election ballot reception period closing on November 12th, Sen. Thom Tillis (R) looks to have a small lead that won’t be surpassed, again despite polling projecting a Democratic victory for party nominee Cal Cunningham.
Assuming the uncalled races remain Republican, the GOP will have a 50-48 advantage heading into the Georgia runoffs, meaning they will retain the majority with a win in at least one of the two Senate races to be decided January 5th.
Two Senate races were called yesterday, one for Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) who scored a 51-42% victory over state House Speaker Sara Gideon (D-Freeport). Ms. Gideon conceded the race yesterday even though the count had not ended. In Michigan, Sen. Gary Peters (D) was projected with a very close win (49.6 – 48.5%) over GOP challenger John James.
The two calls mean that the high number for the Republican majority is 52, with the Democratic maximum being 51. The most likely outcome from the current trends and potentially projecting the runoff election under what may be a Biden victory at the presidential level is either a Republican majority of 51 or 52 seats.
In the House, 40 races remain uncalled, yet many of them are now reporting 100% of the vote being received. Of the 40, the Republicans lead in 25 and the Democrats in 15. This would translate in a Republican net gain in the House of most likely between five and nine seats.
Below is a list of the races that remain uncalled and which candidate is currently leading.
Alaska: Sen. Dan Sullivan (R) - Status: 62.3%; Reporting: 50%
Georgia-A: Sen. David Perdue (R) - must reach 50%; Status: 50.2%; Reporting: 97%
Georgia-B: Rev. Raphael Warnock (D) - Status: 32.5%; Reporting: 96%
Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) - Status: 26.2%; Reporting: Runoff
Maine: Sen. Susan Collins (R) - Winner; Status: 51.1%
Michigan: Sen. Gary Peters (D) - Winner; Status: 49.6%
North Carolina: Sen. Thom Tillis (R) - Status: 48.7%; Reporting: 93%
AK-AL: Rep. Don Young (R) - Status: 63.3%; Reporting: 53%
AZ-1: Rep. Tom O'Halleran (D) - Status: 52.1%; Reporting: 92%
AZ-6: Hiral Tipirneni (D) - Status: 50.3%; Reporting: 76%
CA-4: Rep. Tom McClintock (R) - Status: 52.9%; Reporting: 87%
CA-8: Jay Obernolte (R) - Status: 53.3%; Reporting: 37%
CA-21: David Valadao (R) - Status: 51.4%; Reporting: 42%
CA-25: Christy Smith (D) - Status: 50.3%; Reporting: 77%
CA-39: Young Kim (R) - Status: 50.2%; Reporting: 89%
CA-48: Michelle Steel (R) - Status: 50.3%; Reporting: 93%
CA-50: Darrell Issa (R) - Status: 52.2%; Reporting: 51%
GA-7: Carolyn Bourdeaux (D) - Status: 51.2%; Reporting: 100%
IA-2: Marianette Miller-Meeks (R) - Status: 50.0%; Reporting: 100%
IL-14: Jim Oberweis (R) - Status: 50.1%; Reporting: 100%
IL-17: Cheri Bustos (D) - Status: 51.8%; Reporting: 100%
IN-5: Victoria Spartz (R) - Status: 50.2%; Reporting: 99%
MI-3: Peter Meijer (R) - Status: 53.1%; Reporting: 99%
MI-5: Dan Kildee (D) - Status: 54.3%; Reporting: 100%
MI-11: Haley Stevens (D) - Status: 50.0%; Reporting: 97%
MN-1: Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R) - Status: 48.6%; Reporting: 100%
MN-2: Rep. Angie Craig (D) - Status: 48.2%; Reporting: 100%
NJ-2: Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R) - Status: 51.0%; Reporting: 75%
NV-3: Rep. Susie Lee (D) - Status: 48.2%; Reporting: 85%
NV-4: Rep. Steven Horsford (D) - Status: 49.7%; Reporting: 65%
NY-1: Rep. Lee Zeldin (R) - Status: 61.3%; Reporting: 99%
NY-2: Andrew Garbarino (R) - Status: 58.1%; Reporting: 99%
NY-3: George Santos (R) - Status: 50.5%; Reporting: 99%
NY-4: Rep. Kathleen Rice (D) - Status: 52.0%; Reporting: 100%
NY-11: Nicole Malliotakis (R) - Status: 57.9%; Reporting: 95%
NY-18: Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D) - Status: 50.8%; Reporting: 100%
NY-19: Rep. Antonio Delgado (D) - Status: 51.3%; Reporting: 98%
NY-22: Claudia Tenney (R) - Status: 54.9%; Reporting: 100%
NY-24: Rep. John Katko (R) - Status: 58.5%; Reporting: 100%
PA-7: Lisa Scheller (R) - Status: 50.7%; Reporting: 86%
PA-8: Jim Bognet (R) - Status: 50.5%; Reporting: 86%
PA-10: Rep. Scott Perry (R) - Status: 54.9%; Reporting: 89%
PA-17: Sean Parnell (R) - Status: 51.0%; Reporting: 94%
TX-24: Beth Van Duyne (R) - Status: 48.8%; Reporting: 99%
UT-4: Rep. Ben McAdams (D) - Status: 48.2%; Reporting: 69%
VA-7: Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D) - Status: 50.6%; Reporting: 100%
WA-3: Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R) - Status: 54.7%; Reporting: 80%
Last night’s national election, as predicted, looks to be headed to political overtime.
The presidential race won’t be decided for more than a day, and possibly not until all ballots are received and counted in Pennsylvania. The state’s post-election ballot reception deadline is Friday, November 6th, at 5:00 pm.
It appears that former Vice President Joe Biden (D) has the inside track to unseat the President, but Mr. Trump still has a narrow path to victory.
It is likely that the Republicans have held the Senate majority despite what appears to be a close loss at the top of the ticket. Defending 13 of the most vulnerable 16 Senate seats, the GOP may break even. Converting Alabama and leading in Michigan offsets the loss of seats in Arizona and Colorado. Four races remain undecided.
Republicans had a much better night in the House than expected. With 43 races still uncalled, a reasonable projection suggests the Democrats will return to the House with a majority margin approximately seven seats less than in the current Congress. This would make the new majority 226D-209R, and certainly put House control front and center for the 2022 election cycle.
In the 11 Governor’s races, we saw one state flip from Democrat to Republican, the open Montana race that completed a Republican sweep of the top four statewide offices. At-Large Rep. Greg Gianforte (R) was elected the state’s new Governor replacing term-limited Gov. Steve Bullock (D) who lost the Senate race to incumbent Steve Daines (R).
Polling and predictions generally proved unreliable. Once more, the big leads projected for the Democratic presidential nominee in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin did not materialize, while cumulative polling projections did correctly forecast Arizona and potentially Georgia. For the fourth consecutive major statewide race in Florida, the overwhelming number of pollsters failed to correctly project the winner.
It appears the cumulative polling community is potentially wrong in several Senate races including North Carolina, Maine, and the Michigan margin even if Sen. Gary Peters (D) rebounds to win. They also consistently under-estimated Georgia Sen. David Perdue’s electoral strength.
The media projection early in the evening of Democrats gaining seats in the House also proved incorrect.
The projected record turnout may not be as high as many projected. While it is clear we will exceed the 136,792,535 voters we saw in 2016, which was a record participation level at the time, the grand total in this election may not reach the 150 million mark that many analysts were suggesting, and very likely not the 155 million others predicted. We are likely to venture beyond 140 million, but how much further remains to be seen when all of the states have reported, and ballots completely tabulated.
We will have further coverage of the finer details in the coming days.
Though the latest polling projects Sen. Gary Peters (D) leading challenger John James (R) by approximately 5-6 points, the GOP leadership has made a final major investment in the state. The Senate Leadership Fund purchased another $4.6 million in media advertising in the closing days, suggesting they believe Mr. James has a chance for an upset victory.
Over 2.6 million early votes have already been cast. A total of 42.3% comes from registered Democrats, 38.6% from Republicans, and 19.1% in the Unaffiliated category. Democrats are up approximately four percentage points from their 2016 performance, Republicans’ up 2.6 percent, while the Unaffiliateds are down about seven points.
The plethora of polls are also producing major conflicts within the same electorate during the same time period, a statistical inconsistency that has been frequently present in several recent situations. The latest Michigan presidential numbers are a clear example.
While the new Zia Poll (10/11-18; 2,851 MI likely voters; online) posts President Trump to a four point, 49-45%, lead and the Trafalgar Group (10/15-18; 1,034 MI likely voters; text & online) sees a 47-45% Trump edge, two others give former Vice President Joe Biden wider spreads. EPIC-MRA (10/15-19; 600 MI likely voters; live interview) yields the Democratic nominee a nine-point, 48-39%, margin, and Public Policy Polling (10/21-22; 804 MI voters; interactive voice response system) sees a similar 50-43% split.
The Michigan Senate race has been drawing a lot of polling attention as the candidates stream toward the political finish line. The contest between Sen. Gary Peters (D) and business owner John James (R) also appears as a test case for the Trafalgar Group, which attempts to quantify much of the right-of-center vote that other pollsters have missed when comparing 2016 and 2018 accuracy records.
Yesterday, five different polls were released, with four producing similar results. Fox News (10/17-20; 1,032 MI likely voters; live interview), Data for Progress (10/15-18; 830 MI likely voters; online), Morning Consult (10/11-20; 1,717 MI likely voters; online), and Public Policy Polling (10/21-22; MI voters; interactive voice response system) all post Sen. Peters to a clear advantage, within five to nine percentage points.
Trafalgar, on the other hand (10/15-18; 1,034 MI likely voters; live interview & online), sees a much different result. They find Mr. James holding a two-point lead, 50-48%. If the Republican were to complete the upset, Trafalgar would again be in a position of calling a race correctly when all others would be proven incorrect.
We’ve seen many examples this year of two polling firms surveying the same race at relatively the same time yet finding diverse results. None may be a better example of this phenomenon than the latest set of surveys coming from western Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District. In polls conducted during the October 5-9 period, National Research, Inc. and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Targeting and Analytics Department arrived at very different conclusions.
The DCCC survey (10/7-9; 449 MI-3 likely voters) finds Democrat Hillary Scholten leading military veteran and grocery store magnate Peter Meijer (R), 47-42%. National Research (10/5-7; 400 MI-3 likely voters) finds almost the exact opposite result: Mr. Meijer leading 50-43%. The most recent published poll prior to the aforementioned surveys, from We Ask America (9/19-20; live interview & text messages), projected a similar tally to that of National Research; that is, Mr. Meijer holding a 48-41% advantage. The 3rd District is open because Libertarian Rep. Justin Amash (L-Cascade Township/Grand Rapids) is retiring.
We continue to see rather erratic polling coming from the Michigan Senate race. The Trafalgar Group (10/11-15; 1,018 MI likely voters; combination live interview; integrated voice response; online) finds Republican challenger John James slipping past first-term incumbent Sen. Gary Peters (D), 48-47%. Countering that result, Michigan-based pollster EPIC-MRA (10/8-12; 600 MI likely voters; live interview) still detects a lead just beyond the polling margin of error for Sen. Peters, 45-39%.
After a period where the Michigan Senate race had tightened to one-point in late September (Trafalgar Group; 9/26-28; 1,042 MI likely voters; Peters, 48-47%), two new surveys, one from the Glengariff Group (9/30-10/3; 600 MI likely voters) and the other from the Ipsos national polling firm (9/29-10/6; 709 MI likely voters; online), both show larger leads for the first-term Senator. Glengariff posts Sen. Peters to a 45-40% edge, while Ipsos finds a slightly larger seven-point spread, 50-43%.
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