Difference between revisions of "United States House of Representatives elections, 2014"

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===Sabato's Crystal Ball===
 
===Sabato's Crystal Ball===
Each month the [http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball Crystal Ball] releases race ratings for [[U.S. Senate elections, 2014|U.S. Senate]], [[U.S. House elections, 2014|U.S. House]] (competitive only) and [[Gubernatorial elections, 2014|Governors]]. There were seven possible designations: <ref>[http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/articles/category/2014-house/ ''Center for Politics'' "Crystal Ball," Accessed November 5, 2013]</ref>
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Each month the [http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball Crystal Ball] releases race ratings for [[U.S. Senate elections, 2014|U.S. Senate]], [[U.S. House elections, 2014|U.S. House]] (competitive only) and [[Gubernatorial elections, 2014|Governors]]. There are seven possible designations: <ref>[http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/articles/category/2014-house/ ''Center for Politics'' "Crystal Ball," Accessed November 5, 2013]</ref>
 
{{Sabato 2014}}
 
{{Sabato 2014}}
  

Revision as of 11:34, 12 November 2013

Contents
1 Partisan breakdown
2 Competitive races
2.1 Cook Political Report
2.2 Five primaries to watch
2.3 Democratic and Republican targets
2.3.1 DCCC Frontline Program
2.3.2 DCCC Jumpstart Program
2.3.3 NRCC Patriot Program
2.3.4 NRCC targets
2.3.5 Media Mentions
3 Issues
4 2012 Election summary
4.1 Margin of victory analysis
5 See alson
6 References
Elections to the U.S. House will be held on November 4, 2014. All 435 seats will be up for election. Additionally, there will be special elections to fill vacancies that occur in the 113th United States Congress.

According to a Washington Post article in December 2012, it will be difficult for Democrats to win the majority in 2014, in part because the president's party rarely makes gains during the midterm election.[1]

Partisan breakdown

In 2012, where Barack Obama won re-election by 126 electoral votes, the Republican party maintained their control of the U.S. House winning 234 seats. The Democrats did make some gains, winning 201 seats. This is up from the 193 seats they held prior to the election.

U.S. House Partisan Breakdown -- Pre 2014 Election
Party As of November 2014 After the 2014 Election
     Democratic Party 199 Pending
     Republican Party 233 Pending
     Vacancy 3 Pending
Total 435 435

Following the 2012 general election, Democratic candidates held on to nine seats that had a political lean favoring Republicans by 54% or more. This is down from prior to 2010 where Democrats held 32 seats in that same environment. With regards to ticket-splitting, there were 24 districts in which one party's nominee carried the presidential vote and the other party's nominee won the congressional race. All but four of which were won by an incumbent. Of the 435 districts, 241 had a Republican lean and this has parity to the partisan distribution in the 1990s when Democratic candidates were winning in many Republican leaning districts. While Democratic candidates won more than a million votes over Republican candidates in the 2012 general election, most of the votes were clustered around urban areas as opposed being broadly dispersed across the country. There are 47 districts with a partisan divide of 70 percent to 30 percent in favor of Democrats. Only 23 such districts exist on the Republican side. Of the 16 districts where the partisan divide is 80% to 20% or more, Democrats represent 15 of them.[2]

Competitive races

Cook Political Report

Each month the Cook Political Report releases race ratings for U.S. Senate and U.S. House (competitive only) elections. The races detailed below are only those considered competitive. There are six possible designations.

     Likely Democratic
     Lean Democratic
     D Tossup

     R Tossup
     Lean Republican
     Likely Republican

Cook Political Report Race Rating -- 2014 U.S. House Competitive Districts
Month Likely D Lean D D Tossup R Tossup Lean R Likely R Total D Total R Total Competitive races
August 8, 2013[3] 14 16 8 1 11 17 28 29 57
September 5, 2013[4] 14 15 9 1 11 17 38 29 67
October 21, 2013[5] 14 15 9 1 11 17 36 34 70
October 30, 2013[6] 12 15 10 2 16 16 37 34 71
December 18, 2013[7] 14 14 10 4 15 15 38 34 72
January 7, 2014[8] 14 15 10 4 16 16 39 36 75
January 15, 2014[9] 14 14 11 4 16 18 39 38 77
February 13, 2014[10] 14 13 11 4 16 18 38 38 76
March 13, 2014[11] 15 13 11 3 16 18 39 37 76
April 4, 2014[12] 15 13 11 3 17 19 39 39 78
June 26, 2014[13] 16 14 11 2 16 18 41 36 77
August 8, 2014[14] 15 13 13 3 9 17 41 29 70
September 19, 2014[15] 14 13 11 4 8 18 38 30 68
October 22, 2014[16] 11 14 13 5 6 15 38 26 64

Sabato's Crystal Ball

Each month the Crystal Ball releases race ratings for U.S. Senate, U.S. House (competitive only) and Governors. There are seven possible designations: [17]

     Likely Democratic
     Lean Democratic
     D Tossup

     R Tossup
     Lean Republican
     Likely Republican

Sabato's Crystal Ball Race Rating -- U.S. House
Month Likely D Lean D D Tossup R Tossup Lean R Likely R Total D Total R Total Competitive races
October 23, 2013[18] 7 20 5 3 15 12 32 30 62
December 17, 2013[19] 8 19 5 6 14 14 32 34 66
January 7, 2014[20] 8 19 5 7 14 14 32 35 67
March 12, 2014[21] 10 15 7 5 14 15 32 34 66
March 31, 2014[22] 10 15 7 5 15 16 32 36 68
August 6, 2014[23] 9 13 10 3 11 16 32 30 62


Five primaries to watch

Politico published a list in August 2013 of the five primaries to watch in 2014. They included:[24]

Democratic and Republican targets

DCCC Frontline Program

The DCCC's Frontline Program is designed to help vulnerable incumbents win re-election. The following table lists the current members of the Frontline Program.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Frontline Program
District Incumbent
Arizona's 2nd District Ron Barber
Georgia's 12th District John Barrow
California's 7th District Ami Bera
New York's 1st District Tim Bishop
California's 26th District Julia Brownley
Illinois' 17th District Cheri Bustos
California's 24th District Lois Capps
Washington's 1st District Suzan DelBene
Illinois' 12th District Bill Enyart
Connecticut's 5th District Elizabeth Esty
Texas' 23rd District Pete Gallego
Florida's 26th District Joe Garcia
Arizona's 1st District Ann Kirkpatrick
New Hampshire's 2nd District Ann McLane Kuster
New York's 18th District Sean Patrick Maloney
New York's 24th District Dan Maffei
Utah's 4th District Jim Matheson
North Carolina's 7th District Mike McIntyre
Florida's 18th District Patrick Murphy
New York's 21st District Bill Owens
California's 52nd District Scott Peters
California's 36th District Raul Ruiz
Illinois' 10th District Brad Schneider
New Hampshire's 1st District Carol Shea-Porter
Arizona's 9th District Kyrsten Sinema
Massachusetts' 6th District John Tierney
West Virginia's 3rd District Nick Rahall

DCCC Jumpstart Program

The DCCC's Jumpstart Program is providing early support to candidates in order to cultivate support in the beginning stages of the 2014 election cycle.[25]

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Jumpstart Program
District Challenger Incumbent
California's 10th District Michael Eggman Jeff Denham
California's 31st District Pete Aguilar Gary Miller
Colorado's 6th District Andrew Romanoff Mike Coffman
Florida's 2nd District Gwen Graham Steve Southerland
Illinois' 13th District Ann Callis Rodney Davis
Iowa's 3rd District Staci Appel Tom Latham
Michigan's 1st District Jerry Cannon Dan Benishek
Michigan's 7th District Pam Byrnes Tim Walberg
Montana's at-large District John Lewis Max Baucus
Nevada's 3rd District Erin Bilbray-Kohn Joe Heck
New Mexico's 2nd District Roxanne Lara Steve Pearce
New York's 11th District Domenic Recchia Michael Grimm
New York's 23rd District Martha Robertson Tom Reed
Ohio's 6th District Jennifer Garrison Bill Johnson
Pennsylvania's 8th District Kevin Strouse Michael Fitzpatrick
Virginia's 2nd District Suzanne Patrick Scott Rigell

NRCC Patriot Program

The NRCC's Patriot Program is the counterpart of the DCCC's Frontline Program and is designed to assist vulnerable incumbents in their re-election bids. The following table lists the current members of the Patriot Program.

National Republican Congressional Committee Patriot Program
District Incumbent
Michigan's 1st District Dan Benishek
Colorado's 6th District Mike Coffman
Illinois' 13th District Rodney Davis
California's 10th District Jeff Denham
Pennsylvania's 8th District Michael G. Fitzpatrick
New York's 19th District Chris Gibson
New York's 11th District Mike Grimm
Nevada's 3rd District Joe Heck
Ohio's 6th District Bill Johnson
Florida's 13th District David Jolly
Ohio's 14th District David Joyce
New York's 23rd District Tom Reed
Virginia's 2nd District Scott Rigell
Florida's 2nd District Steve Southerland II
California's 21st District David G. Valadao
Michigan's 7th District Tim Walberg
Indiana's 2nd District Jackie Walorski

NRCC targets

The following Democratic incumbents have been targeted by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) in 2014.

National Republican Congressional Committee, Targeted incumbents
District Targeted incumbent November 4 Results
Arizona's 1st District Ann Kirkpatrick Pending
Arizona's 2nd District Ron Barber Pending
Georgia's 12th District John Barrow Pending
Minnesota's 7th District Collin Peterson Pending
North Carolina's 7th District Mike McIntyre Pending
Utah's 4th District Jim Matheson Pending
West Virginia's 3rd District Nick Rahall Pending
Nick Rahall

In September 2013, the NRCC issued a press release in response to Rahall, one of the organization's main targets in 2014, mistaking an umbrella for a lump of coal during a press conference. The press release stated:

"But Barack Obama, the EPA, and Nick Rahall aren’t waging a war on umbrellas – they are waging a war on coal. And yesterday, Bloomberg reported a new front opening in that war – the EPA is set to issue a rule that will completely halt the development of new coal-fueled plants by requiring they meet unachievable carbon standards."[26]

Media mentions

Across the country, media and experts publish stories that chronicle the incumbents that are in danger of losing their bid for re-election. Some of those incumbents mentioned include:

Issues

[edit]

Government shutdown

See also United States budget debate, 2013

Beginning in August 2013, House and Senate members began discussing the possibility of a government shutdown over the funding of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). On September 20, Republicans passed a spending bill in the House that funds the government until December, but strips funding from Obamacare. When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced that the Senate would hold a procedural vote on Wednesday, September 24, many senators began to announce their positions on voting against a cloture, the motion to end debate on a bill. After Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) gave a marathon speech, the motion for cloture was accepted and Reid was able to strip the Obamacare defunding language contained in the Republican House members' continuing resolution (CR).

Following the successful cloture vote and the Senate subsequently sending a clean continuing resolution back to the House, the two chambers began a high-stakes game of hot potato. By September 30, the House had voted and sent three resolutions to the Senate that all were struck down. The Senate then sent back a clean resolution stripped of any healthcare defunding language. With Obamacare being the issue-at-hand, Congress was unable to agree on whether a resolution would fund the landmark healthcare law.[27]

In the midst of the government shutdown in October 2013, talks began regarding the impending debt ceiling.

Polling during the shutdown

Congressional approval rating
Poll Total approve Total disapproveMargin of ErrorSample Size
The Economist/YouGov (September 21-23, 2013)
9%72%+/-5.1690
CBS/New York Times (September 19-23, 2013)
14%80%+/-31,014
CNN/ORC (September 27-29, 2013)
10%87%+/-3.5803
Gallup (October 3-6, 2013)
11%85%+/-41,028
AP-GfK (October 3-7, 2013)
5%83%+/-3.41,227
AVERAGES 9.8% 81.4% +/-3.8 952.4
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

Approval of own congressmen

During the shutdown, American's disapproval rating of their own congressmen reached new a new high, with almost as many people stating disapproval of their member (43%) to approval (44%). The Gallup poll concluded:

"While members of Congress may continue to argue that problems with the image of the body as a whole is not their fault, and that they are doing nothing more than faithfully representing their particular constituents, it is clear that even their own constituents are less positive about the job they are doing than they were in the past."

Farm Bill

See also: United States Farm Bill 2013

The farm bill is an expansive piece of legislation that provides funding for commodity programs, conservation, trade, nutrition, credit, rural development, research, forestry, energy, horticulture, organic agriculture, livestock, crop insurance, disaster assistance programs and tax provisions.[28] The farm bill is typically passed every five years. The 2008 Farm bill expired September 30, 2012. Congress extended the 2008 bill for one more year, bringing us to the current controversy over the 2013 Farm Bill.[29]

The vast majority of the farm bill is nutrition--roughly 75% of the total farm bill. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) makes up about 72% of the nutrition budget. Crop insurance is expected to be the next largest budgetary expense.[28]

Nutrition and federal spending are in the cross hairs of the current farm bill debate. Republicans want to see cuts to the food assistance programs and Democrats are concerned with crop insurance fraud.[30] In an effort to push through some type of farm bill, the House has attempted to split food stamps from farm policy and create two separate bills. This is the first time since 1973 that food stamps have been split from farm policy.[31]

If the bill expires on September 30, 2013, effects of not having a new bill would not be seen until December 31, 2013, when the dairy price support program would end. If a new bill is not passed before the current one ends, the program would revert back to 1940's era agriculture laws. Crops would likely not be effected until summer of 2014, when the 2013 crop cycle ends.[32]

Syria

See also: United States involvement in Syria

In August 2012, President Obama said the "red line" for U.S. involvement in Syria was the use of chemical or biological weapons.[33] In April 2013, reports surfaced that Syria had used chemical weapons twice in their civil war, but it was not enough for the U.S. to intervene. In June 2013, President Obama authorized sending weapons to Syrian rebels following more reports of small scale chemical weapon attacks.[33]

On August 21, 2013, the Syrian government was accused of a chemical weapons attack on a town in the suburbs of Damascus, killing thousands, including women and children.[33] On September 3, 2013, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Secretary of State John Kerry and General Martin Dempsey met with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to support President Obama's decision to use military force to intervene in the Syrian conflict.[34] The group met with the House Foreign Affairs Committee on September 5.[35]

2012 Election summary

In a February 2013 article in the Washington Post, political scientists John Sides and Eric McGhee argued that redistricting was not solely responsible for Republicans maintaining control of the U.S. House in 2012. By comparing the 2012 election to prior elections, the authors maintanied that additional factors like incumbency and the increasingly concentrated nature of Democratic votes in urban areas contributed to the outcome.[36]

Margin of victory analysis

There were a total of 435 seats up for election in 2012. The following table shows the margin of victory for each race winner, which is calculated by examining the percentage difference between the top-two vote getters. If the race was uncontested, the margin of victory is listed as 100%. Some general facts:

  • 30 races (6.9 percent) had a margin of victory of less than 5 percent. Of those 30 races, 18 were Democratic winners while 12 were Republican.
  • 33 races (7.6 percent) had a margin of victory between 5 and 10 percent. Of those 33 races, 15 were Democratic winners while 18 were Republican.
  • 87 races (20 percent) had a margin of victory between 10 and 20 percent. Of those 87 races, 23 were Democratic winners while 64 were Republican.
  • 285 races (65.5 percent) had a margin of victory of greater than 20 percent. Of those 285 races, 145 were Democratic winners while 140 were Republican.
  • The fewest votes were in Texas' 29th District, with only 95,611 total votes. Incumbent Gene Green (D) faced two third-party candidates in the general election.
  • The most votes were in Montana, with 479,740 votes cast. Montana has a total population of 998,199 -- which is roughly 250,000 above the average district size in states without single districts. Because Montana has only one district for the whole state, its voters per district is higher than the rest of the country. The average size of each district is 709,000. The second-most votes cast came in Colorado's 2nd District, with 421,580 total votes.
  • The smallest margin of victory, was North Carolina's 7th District, where incumbent Democrat Mike McIntyre defeated David Rouzer (R) by 0.2 percent (654 votes).
  • The largest margin of victory where both major parties fielded a general election candidate was in New York's 15th District, where incumbent Democrat Jose Serrano defeated Frank Della Valle (R) by 83%.
  • The average margin of victory of all congressional districts was 31.85%, meaning that on average the winner of each race received nearly twice as many votes as the top opponent. Average MOV for Democratic winners was 35.7%, while the average for Republicans was 28.6%.
  • The average number of votes cast per district was 281,917, yielding an average voter turnout of 39.76%.

See also

References

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Washington Post "House Democrats Face Long Odds in 2014," December 7, 2012
  2. Salon.com "The House GOP can’t be beat: It’s worse than gerrymandering," January 13, 2013
  3. Cook Political Report, "2014 HOUSE RACE RATINGS," accessed August 9, 2013
  4. Cook Political Report, "2014 HOUSE RACE RATINGS," accessed September 18, 2013
  5. Cook Political Report, "2014 HOUSE RACE RATINGS," accessed October 21, 2013
  6. Cook Political Report, "2014 HOUSE RACE RATINGS," accessed October 30, 2013
  7. Cook Political Report, "2014 HOUSE RACE RATINGS," accessed December 18, 2013
  8. Cook Political Report, "2014 HOUSE RACE RATINGS," accessed January 7, 2014
  9. Cook Political Report, "2014 HOUSE RACE RATINGS," accessed January 15, 2014
  10. Cook Political Report, "2014 HOUSE RACE RATINGS," accessed February 14, 2014
  11. Cook Political Report, "2014 HOUSE RACE RATINGS," accessed March 13, 2014
  12. Cook Political Report, "2014 HOUSE RACE RATINGS," accessed April 4, 2014
  13. Cook Political Report, "2014 HOUSE RACE RATINGS," accessed August 14, 2014
  14. Cook Political Report, "2014 HOUSE RACE RATINGS," accessed August 14, 2014
  15. Cook Political Report, "2014 HOUSE RACE RATINGS," accessed October 24, 2014
  16. Cook Political Report, "2014 HOUSE RACE RATINGS," accessed October 24, 2014
  17. Center for Politics "Crystal Ball," Accessed November 5, 2013
  18. Sabato's Crystal Ball, "2014 House Ratings," accessed on November 5, 2013
  19. Sabato's Crystal Ball, "2014 House Ratings," accessed on December 17, 2013
  20. Sabato's Crystal Ball, "2014 House Ratings," accessed on January 7, 2014
  21. Sabato's Crystal Ball, "2014 House Ratings," accessed on March 12, 2014
  22. Sabato's Crystal Ball, "2014 House Ratings," accessed on March 31, 2014
  23. Sabato's Crystal Ball, "2014 House Ratings," August 6, 2014
  24. Politico, "5 House primaries to watch," Accessed August 8, 2013
  25. Roll Call;, "Democrats Launch New Program for House Recruits," May 9, 2013
  26. NRCC.org, "Nick Rahall's War on Umbrellas," September 12, 2013
  27. Reuters, "U.S. Senate Republicans start closing ranks on spending bill," accessed September 24, 2013
  28. 28.0 28.1 Izaak Walton League of America, "What is a Farm Bill?", accessed September 17, 2013
  29. National Farmers Union, "2013 Farm Bill", accessed September 17, 2013
  30. New York Times, "Fraud Used to Frame Farm Bill Debate", accessed September 17, 2013
  31. National Journal, "Fight Over Food Stamps Dominates Farm Bill", accessed September 19, 2013
  32. University of Illinois Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, "2013 Farm Bill Update - July 2013", accessed September 17, 2013
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 Miami Herald, "Timeline of key events in Syrian uprising," September 4, 2013
  34. U.S. News and World Reports, "John Kerry, Chuck Hagel Pitch Syrian Strike to Congress," September 3, 2013
  35. Huffington Post, "House Syria Hearing: John Kerry, Chuck Hagel Going Before Foreign Affairs Committee," September 4, 2013
  36. The Washington Post, "Redistricting didn’t win Republicans the House," February 17, 2013