Pew Research Center survey reports, demographic studies and data-driven analysis
The Real Message of the Midterms
A sweeping election tends to invite sweeping conclusions — and the Democrats’ takeover of both houses of Congress this November provides a tempting array of opportunities for exaggeration or misinterpretation. With that in mind, let’s look at the major lessons to be gleaned from the exit polls and opinion polls about how America voted this November.
Democrats Made Gains in All Regions of the Country
With roughly 95% of the votes tallied so far in House races across the country, the overall partisan breakdown is 52% for Democratic candidates, 46% for Republican candidates and 2% for others. In actual votes, Democratic House candidates in 2006 have already tallied nearly 5 million more votes than they did in 2002, while the Republican tally is down more than 3 million from four years ago.
Rating the Pundits
With each election cycle come more websites and more political predictions. With a Democratic surge apparent and more competitive contests this year, the race among prognosticating pundits was even more intense than usual. Who fared best in the 2006 midterm elections?
Centrists Deliver for Democrats
The key to the strong Democratic showing yesterday was the support their candidates drew from moderate and independent voters, an analysis of the exit polls shows. With more than nine-in-ten Republicans and Democrats casting ballots for representatives of their parties, just as they did two years ago, the Democrats’ 57%-39% advantage among independents proved crucial.
Democrats and Republicans See Different Realities
The vast divide between voters who intend to vote Democratic and Republican on November 7 extends well beyond matters of opinion. These voters also see the world quite differently.
Public Concern About the Vote Count and Uncertainty About Electronic Voting Machines
Public doubts about the accuracy of the vote count may have some significant consequences on election day. The problem is much on the minds of some political operatives who worry that it may discourage voting among some constituencies.
The Internet and Politics: No Revolution, Yet
Political fund-raising, campaigning, blogging and YouTubing are all on the rise, but they’re still a small part of the election scene.
Republicans Cut Democratic Lead in Campaign’s Final Days
A nationwide Pew survey finds that the midterm election campaign has tightened considerably in the campaign’s final week. Among likely voters, 47% say they plan to vote for a Democratic congressional candidate on Tuesday and 43% say they plan to vote for a Republican.
U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Partial Birth Abortion Cases
Revisiting a set of issues it last considered in 2000, a U.S. Supreme Court that has since become more conservative will hear oral arguments next week in two partial birth abortion cases. The changes in the court’s composition raise the possibility of a different outcome this time.
Voter Turnout and Congressional Change
In recent decades, there have been three basic ways that turnout has worked to produce the sort of “big wave” midterm that the Democrats are hoping for next week.