Why Republicans Won The House, But Not The Senate

November 3, 2010
By

The bottom line: There were a lot of Republican-leaning House districts “represented” by Democrats. But this year’s Senate races were mostly played on “blue” turf.

The Cook Partisan Voting Index tracks just how Republican or Democrat a district is. A CPVI of R+1 means that, in the last two presidential elections, the district voted more Republican than the rest of the nation by 1 point.

Here are the House districts the Republicans picked up yesterday, along with their CPVIs:

A sea of red. Republican voters in these districts realized that the “moderate” Democrat is a myth. A vote for, say Bobby Bright (D-AL), is actually a vote for Nancy Pelosi. So they voted for the Republican party’s candidate instead.

But look at the CPVIs of the Democrat Senate seats that were up for grabs yesterday:

A morass of blue. It’s a miracle that the GOP might pick up as many as 7 seats out of that bunch.

The good news? 2012 and 2014 feature much more favorable terrain in Senate races. Harry Reid’s days as Majority Leader are numbered.

29 Responses to Why Republicans Won The House, But Not The Senate

  1. John Kasich for POTUS - 2012 on November 3, 2010 at 6:35 am

    FACT:
    Conservatives won BIGTIME last night!!
    …best in 60 YEARS!!
    only shrill liberal crybabies will try to deny it :cry:

    And now,
    The Senate is
    PERFECTLY setup for a 2012 “Rope a Dope”
    where liberals will experience even more defeat! :lol:

    — — — — — — —

    John Kasich for POTUS! — 2012
    :grin:

  2. John Kasich for POTUS - 2012 on November 3, 2010 at 6:39 am

    Where is Warner to state his strong belief that:

    “The ONLY poll that counts is the one in November”

    — — — — — —

    :grin: John Kasich for POTUS! — 2012

  3. phineas gage on November 3, 2010 at 6:43 am

    Good analysis, Poli.

  4. phineas gage on November 3, 2010 at 6:45 am

    Red is red and blue is blue, and ne’er the twain shall meet.

    We are as divided as we have ever been. So be it.

    WV remains the big disappointment. Maybe we can still get CO.

  5. archtop on November 3, 2010 at 7:02 am

    I’m proud that my vote helped to flip a D+3 district (NH-2)…

  6. MikeN on November 3, 2010 at 8:13 am

    So would you guys prefer that Mike Castle had won the primary? He would be Senator-elect Castle right now. Also, Lowden over Angle, means no Harry Reid. That’s 50 seats if Buck holds on. To be consistent, you would have to give up Buck for Norton, who would have won easily.

    And Simmons in Connecticut maybe beats Vietnam liar Blumenthal.
    On paper he looks better, but if he couldn’t beat McMahon, maybe not.

  7. phineas gage on November 3, 2010 at 8:28 am

    No regrets about Castle; in the long run it was the best thing. Congress will be gridlocked either way.

  8. MikeN on November 3, 2010 at 8:29 am

    At this point, you need to make the right calls for 2012.
    Here are the pickup chances in order
    Nebraska Florida Missouri Montana North Dakota West Virginia
    Virginia Ohio Pennsylvania Michigan Minnesota Wisconsin Washington
    Other Dem seats Good luck with these:
    Hawaii Daniel Akaka New Jersey Bob Menendez
    New Mexico Jeff Bingaman New York Kirsten Gillibrand
    Rhode Island Sheldon Whitehouse Vermont Bernie Sanders
    California Dianne Feinstein

    My recommendations for the rest
    Delaware Tom Carper bring back Castle to at least drain resources
    Connecticut Joe Lieberman Republicans abandon him. Let him lose to a Democrat that might lose down the road.
    Massachusetts Scott Brown no primary
    Indiana Richard Lugar bring in Stutzman
    Maryland Ben Cardin Michael Steele again
    Tennessee Bob Corker primary
    Texas Kay Bailey Hutchison can Michael Williams win a primary?
    Utah Orrin Hatch primary him
    Maine Olympia Snowe no primary challenger here
    Mississippi Roger Wicker primary here?
    Arizona Jon Kyl Nevada John Ensign Wyoming John Barrasso

  9. SteveM on November 3, 2010 at 9:38 am

    So would you guys prefer that Mike Castle had won the primary? He would be Senator-elect Castle right now. Also, Lowden over Angle, means no Harry Reid

    That’s nothing but speculation. In any case winning the Senate would not have been a good result for the GOP. What actually happened was just about the perfect result, and sets up the 2012 POTUS race very nicely.

  10. Warner on November 3, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Republicans didn’t win the Senate because of the Tea Party.

  11. SteveM on November 3, 2010 at 9:53 am

    The GOP went with safe corporate establishment candidates in California. How did that work out?

  12. SteveB on November 3, 2010 at 10:23 am

    SteveM, please name the potential Republican California candidate that could have produced a different result?! There wasn’t one. Carly Fiorina was exactly what California needed at the right time – someone with business leadership experience and an accomplished woman at that, and yet, California wouldn’t give her the time of day. Can only a RINO Ahhnold win as a Republican? I’d say that Republicans gave it the best effort and California wasn’t listening. If you think California is bad now, wait a few more years….maybe California just needs a few more years in economic purgatory before they are willing to listen.

  13. Aaron on November 3, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Harry Reid was eminently beatable this year. Sharron Angle was too extreme. She’s be great in Georgia or Alabama, but not Nevada. What can we do going forward to avoid stupid mistakes like running far right conservatives in states that would never elect such a candidate in a million years.

    Christine O’Donnell and Sharon Angle were “unforced errors” and we now have to suffer far left kooks as a result.

  14. SteveB on November 3, 2010 at 10:30 am

    I think the story of the day is that the much expected turnout gap wasn’t there. Gallup will come out of this the worst, predicting between 15-19 percentage points difference that never materialized. It had a lot of people giddy, but it just didn’t happen. Independents did vote more for Republicans this cycle, but it was a small swing, and as it was, it was barely enough in Pennsylvania, where Pat Toomey ran a very strong campaign. In West Virginia, if Manchin hadn’t become a born again conservative, things could have been different. As for the Tea Party, they helped energize the Republican base and as a result, we don’t have a Senator Crist or a Senator Specter. On the flipside, Buck and O’Donnell were flawed candidates in many ways, and Angle wasn’t helped by having a significant opposition within the Republican Party (remember the Republicans for Reid, anyone?)

  15. SteveB on November 3, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Aaron, you’re right on several counts and yet Angle soundly beat Reid in the one debate they had. Many conservatives were praising her strong campaign finish and many are perplexed at her loss. I expected it to be closer – Reid did a good job of mobilizing the base and attacked her non-stop. I think some of her comments on Social Security etc. were too easy for Reid to exploit. Very disappointing.

  16. SteveM on November 3, 2010 at 10:50 am

    SteveM, please name the potential Republican California candidate that could have produced a different result?! There wasn’t one.

    I’m not saying there was. I’m pointing out to the Tea party bashers here that there is more to winning than just running non-TP candidates.

  17. SteveM on November 3, 2010 at 10:53 am

    What can we do going forward to avoid stupid mistakes like running far right conservatives in states that would never elect such a candidate in a million years.

    Come off it. Toomey won in PA and Johnson won in Wisconsin. So “far right” candidates can win in slightly Democratic states.

  18. John Kasich for POTUS - 2012 on November 3, 2010 at 11:07 am

    0bama’s afternoon yawn-fest only resulted in this:

    • Not taking any accountability for his failed policies
    Blaming the stupid voters for not understanding him
    • Continuing with lies, projection and being stuck on stupid

    This is great news!

    And, by liberals having the Senate, it sets up 2012 nicely:

    • 0’Zero stays stuck on stupid (voters will punish him for it in 2012)
    • GOP House succeeds in passing 2010’s mandate (hold their gains)
    • DEM Senate fails to pass 2010’s mandate (Dems lose 2012 Senate)

    The next two years will be interesting to say the least.

    — — — — — — —

    John Kasich for POTUS — 2012 :grin:

  19. John Kasich for POTUS - 2012 on November 3, 2010 at 11:19 am

    But, to be fair, the Dems are poised to lose the 2012 Senate anyway — mainly because liberals will need to carry many purple and red states, which is not bloody likely as it is quite clear now that 0bama plans to stay stuck on stupid for the next 2 years, and not take any accountability for his failed policies or his abysmal failure of a presidency.

    So even if the Senate does pass parts of 2010’s mandate, the Senate dems are still quite likely to go over a big cliff in 2012 with 0’Zero leading their way to even further disaster and irrelevance.

    0’Zero = one of the best Conservative galvanizers in American history!

    — — — — — — —

    John Kasich for POTUS — 2012 :grin:

  20. SteveM on November 3, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Angle won 53% of the vote among whites in Nevada. But they only made up 72% of the voters, and Reid was able to win big (70%+) among blacks, Hispanics, and Asians.

    What liberal Republicans have done to California, they are slowly doing to the rest of the country as well.

  21. SteveB on November 3, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Immigration is the ultimate wedge issue – it could be that the immigration backfired for Sharron Angle and worked for Harry Reid to keep him alive politically. She ran in favor of Arizona’s law and Harry ran against it, that may be why Angle decisively lost the Hispanic vote and because Dirty Harry has been pushing amnesty every chance he gets. For the majority of Hispanics that seems to be the issue that drives them. I imagine you can chart the switch in California from purple (with Reagan) to solid blue with the increase in the Latino population there, coupled with the union lock on power there. Nevada is following in California’s footsteps. Oregon is there already (and I’m from Oregon).

  22. John Kasich for POTUS - 2012 on November 3, 2010 at 11:47 am

    “Nevada is following in California’s footsteps. Oregon is there already”

    Sounds like you’re rooting for the San Andreas Fault to win the war.

    :wink: Heh… Just kidding

    — — — — — — —

    John Kasich for POTUS ~ 2012 :grin:

  23. SteveM on November 3, 2010 at 11:51 am

    “She ran in favor of Arizona’s law and Harry ran against it, that may be why Angle decisively lost the Hispanic vote”

    I’m afraid that’s wishful thinking. She lost the Hispanic vote because Republicans always lose the Hispanic vote. Bush and McCain, who both pandered pathetically to Hispanics and called their white bases “racist”, still got beaten like a mule among Hispanic voters. Ronald Reagan, who passed the first amnesty in 1986, got whipped among Hispanic voters even while winning every state in the union.

    Dirty Harry has been pushing amnesty every chance he gets. For the majority of Hispanics that seems to be the issue that drives them.

    The polls say otherwise. The issues that drive Hispanics are the same issues that drive left-wing people in general – they want more government services. More schools, more health-care, more welfare, etc.

  24. SteveB on November 3, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Steve M wrote: “I’m not saying there was. I’m pointing out to the Tea party bashers here that there is more to winning than just running non-TP candidates.”

    I agree with you Steve. And the liberal media believes the tea-party crowd is right-wing too. The facts are that the tea party, while trending conservative, are a diverse crowd, and include a lot of independents. I went to a tea party event in upstate NY and it was fascinating… and many there were participating in the political process for the first time. Besides, each state’s level of organization is different, and Sarah Palin to the extent that she has supported the tea party, doesn’t necessarily speak for them. Her picks were a mixed bag too. Candidates like Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Linda McMahon and Joe Miller fit the tea party mold only in that they aren’t establishment candidates, as such they all exhibited rough edges at times. In the case of McMahon, Buck, ODonnell and Angle, because of where they were running (states running from light to deep blue), they had to be flawless to have a chance at winning, and unfortunately none of them were.

  25. SteveB on November 3, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Another thing to consider is that this election was in part a referendum on Obama, not yet an endorsement of Republicans. That made Democrats vulnerable in red districts (many house races) but not as much in blue states that haven’t woken up and decided yet that they want conservatism. Colorado, Nevada and California are still somewhat to very pro-big government. Maybe they haven’t hurt enough for long enough to wake up and realize why they are hurting. Republicans have to lead on principle and propose solutions during these next two years. They can do this in the House. If they do this, they will swing over many who aren’t yet convinced, even if Obama vetoes all of their efforts.

  26. SteveB on November 3, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Could it also be in the case of Buck that the whole Maes/Tancredo split dragged down his chances? Did the governor race actually help Bennett? What’s interesting is that the polls were neck and neck for CO-Senate but slightly favorable for Angle and yet Angle lost by 5, Buck lost by 1%.

    As for Washington state, I thought Rossi was a good candidate, got to hate it for him if he loses… first he loses a suspicious recount to Gregoire, and now this… maybe he can pull it out but I have my doubts.

  27. MikeN on November 3, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Could it be that massive vote fraud in cities just undid a gop wave at the Senate level?

  28. ben macken on November 3, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    bye bye bela pelosi

  29. bobo on November 3, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    My take: Tea Party movement = Great for the GOP and country… Tea Party candidates, not so much. PS. Ron Paul is still a loony fringe isolationist that has no chance in ’12 but keep pluckin that chicken invalid lol you dbag.

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