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Fall Elections

In most of the world, the practice is to limit the number of races being contested on any given election day.  Thus, regional elections are held on a separate day from national elections.  In the U.S., however, most states opt to hold state elections on the same day as national elections.  Thus, in most states, the election for governor either falls on the same day as the mid-term election or on the same day as the presidential election.  In a small number of states, however, the election for governor occurs in an odd-year.

Two states — Virginia and New Jersey — hold the election in the year after the presidential election.  (Three states — Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi — hold the elections in the year before the presidential election.)  Both New Jersey and Virginia have a tendency — not absolute, but a tendency — to elect a governor from the party not in the White House.  In New Jersey, the last time that the party in the White House won the governor’s race was 1985.  In Virginia, while the party in the White House won in 2013, the last previous time that the party in the White House won was 1973.  There are a lot of reasons for these results — including. similar to the problem that the party in the White House faces in mid-term elections, the simple fact that governing is much harder than running for office, so supporters of the party in power tend to be disappointed with the actual fruits of their victory while those out of power tend to be angry and motivated.

As things currently stand, things are looking very good for the Democratic candidates in New Jersey.  Aside from New Jersey’s normal Democratic lean and the tendency for the party not in the White House to win, the Republicans nominated the current Lieutenant Governor, making it hard to separate the current Republican ticket from the corruption of the current administration of term-limited governor Chris Christie.  The Democratic candidate, Ambassador Phil Murphy, leads by double digits in every poll this fall.  While some of the polls show enough undecided voters to leave a theoretical opening for the Republican candidate, the race in New Jersey is not particularly close. Continue Reading...

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Election Night 2016 — What to Look For (Part Four)

fireworksAs 9:00 p.m. rolls around, enough states have been closed long enough that exit polls become less significant, and raw vote count becomes more significant.  If the exit polls and early returns in the state had been clear enough, those states would have already been called.  The question at this point in time is which if any of the contested states and races have been called.  While enough states remain that technically nobody will have yet won the White House, or the majority in the Senate, or the majority in the House, it should be becoming clear whether it is simply a matter of waiting for the polls to close in “safe” states or if it is going to be a long night waiting for the last votes in a handful of states.  While the race is not yet over, the next two hours should determine the winners.

9:00 p.m. (EST) — The remaining polls close in Michigan, Kansas, South Dakota, and Texas.  Additionally, the polls close in Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.  Colorado and Wisconsin are the last of the “at risk” states that are part of Secretary Clinton’s easiest path to 270.  Arizona and Nebraska 2 join Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, and Maine 2 in the batch of electoral votes that Trump absolutely needs to get to 270.

Continue Reading...

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