Thursday, November 06, 2014

2014 Midterm Recap: Study Up So You Can Start Preparing for 2015 Advocacy!

I’m sure you’ve been hearing a lot about the election results since polls closed on Tuesday.  In case you missed anything or got lost in the masses of news stories coming out, we’ve highlighted the key takeaways from the House, Senate, and gubernatorial races all in one place.

Major takeaway:  Republicans had a really good night on Tuesday.  They won enough seats to take control of the Senate back from Democrats for the first time in eight years and expanded their majority in the House.

More specifically, in the Senate
  • On Tuesday night, Republicans picked up 7 seats in the Senate previously held by Democrats (Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia).  They only needed 6 to take control of the Senate. 
  • New Hampshire and Minnesota were predicted to be tight races and incumbent Democrats managed to hold their seats in both states.
  • In Kansas, Republican incumbent Pat Roberts held onto his seat in what was projected to be a very tight race against Independent candidate George Orman. 
  • Georgia held onto its Republican Senate seat in a race where many thought, prior to the election, it would go to a runoff.
  • The Alaska Senate race has not yet been called, but Republican Dan Sullivan, is currently holding onto a slight lead over incumbent Democrat Mark Begich, so Republicans could pick up another seat in this state.
  • Louisiana’s Senate race has been forced to a runoff, which will take place in December.  It will still be a tight race, but many are saying that Republican candidate Bill Cassidy is projected to beat out incumbent Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu.
  •  Mitch McConnell managed to hang onto his seat in Kentucky over Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes.  He is expected to be elected the new Senate Majority Leader by Senate Republicans in January.
  • A total of 34 states had Senate races this cycle.

Meanwhile, in the House of Representatives…
  • All 435 members of the House were up for reelection this year.
  •  Republicans controlled the House this past Congress, and while not all races have officially been called, Republicans have clearly increased their majority in the House by at least 10 seats.

And the Governors’ races?
  • Races for governor took place in 36 states this cycle.
  • Republicans picked up 4 gubernatorial seats from Democrats in Arkansas, Illinois, Maryland, and Massachusetts.
  • Democrats only picked up Pennsylvania, with Democrat Tom Wolf beating out incumbent Republican Governor Tom Corbett.
  • The race in Alaska is still too close to call, with absentee ballots expected to continue to trickle in for the next week to 10 days.  As of now, Independent candidate Bill Walker has a slight lead over incumbent Republican Governor Sean Parnell.

Regardless of your feelings about the outcome of this election, it's now time to start thinking about how to prepare your advocacy strategy for the 114th Congress.  Stay tuned on our blog for some upcoming tips to begin planning your advocacy activities for the next month and the next year!

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