wave election

Republicans win a special election — and complete control of the 2014 narrative

Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, and Harry Reid

While we should be cautious to read too much into a special election, there’s no denying that the Republican victory last night in Florida’s Thirteenth Congressional District (FL-13) is bad news for Democrats in the 2014 mid-term election, regardless of how they try to deflect it.

The spin from Democrats is that FL-13 had long-been held by Republicans and the district has a Republican tilt, albeit very slight, at R+2. This is true. But talking points miss some very important points.

First, this is a district twice won by President Barack Obama, so it’s more friendly to Democrats than they want to admit. Secondly, Democrats had the money advantage. Alex Sink, who lost last night, overwhelmingly outraised and outspent her Republican opponent, former lobbyist David Jolly, and outside groups backing the Democrat slightly outspent those backing the Republican candidate.

Third, Jolly was a lobbyist, and that point was frequently brought up by Sink and outside groups backing her campaign. Despite being pegged in populist rhetoric as a Washington insider, Jolly managed to win.

Nate Silver: 60% chance Republicans takeover the Senate

Jon Karl and Nate Silver

Election guru Nate Silver says that Republicans are likely to win the net-six seats that they need to take control of the Senate in the 2014 mid-term election, noting that they could pick up as many as 11 seats in the chamber.

In a segment with ABC’s This Week, Silver, who runs the statistics website FiveThirtyEight, told Jon Karl that Republicans will take open seats in Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia. He believes that Republicans are likely to take Arkansas, pointing out that polls have shown Republicans “pretty consistently ahead.”

Silver, who accurately predicted outcome in all 50 states in the 2012 presidential election, gives Republicans a 55% shot of taking Louisiana and an even shot of winning in North Carolina. If Republicans win each of those three seats, plus the three aforementioned open seats, they would take control of the Senate.

Silver also gives Republicans a 45% shot of winning in Alaska. He gives lesser odds of the GOP taking Michigan and Colorado, races that are being watch closely by political analysts with buzz building about a “Republican wave.”

“This is the drum roll,” said Karl. “Republicans need six seats. What’s the projection, how many are they going to pick up?”

“I’d say exactly six,” Silver replied, “but it’s probably six, plus or minus five,” acknowledging that Republicans “could” pick up as many as 11 seats in the most extreme “wave election” scenario.


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