U.S. Politics Nov. 14, 2006

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.

U.S. Politics Nov. 8, 2006

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.

Pew Research Center Nov. 8, 2006

Democrats Score in Statehouses and Governors’ Mansions

For the first time since 1994, Democrats won control of a majority of the nation’s governors’ mansions, wresting away five Republican seats with unofficial results of the Nov. 7 election putting Democrats in charge in 28 states. Democratic gains also vastly outnumbered Republican gains in the nation’s state legislatures, enough to take control of legislative chambers in at least six states — including the New Hampshire House for the first time since at least 1922.

Pew Research Center Nov. 8, 2006

Mixed Messages on Ballot Measures

Even as seven more states on Election Day joined the 20 states that already had passed constitutional prohibitions on gay marriage, Arizona became the first state to reject a ballot initiative to ban same-sex marriage. South Dakota voters overrode a law that would have banned abortion in that state; anti-tax activists failed to impose limits on state spending in three states; and minimum wage hikes passed in six states.

Pew Research Center Nov. 6, 2006

Election ’06 – GOP Edge at Stake

Heading into Election Day, at least a dozen governors’ races and 14 of the most competitive statehouses are still up in the air, as Democrats aim to overturn the edge Republicans gained at the state level in 1994.

U.S. Politics Nov. 5, 2006

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.

Pew Research Center Nov. 1, 2006

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.

U.S. Politics Oct. 26, 2006

Cell-Only Voters Not Very Different

Political pollsters continue to cast a wary eye on the growing number of Americans who use only a cell phone and have no landline. The Pew Research Center estimates that this group now constitutes one-in-ten adults. But three Pew surveys of cell-only Americans this year have found that their absence from landline surveys is not creating a measurable bias in the bottom-line findings.

U.S. Politics Oct. 26, 2006

Can Safe Seats Save the Republicans?

One of the biggest political questions in the final weeks of this Congressional campaign is whether the national trend in support for Democratic candidates is big enough to overcome the safe-seat redistricting that in recent years has led to fewer and fewer seats turning over in Congress.

U.S. Politics Oct. 11, 2006

November Turnout May Be High

Unlike the past three mid-term election campaigns, Democrats are more enthusiastic than Republicans about voting this year.