Money is pretty good predictor of who will win elections
Today in the Morning Line:
- 94 percent of biggest House race spenders won
- 82 percent of biggest Senate race spenders won
- On this Veterans Day, just 18 percent of the new Congress will have served in the military, down from more than 70 percent in 1971.
Can't buy you love, but can buy you a duplex on Capitol Hill: We already know that the $4 billion spent on this midterm election was more than any other midterm in history. It was the most on congressional elections ever, including during a presidential year. What do the numbers really tell us? These two stats jumped out at us from a post-analysis done by the Center for Responsive Politics:
– 94 percent of biggest spenders in House races won, up slightly from 2012
– 82 percent of biggest spenders in Senate races won, up from 76 percent in 2012
What that means is, as one of us noted on NewsHour Monday night money, more specifically who spends the most, is about as good a predictor that there is of who will win a race. Those numbers, by the way, are pretty close to the incumbent reelection rates.
Top 5 most expensive Senate races overall:
North Carolina Senate: $113 million
Colorado Senate: $97 million
Iowa Senate: $85 million
Kentucky Senate: $78 million
Georgia Senate: $66 million
Top 10 most expensive Senate races per voter:
Alaska Senate: $121
New Hampshire Senate: $50
Iowa Senate: $39
Colorado Senate: $27
Arkansas Senate: $26
Kentucky Senate: $24
South Dakota Senate: $23
North Carolina Senate: $16
Montana Senate: $15
Kansas Senate: $14
Military service in Congress: The 114th Congress will be made up of 70 current members and 10 incoming members of the U.S. House of Representatives who have served or are serving in the U.S. military. Three of the incoming members are Democrats the other seven are Republicans. A number of veterans who are currently serving in the House decided to retire this year, and a small number lost re-election. Three incoming members of the Senate (two of whom are currently serving in the House) are serving or have served in the military — Tom Cotton, Gary Peters and Joni Ernst. There are currently only 13 members of the Senate who served in the military. In all, 96 members of the next session of Congress will have served in the U.S. military. That means that just under 18 percent of the new congressional delegation served in the armed forces. Note: This number includes one non-voting delegate from the Northern Marianas.
Fewer than one-in-five congressional lawmakers have served in the military: Compared to the 113th Congress, which began with 108 military veterans, the drop-off for the 114th Congress is only slight, but over the past few years each congressional delegation has had fewer veterans than the previous group — 16 percent of senators and 18 percent of representatives in the new class are military veterans or are currently serving. Jump back to 1971, when member military service was at its peak, veterans made up 72 percent of members in the House and 78 percent in the Senate. In 1981, that number dipped to 64 percent of members, but veterans still made up a majority of Congress.
Daily Presidential Trivia: On this day 1921, the Tomb of the Unknowns was dedicated at Arlington Cemetery in Virginia by President Harding. Who was president when Arlington Cemetery was established? Be the first to tweet us the correct answer using #PoliticsTrivia and you'll get a Morning Line shout-out. No one guessed Monday's trivia: No American president has served in the Marines, but how many have served in the military? The answer was: 26.
More than 3 million commenters crashed the Federal Communications Commission website in July to weigh in on the issue of net neutrality. Now President Obama has added his strong support, directing the FCC to protect equal access to all web content. NewsHour's Judy Woodruff spoke with U.S. chief technology officer Megan Smith about the president's move.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has scheduled a Wednesday evening closed hearing on the administration's strategy against the Islamic State.
"Nothing presents a larger threat to the Democrats' electoral fortunes," writes David Leonhardt, than this century's wage slowdown.
Republicans in the next Congress may not have the votes to repeal the latest Environmental Protection Agency regulations, but they plan to delay and defund them, with Sen. Jim Inhofe, the likely new chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, ready to investigate the agency.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., is again considering, as he did at the beginning of this Congress, using his seniority to take the top Democratic spot on the Appropriations Committee, currently chaired by Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md.
The House Ethics Committee is continuing probes against Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., and Ed Whitfield, R-Ky.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to channel his 2016 spending into governors' races and ballot initiatives, which yield more bang for the buck than congressional elections already inundated with outside spending.
Georgia won't go without a Senate campaign for long. Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson has announced he's launching his campaign for a third term next Monday.
Rep. Gary Peters will be the only Democrat at the Senate's freshmen orientation. Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who went through the same thing four years ago, said the Michigan Democrat shouldn't be worried. "These guys are more fun than you think," he said.
Ryan Lizza ponders Hillary Clinton and the "inevitability trap."
Pollsters usually ask likely voters whom they're planning to vote for, but asking who they think will win is actually a better predictor of electoral outcomes. In fact, that kind of survey predicted every Senate race this year except one.
"There is no surer way to elicit paranoid whispers or armchair psychoanalysis from Democrats," Noam Scheiber writes in The New Republic, "than to mention the name Valerie Jarrett."
Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Not all Republicans are "ready for Christie."
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Questions or comments? Email Domenico Montanaro at dmontanaro-at-newshour-dot-org or Rachel Wellford at rwellford-at-newshour-dot-org.
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