Obama Carried 34 Districts Represented By GOPers

In 2004, George W. Bush carried a total of 41 congressional districts represented by Democrats while John Kerry won in just 18 districts represented by Republicans. In 2008 the numbers looked quite a bit different.

Some of the most competitive congressional races of 2010 will be in districts where voters split their ballots between Republicans for the House of Representatives and Democrat Barack Obama for the White House.

CQ Politics' analysis of presidential election returns in all 435 congressional districts shows there are 34 that split that way -- perhaps a testament to the durability of partisan voting habits in House races or maybe a further decline in the "coattails" effect.

Those split districts complement the 49 that favored Republican John McCain for president while helping the Democrats expand their congressional majority.

As you can see from this crunching of numbers, which comes some time after the initial tally by Swing State Project, John McCain carried just a few more "blue" districts than Bush did in 2004, which was to be expected given that there are about 25 percent more Democrats in the House than there were in 2004. The big change, however, came in the form of Barack Obama's performance among "red" districts, nearly doubling Kerry's showing even as House Republicans shed a significant portion of their membership.

At this juncture, these numbers have yet to affect the views of the Republican Congressmen representing these districts, arch conservatives who still believe it better to toe the party line rather than actually represent their constituents -- a determination that could very well come back to bite them in the future (the half of California Republicans representing districts carried by President Obama should be especially concerned, both because of the tilt of their districts and because of the backlash against Republicans in the state as a result of the GOP-manufactured budgetary impasses). But as we inch closer to the point at which these Republican Congressmen from Obama-districts must face the voters, I wouldn't be too surprised to finally start seeing some begin to peel away on issues, breaking up the near unanimous opposition to the President we have thus far seen from the House GOP.

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Dems Have Majority of Congressional Seats in 2/3 of States

The folks at First Read made the following interesting catch earlier in the week:

As things stand right now after Saturday's elections in Louisiana and the resolution of that Ohio congressional race, Democrats will hold a 257-178 advantage over Republicans in the next Congress, which means that Republicans will need to pick up 40 seats in the 2010 midterms to take back Congress. Here's another interesting finding: Before the election, per NBC's Abby Livingston, Democrats held a majority of the congressional delegations in 27 states; they now have majorities in 33 states. The changes: Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, and Virginia went from GOP to Dem; Arizona went from even to Dem; Idaho went from GOP to even; and Kansas went from even to GOP. All the state congressional delegations that went from GOP to Dem were in battleground states (MI, NV, NM, OH, VA), proving that where the Obama operation was, Dems made big gains down the ballot.

When we last looked at the numbers a month ago, the Democrats were leading in the nationwide popular vote for the House of Representatives by a 58,444,601 vote (52.80 percent) to 49,165,306 vote (44.42 percent) margin -- about a 9.3 million vote spread, or 8.4 percentage points. That differential has only grown as more votes have been counted.

Democrats: 62,907,110 votes (52.81 percent)
Republicans: 51,445,446 votes (43.19 percent)

As of the current count, then, House Democrats received 11.5 million more votes than House Republicans, good enough for a 9.6 percentage win. Throw on top of it the fact that the Democrats now hold a majority of US House seats in fully two-thirds of states, and the Democrats' accomplishment on November 4 looks that much more impressive in retrospect.

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LA-04 Results Thread

Here are the results of out the district the National Republican Congressional District just dumped $900,000 on -- despite the fact John McCain carried the district by 19 points on November 4:

John Fleming (R): 44,497 votes (48.07 percent)
Paul Carmouche (D): 44,141 votes (47.69 percent)

With 640 of 640 precincts (100.00 percent) reporting at 11:11 PM Eastern

Stay tuned...

Update [2008-12-6 22:46:12 by Jonathan Singer]: Seems to be tightening a tad with one in ten votes still to be counted. Nevertheless, Carmouche does continue to lead in this district, which isn't a bad sign...

Update [2008-12-6 23:13:8 by Jonathan Singer]: I haven't seen it called (at least the AP doesn't seem to have called it yet), but it isn't looking great.

Update [2008-12-6 23:17:31 by Jonathan Singer]: The AP has called the race in Louisiana's second district, with indicted incumbent Democrat "Dollar" Bill Jefferson losing. This is a very Democratic district that would probably come back to the fold in 2010 -- similar to what happened in Illinois in 1996, when the Democrats retook the seat lost by the then-indicted incumbent Dan Roskenkowski two years earlier.

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Dems Take House Vote by 8 Points for Second Straight Cycle

The Green Papers, which does a great job of tallying the numbers, finds the current spread in the nationwide House vote to be as follows:

Democrats: 58,444,601 votes (52.80 percent)
Republicans: 49,165,306 votes (44.42 percent)

These numbers comport with the exit polling, which showed the Democrats taking the day 54.12 percent to 43.88 percent. In terms of percentage of the electorate, the split between the parties doesn't look too dissimilar from the spread in 2006:

Democrats: 42,082,311 votes (52.0 percent)
Republicans: 35,674,808 votes (44.1 percent)

This is the first time in nearly two decades that either party received 52 percent or more of the vote in two straight elections. The Democrats' 52.8 percent share of the nationwide House vote is also a greater share than the Republicans have earned in any House election since 1946. Not coincidentally, the Democrats now have a larger majority than the Republicans had during their 12 years in power in the 1990s and 2000s -- and a greater majority than the Republicans had in 1952 or even 1946. In fact, you now have to go back all the way to 1928 to find a larger Republican majority in the House of Representatives. So Tuesday wasn't a bad night for the Democrats.

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Jonathan's Prediction Thread

Well, it's about that time again folks. I'm always a little reluctant to write down my electoral predictions, both out of a desire not to jinx anything and because posterity isn't always terribly kind to these things. Looking back, for instance, my picks from 2004 haven't really withstood the test of time (though my picks in 2006, 2007 and earlier this year were significantly more on the mark). But without further ado, this is what I'm seeing.

On the presidential level, I see Barack Obama taking home the popular vote by roughly a 52 percent to 46 percent margin. In the electoral college, I see a 357 to 181 split for Obama that works out as follows: Obama taking all of the Kerry states, plus the Gore states of Iowa and New Mexico; Obama picking up the traditional swing states of Ohio and Florida; Obama winning the emerging swing states of Virginia, North Carolina, Nevada and Colorado; Obama picking off a single electoral vote in Nebraska; and Obama gaining three more electoral votes by carrying either either North Dakota or Montana.

In the Senate, I see the Democrats coming up just short of their goal of 60 seats, picking up eight instead of nine this fall. Under this scenario, the first five seats picked up would be Virginia, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Alaska and Colorado, followed by Oregon and North Carolina. The eighth seat is a little less clear, either coming from a tough win for Al Franken in Minnesota or a December special election victory by Jim Martin in Georgia, where a runoff election is held in the event that no candidate receives 50 percent plus one of the vote.

On to the House, I see the Democrats gaining 39 seats to grow their majority to 274 -- or more than a 100-seat advantage over the Republicans. The Democrats won't be able to repeat their unprecedented feat from 2006, holding on to each of the seats they were holding coming into election day, but by and large the few Democrats in tough reelection campaigns will hold their seats.

In Governors races, which I haven't been watching as closely as I did in 2006, it appears to me that Jay Nixon (D) should win Missouri's governorship, the only party switch of the night. The Republicans should hold Indiana's governorship in a tough contest, and the Democrats should hold the governorships of North Carolina and Washington in very tight races. After tonight, then, the Democratic advantage in governorships would sit at 29 to 21 over the Republicans.

That's what I've got. Your thoughts?

Josh and I are up in Las Vegas through election day blogging about the campaign, and our coverage has graciously been sponsored by SEIU.

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