Princeton Election Consortium

A first draft of electoral history. Since 2004

Senate race re-cap

June 30th, 2009, 10:08pm by Sam Wang


Last year I recommended a donation strategy that nearly 400 of you followed to give nearly $45,000 to one side (and an unknown amount to the other side). Now that Al Franken is finally on his way to being Minnesota’s junior senator (by 312 votes, a 0.01% margin), was it a good strategy?

During the campaign I pointed out that an individual donor can maximize the effectiveness of his/her campaign contributions by giving to knife-edge races. By definition, these are the same races, whichever side you’re on. I listed them on my ActBlue page. I also gave a link to the National Republican Senate Committee.

The five knife-edge races were (D vs. R): Minnesota (Franken vs. Coleman), Georgia (Martin vs. Chambliss), Mississippi (Musgrove vs. Wicker), Alaska (Begich vs. Stevens), and Oregon (Merkley vs. Smith). Early in the season I suggested North Carolina (Hagan vs. Dole), but as Election Day neared Hagan pulled ahead. So that one doesn’t count.

If “knife-edge” is identified correctly based on polls, we’d expect two or three of these races to go to Democratic candidates. Franken, Begich, and Merkley make three. Just about par.

Tags: 2008 Election

One Comment so far ↓

  • Nicholas J. Alcock

    I have to admit, your statistical analysis, is stunningly brilliant, almost beyond belief.
    To be fair, yours and other sites, forecast the Senate outcome incredibly accurate. The outcome of the presidential election was again very close. But, given the similarity of electoral votes in three tied races, NC, Mo and Ind it is relatively easy to get the electoral votes right but still call two of the races wrong?