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2014 Midterm Election Voting and Predictions: A Look At The House, Senate, and Gubernatorial Races

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First Posted: Apr 07, 2014 05:40 PM EDT
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(Photo : Wikimedia Commons/Orser67)

When the 2014 midterm elections roll around this year, seats in the senate and house will be up for reelection. Also up for reelection are seats in a number of state and territorial governorships, legislatures, and local races. The general elections are scheduled to be held on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014.

United States House of Representatives Elections 2014

Elections for all 435 seats in the house representing all 50 states will be up for reelection on November 4, 2014. Also up for election is the non-voting delegate in the District of Columbia and four of the five U.S. territories: American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands. There are six current non-voting delegates to the U.S. House of Representatives and five of them are up for relection, all except for Puerto Rico.

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This year, a total of forty representatives are retiring from their seats, including 16 Democrats and 24 Republicans. 218 seats are needed for a majority. John Boehner of Ohio is the leader of the Republican Party, which currently has 233 seats, 15 more than are needed for a majority, making Boehner the incumbent Speaker of the House. Nancy Pelosi of California is the leader of the Democratic Party, which currently holds 199 seats and needs 19 to reclaim the majority.

The Guardian Reports that while the political environment could change before the election, a Democratic takeover of the House remains unlikely due to many factors, first among which is Obama's low presidential approval rating. "A closer look illustrates more problems for a possible Democratic takeover. In the seats that Democracy Corps identifies as the most vulnerable, Republican candidates are 1pt ahead. In this same category at this point in the 2012 cycle, Republican candidates were actually down 1pt. A few months before the 2012 election, Republicans were down 6pt in this category," Enten writes.

"So, the most vulnerable Republican candidates are actually in a stronger position now than they were for the 2012 election. When Republicans were far more at risk in 2012, they lost only 11 seats in this category and eight overall."

The states with competitive Districts in the 2014 House of Representatives midterm elections include Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. The most uncompetitive states are Idaho (R), Wyoming (R), North Dakota (R), South Dakota (R), Nebraska (R), Colorado (R), Kansas (R), Oklahoma (R), Missouri (R), Louisiana (R), Tennessee (R), Virginia (R), Pennsylvania (R), Alaska (R), Vermont (D), Massachusetts (D), Rhode Island (D), Delaware (D), and Hawaii (D).

United States Senate Elections 2014

The race for control of the Senate is much closer and will be the interesting one to watch this year on November 4, 2014. Unlike the House of Representatives, only 33 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate are being contested in regular elections. Winners will begin their six year terms on January 3, 2015 and serve until January 3, 2021. In the Senate, 51 seats are needed for a majority. Harry Reid of Nevada is the leader of the Democratic Party, which currently has 53 seats and the majority, making Reid the incumbent Majority Leader. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is the leader of the Republican party, which currently has 45 seats in the Senate. However, of the 33 seats up for election this year, 21 of those seats are Democratic and 15 of them are Republican.

One of the nation's leading political statisticians, Nate Silver, writes on his fivethirtyeight.com blog (now owned by ESPN) that, based on his proprietary methods of election evaluation, the Republicans have a slim lead to take the Senate. "One advantage of looking at the races on a probabilistic basis is that we can simply sum the probabilities to come up with a projection of how the new Senate will look. That method projects that Republicans will finish with 51 seats,a net gain of six from Democrats, and exactly as many as they need to win control of the chamber. (Democrats will hold the Senate in the event of a 50-50 split because of the tiebreaking vote of Vice President Joe Biden)," he writes.

"That represents an edge for Republicans, but not much of one - and there are any number of paths by which they might get to 51 seats, or fail to do so."

For the 2014 United States Senate elections, competitive seats include Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota, Virginia, and West Virginia. Safe seats include Alabama, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming.

United States Gubernatorial Elections 2014

The United States gubernatorial elections will be held on November 4, 2014 with governorships in thirty-six states up for reelection. The fourteen states in which governorships are not up for election are, from west to east, Washington, Nevada, Montana, North Dakota, Missouri, Louisiana, Mississippi, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Delaware, and New Jersey. The Republicans currently hold 29 governorships while the Democrats hold 21. This year's gubernatorial race has 18 Republican incumbents running for reelection. Seven Democrats are running for reelection with another 2 (Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Andrew Cuomo of New York) being eligible for reelection. Of the 8 total retiring or tem-limited incumbers, 5 are Democratic and 3 are Republican.  

The University of Virginia Center for Politics predicts that there won't be a major changes in this year's gubernatorial elections but the most likely scenario is that Democrats will gain a few governorships back from the Republicans. "One structural factor that explains our gubernatorial prospectus is that there are currently more Republicans who are governing states that President Obama won in 2012 (10) than Democrats governing Romney states (five). Of the five Romney-state Democrats, only one -- the open seat in Arkansas -- is up for election this cycle, and it's also the Republicans' best opportunity for a gubernatorial pickup (Democratic Illinois is second). Meanwhile, of the 10 Obama-state Republican governors, nine are up for reelection, and three stand out as quite vulnerable: Govs. Tom Corbett (R-PA), Paul LePage (R-ME) and Rick Scott (R-FL). Corbett and LePage are particularly endangered, and part of that is simply that their states are more Democratic than the nation as a whole, while Florida is a touch more Republican," Sabato and Kondik write.

They go on to suggest that a modestly Republican national sentiment will carry some weak incumbents over the finish line but on the whole, the national gubernatorial landscape should balance itself out somewhat after the November elections: "Still, it would be surprising if the GOP ended 2014 with more governors than they had when the year started. (The GOP currently holds 29 of 50.) So right now we suspect a modest net Democratic gain of one to three governors' mansions."

The toss-up states in the 2014 gubernatorial elections include Arkansas, Illinois, and Florida. Safe Democratic governorships include California, New York, and Vermont. Safe Republican seats include New Mexico, Alabama, Idaho, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wyoming.

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