Princeton Election Consortium

A first draft of electoral history. Since 2004

Election night liveblogging, 9:00PM

November 4th, 2014, 9:23pm by Sam Wang


See below the fold for older commentary. The most recent comment will appear up top.

12:10am: Tonight’s performance by the GOP has been quite remarkable. In close Senate races, Republicans seem to be outperforming polls by around 5 percentage points. That goes a long way toward explaining what is happening in Virginia. In close gubernatorial races, Republicans are outperforming polls by about 3 percentage points.

I did say that historically, midterm polling can be off in either direction by a median of 3 percentage points – far worse than Presidential years. Tonight is certainly consistent with that.

11:30pm: Ernst will win Iowa. Other than New Hampshire, it’s looking like a sweep of close races by Republicans. Counting CO, GA, IA, KS, and NC gets to 52. Alaska and Louisiana are still outstanding, but that’s icing on the cake for the GOP.

11:15pm: Republican candidates are heading toward victory in Kansas and Colorado. Still outstanding are Virginia (possibly D), North Carolina (probably R), and Iowa (moving fast, heading toward R).

10:55pm: Republicans are overperforming polls substantially. The exact amount varies, but in key states (KS, VA, GA Senate; WI, GA governor) the bonus is remarkably large.

10:45pm: Rick Snyder (R-MI-Gov) wins.

10:20pm: Nathan Deal (R-GA-Gov) wins. In this and other races, Republican governors are looking good.

Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) is leading. If Orman loses that one, then I think it’s over for Senate Democrats.

10:08pm: Scott Brown (R-NH-Sen) loses by an estimated 3-4%.

10:00pm: Update on projected margins in early states: KY, McConnell +14%. NH, Shaheen +4%. NC…man, that’s a close race.

Very few governors’ races called yet…but incumbents are running stronger than indicated by surveys.

9:45pm: Wyoming Governor and Senate for the R candidates. This is in the category of taking out the recycling…not exciting to talk about, but gotta do it.

9:30pm: NYT calls NH-Sen for Shaheen. The margin’s looking like 3-4%, a bit better than the pre-election 2%.

9:00pm: Tom Wolf (D) wins Gov-PA. Susan Collins (R) wins Sen-ME. Abbott (R) wins Gov-TX.

The Upshot is estimating Virginia Senate at Warner (D) by 1%. Looks similar over here. A nail-biter for sure. This will depend on large-population counties: Virginia Beach, Prince William.

Tags: 2014 Election

131 Comments so far ↓

  • Valdivia

    it seems like the polls over estimated for dems in some states but not in others no? NH looks like she overperformed.

  • Kenny Johnson

    Do we really expect that the Virginia polls were really that off? I know that there is still a lot of counting to go, but I’m a bit surprised by the tv pundits reaction to it.

    It’s kind of humorous watching HuffPo Live (I don’t have cable) and seeing them already predicting doom for the Dems.

  • Kenny Johnson

    It looks like they are calling NH for Shaheen.

  • Violet

    I’m truly gonna cry if and when they call Iowa for the hog castrator.

  • Olav Grinde

    Any thoughts on Georgia?
    I’m a bit surprised at the low percentage for Nun so far.

  • Zeke Hunkaburning

    Doom for the Dems? I am confused. Is it possible that my predictions, hopes, are off, after all I based them on solid scientific principles like everyone else here.

    I predicted that Dems out perform the polls, that the polls under polled minorities, and that the Dem’s GOTV ground game outperforms the GOP’s ground game.

    According to CNN (that’s my only TV source) it’s doom and gloom for the Dems. It’s hard to argue with numbers, ya know, the wisdom of the crowd and all. But it ain’t over till the fat lady sings and money is as good as cash.

    We’ll always have New Hampshire.

  • JayBoy2k

    Where is the data on GA? I saw that CO had Gardner 52-43 with 50% of results in.

  • Jacob

    Looks like there will be a few head-scratching races, most notably KY. Polls were way off in terms of margin there.

  • Froggy

    Anyone have a good read on the FL gov results? If the numbers on the HuffPo site are accurate, I’m not seeing much chance of Crist making up the difference in what remains of the South Florida counties.

    • Froggy

      In fact, change “much chance” to “any chance” in that last comment. It looks like Scott has this won.

  • Jacob

    Seems like there were some major voting problems in Broward Co. – or is that overstated?

  • Olav Grinde

    I am shocked that CNN doesn’t bother to list third-party candidates, such as Amanda Swann in Georgia, running against Nunn and Perdue.

  • Reason

    City of Va Beach is all in. Prince William is mostly in. This is insane!

  • JayBoy2k

    Gardner just called in Colorado — 50%to 44% with 62% in — There doe snot seem to be any significant polling bias

  • Alan Koczela

    Well, it looks like VA may blow everybody’s bracket. Nearly all the R counties/cities are in. Warner better start rackin’ up the vote in Fairfax County or he is toast. There’s still a few votes around Portsmouth and Prince William County, but not enough to really matter. Warner really needs to perform better in Fairfax County — the only place he is ahead, has a large population and still has 40% of the vote to tally. He can still do it, but it will be really close.

  • Kenny Johnson

    Upshot is giving R+5 for CO.

  • Reason

    Now they are saying Gillispie could win by 2k. UGH!

  • Jacob

    I wonder if the general trend towards Rs outperforming polls might be related to increased voting restrictions.

  • Reason

    Warner is going to lose. Unbelievable.

  • The Live Toad

    Overall this looks like underestimating the R vote. Seems you can always figure on this when you are counting on GOTV. All the non-old-white-males that D’s ignore between elections.

  • Liberty Raider

    Roberts is going to win, and this shows the limitation, with all due respect, when people like Mr. Wang, who although may understand statistics very well, lack general knowledge of politics or political science.
    Literature has shown that 3 way races and races with independents are volatile. Kansas is a state with huge Republican party ID, and a strong anathema to sending Democrats or Democrat wanna-bes to D.C. Roberts will win by about 5 or so way off from what this site predicted.

    • Froggy

      It’s a little early to be making this comment, given that there’s still a lot of Kansas yet to be counted. I’d expect Orman to rack up some good numbers in Wyandotte county, for instance.

    • Jay Sheckley

      “people like Mr. Wang, who although may understand statistics very well, lack general knowledge of politics or political science.”
      Oh? !) There _are_ no “people like Mr Wang”- brain scientists who cull poll data. “Literature has shown that 3 way races and races with independents are volatile. ” Where has he written the race was not volatile? Mr Wang is a teacher, an author, a scholar, a compiler of all that is known. He is not a prognosticator. I think Cruz’ involement with #istandsunday brought out a lot more Christianist Soldiers than expected. Let this all be a lesson to us, you included

  • Pam Greta

    Right now in North Carolina Hagen is losing, any thoughts Sam on Hagan, will she pull it off?

  • SteveN

    WRAL in Raleigh is reporting Hagan behind Tillis by 2% with with 82% precincts counted.

  • A New Jersey Farmer

    Perhaps the GOP grew a GOTV effort that works. It will be interesting to hear the analysis.

    • Liberty Raider

      GOTV is overrated, the fundamentals run. Parties only talk about GOTV when they are trying to unskew polls. 2006 , the GOP claimed they could bring out value voters like in 2002 and 2004 and the polls were wrong. It was crap then, and it was crap now for the Dems.

    • Reason

      More like the Voter Suppression effort. Many states that R’s won had new voter laws that affected turnout.

  • Olav Grinde

    Upshot is predicting Hagan wins NC by 0.1 %. Far too close for comfort. She is currently behind by 1.7 %.

    • Neuropop

      Mecklenburg, Durham and Guildford counties are not in yet. Those should put Hagan over the top but it’ll be a squeaker.

  • SureshM

    Maryland is close….hard to believe. Has to believe – has to be a combination of the Dems sitting this one out and the Republicans more motivated.

  • JayBoy2k

    To give Sam credit, he kept on saying that the polling bias could go either way — help the Ds or help the Rs.
    Many on this site wanted to believe that the bias was against the Ds, when in fact it was making Ds in a number of states look better.

  • Cal State Disneyland

    Apparently, the hidden “GOTV” effect that wasn’t showing up in the polls… turned out to be our version of “unskewing” the polls, which is what I feared. Disastrous election.

  • Pam Greta

    Just looking at Kansas where Roberts is beating the independent guy Orman. Just wondering Sam will the independent win in Kansas?

  • Reason

    They all ran away from Obama. Even Warner. Look what that cost him?

    • Froggy

      Well Warner is leading right now, and he should increase the margin a little in what is still out in Petersburg and Richmond City.

  • Kenny Johnson

    Looks like VA has finally moved to the Dem side.

    • Froggy

      Yup, time to switch the worrying to North Carolina, where it looks like Kay Hagen may not be able to make up enough ground.

  • Eddie Luck

    Just looking at the election. My predictions Kay Hagan pulls it off like Professor Wang says by just a point. Independent Candidate Orman will beat Roberts ( remember the vote is still small, only 25% prediction! the upset of the night will be in Iowa. Bradley will take home the Bacon. Let’s see shall we?

  • Steven

    North Carolina is the scary one now. Iowa, Kansas, Alaska, North Carolina need to be D’s to keep a 50/50

  • Reason

    As long as it passes the recount threshold. But Iowa is gone. The R’s control the Senate. Sad.

  • A New Jersey Farmer

    Not a good night so far for Democrats or the polling model. Signing off.

    • Steven

      To be fair, polling model is 100% in calls so far (though NC looks bad), though it looks like the margins will be off. Iowa and Alaska will be interesting.

  • Chandra

    Georgia has been called for Perdue (R) by CNN. At this point the spread is a whopping 16% at 67% in….

  • Davey

    Wow…the returns overall seem to indicate one irrefutible fact: the polling was awful.

    • Reason

      Yep. Absolutely terrible. Overall polls had Warner ahead 10 and he is only winning by .1. Unreal. Maryland is going to have a R Gov. Along with Mass and Conn.

    • Liberty Raider

      The polling, with a supplement of fundamentals is mostly doing well. Wang’s numbers have been biased towards Dems, which has led to some self-selection here.

  • Jacob

    Now we go to the song and dance where we have post hoc explanations for results that are probably just the result of random poll error (but even without poll error, results are fairly unsurprising).

  • The Live Toad

    I have to ask this again: even if the D’s pulled this out it would have been because of polling error across the board. Since PEC pushes a polls-only estimate does not the fact that 538’s “secret sauce” pointed to exactly this result months ago say that fundamentals are important in predicting close contests? For me the electoral results are disappointing but at least it clarifies the value of information beyond the polls. Go Bayes!

  • Steven

    Rick Scott wins Florida

  • J

    While at this time the election results are going badly towards the Democrats, it would be wrong to dismiss GOTV as “unskewing” as it’s been proven that a strong GOTV wins the elections, and I get the impression that the Repubs might have just done that by playing to their base’s fears. All I can say about my predictions was that I was clearly wrong, which is rather unfortunate to say the least.

  • Reason

    Walker wins Wisconsin. I now worry about Va and 2016.

  • Kenny Johnson

    LA will go to run-off so, I think there will be at least one election we won’t know anytime soon.

  • Steven

    Per NC, Hagan still alive. Robeson county hasn’t reported yet, huge D votes & Charlotte still outstanding. Possible to make up the margin.

  • Sean Donahue

    Republican control of the Senate with less than 60 senators means nothing at all to the long term political status for either party.

    If the GOP sends bills that the President feels is not in the best interest of his party and the country, he will veto.

    No 2/3rds to override veto so we return to gridlock unless both parties come together with the end of the attempts to override ACA and centrist opinions will pass and be signed.

    2014 is exactly what the Democrats need for Hillary in 2016.

    They need a ticked off electorate, sick of the bills brought forth to the presidents desk and because of this will fight harder to elect Hillary and have the benefit of a stronger seats to defend in blue states in 2016. The GOP will have to defend 23-25 seats, while the Dems will only have to defend 9-11 seats.

    Yes, some of the polling was off, and will be examined to see where polls had bias, but the overall call of a Republican Senate by Wang was correct.

  • J

    I think the biggest question Democrats should ask themselves after tonight is: what the hell happened? I can’t quite believe the margins that the Republicans are pulling out in some of these races, and in some of what should be easily defendable governorships, the Democrats could just very well lose them (MA, MD). It makes one wonder how much misinformation and scaremongering that the media did over the past few months over these “crises” brought the traditional Repub base to the polls, while once again, Democrats stayed home. The way it’s going, it is comparable to 2010. So much for a majority of Democratic governorships after this cycle. Urgh.

  • Reason

    It is media scare mongering of Ebola and ISIS, along with voter id laws that turn away voters. Like here in Va. Bad, bad night. They will use this to win in 2016 too.

    • Liberty Raider

      There was voter ID in 2012 in VA when Obama won. So not a variable to distinguish 2014 or 2016.

    • Zeke Hunkaburning

      A famous French philosphor once said, “The definition of a Paronoid Schizophrenic is ” somone who ‘gets it’.”

      That doesn’t mean that just because everyone is out to get you, you have “Reason” to be paranoid.

      Ebola, ISIS, voter ID laws, media scare-mongering, they turned away all the voters that would have given the Dems a solid victory nation wide.

  • Reason

    There was no voter ID in Va until this election year. It was voted on in 2012 and enacted for this year.

  • Steven

    The Senate is GOP! 50 GOP currently plus the inevitable LA runoff makes 51. Plus a pickup in NC, AK, IA, VA are all possible. Democrats not in those states can go to bed it is O. V. E. R. OVER! :'(

  • JayBoy2k

    So far tonight, PEC has called exactly 1 race (Kansas) incorrectly and it’s predictions are the same as every other Poll Aggregator.
    There seems to be a strong poll bias helping Rs. I note that in a number of states like Georgia, Independents/Moderates seem to have made the difference between polls and results.
    There has been no significant GOTV.

    I emphasize SO FAR, because I need to catch up on all this in the morning.

  • Reason

    Va will remain dem but there will be a recount. Sad. This shows the D strategy of blaming Obama and running away from him cost them. This is a bad omen for 2016.

    • Sean Donahue

      The lesson that Dems learned tonight is when you run away from the president, you get your wish… you are away from the president.

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