Sunday, March 6, 2011

Where else does McCain-2008 give the wrong story?

Earlier this week I looked at California and how, on average, Republican congressional candidates did a point or two better in Majority-minority districts, 2-3 in Democratic districts, and 12-20 in Republican districts. Even though Barack Obama won 6 of those districts in 2008 and lost 2 others by percentage points, Democrats have only been within 10 points of a Republican congressman in 6 of 57 elections in the last 3 cycles.

So I decided to look at statewide elections in 2006 and 2010, a strong Democratic year and a strong Republican one, both of which were mid-term elections. I took all the elected offices that had a Republican and Democrat running both years, averaged them, and then took the average of the two years. The sample size is small and the actual neutral average may not be at the midway point between the two. Yet this should tell us whether Obama's numbers are good to use when determining how Republican or Democratic a district is.

Obama outperformed the average statewide Democrat by 3.5 points in 2008. Thus, a district won by a few points probably doesn't lean Democratic.

Arizona and Iowa produce different, results. One would guess McCain, when running against a non-Arizona, would overachieve two Arizonans in race. Iowa, on the other hand, leans Republican on the state level despite leaning a little towards Obama in 2008. This should bode well for Republicans in 2012 when five congressional districts become 4.

Ohio went slightly more Republican in the Presidential race, but the difference is negligible. McCain numbers are fairly accurate.

Pennsylvania had the smallest sample size, as most statewide offices weren't up in 2010. It leans slightly more Democratic than Obama-McCain did. Considering Republicans have done well in Pennsylvania toss-up districts, this is a bit of a surprise. Florida is no surprise, however, as Republican candidates have done well there.

Nevada had a slightly stronger Democratic lean in the Presidential race.

Michigan produced the biggest disparity. Despite Obama's strong showing Republicans have done very well here. So Obama-McCain numbers aren't very indicative. Minnesota's slight Democratic lean is confirmed by the statewide vote.

The surprise isn't that Republicans won every statewide election in both years, but how well Obama did there in 2008. It seems unlikely he'll do so well again. Missouri's Obama-McCain numbers were very indicative.

Illinois Democrats do about as well as Obama did. You'd expect a stronger lean for Obama, given that he wasn't running against someone else from Illinois. Oregon's Democratic lean is fairly consistent.

Georgia has a remarakable number of statewide office holders and the numbers indicate that.

There are several other states that have sufficient 2006 and 2010 elections that I should be able to add later, but this data shows that Republicans do at least two points better than Obama in several states, but in only one, Arizona, do the Democrats do the same thing..

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