Monday, May 23, 2011

Interesting national trend in legislative special elections

Around the country, there have been 8 legislative special elections since March 1, 2011 in districts that voted in November of 2010 and had a traditional two-party race. (Meaning a Republican and a Democrat rather than only one candidate from a major party, or a third party candidate grabbing a significant number of votes.) Those races make for an interesting comparison between now and November, and may well foreshadow what happens here in six months.

The 8 races all came from the West, the Midwest, and the Northeast. Some Southern races would have been interesting and instructive, but none have happened. What those races show is a substantial swing in favor of Democrats. Here are the districts, and their respective Democratic percentages:

District:               2010 Dem %             2011 Dem%              Change
California AD-4          36.65                        44.62                   D+7.97
Maine HD-11             26.08                        40.75                 D+14.67
Maine SD-7               48.37                        67.87                  D+19.50
Mass. HD-10             68.86                        67.64                    R+1.22
Minnesota SD-66       76.15                        80.25                    D+4.10
NH HD-4                  42.69                        58.18                  D+15.49
Wisconsin AD-83      21.28                        25.83                    D+4.55
Wisconsin AD-94      41.12                        53.69                  D+12.57

Average                    45.15                         54.85                    D+9.70

Interesting numbers, but again, none of them are from the South, so it may not mean much.  We'll see when November rolls around.


Sam said...

Democrats have historically had good luck with legislative special elections in MS. I can't remember but one we've lost since 2006, but I could be mistaken. I know we've won some good fights, too, not just walk-away districts.

Legislative races are like county races — local politics is more about the person and the issues, less about the party affiliation.

If we can make that translate better on the statewide level, we'll do better than people expect.

roboflop said...

It would be more instructive if a number earlier than 2010 was included as well. With 2010 being such a major sweep for the Republicans, most of these are more likely districts returning to their natural levels.