Today in the Morning Line:
- Women make just incremental gains
- Democrats slipped with women
- Republicans won big margins with men in key places
Women in the new Congress: There will be 100 women for the first time in Congress. Sounds like a big number, but the reality is that despite comprising more than half the population and more than half the voting electorate, women will still comprise less than a fifth of all lawmakers in the House and Senate. The number hardly represents a boon for women in Congress. Of the 15 women who ran for the Senate, just four won. The Senate is likely to have the same number of women as it did last Congress unless Mary Landrieu pulls off a surprising runoff victory next month. The House will pick up two to six women. Governors are net even. “True, the election did set a record of sorts: Next year, more than 100 women will serve in Congress for the first time in history,” the New York Times’ Sheryl Gay Stolberg writes. “But women in both parties say the growth is incremental and the numbers are disappointing.”
So how did women vote in this midterm? Women made up 51 percent of all voters in 2014, once again a majority of voters. Democrats won them 51-47 percent. But, as we noted before the election, Democrats need to win women by double digits to have success. (See page 16 of our PBS Election Briefing Book.) Republicans won men in 2014 by 16 points.
2014 National Exit Poll: Women
Women 2014: 51% of electorate | 51-47 for Democrats +4
Women 2012: 53% of electorate | 55-44 for Democrats +11
On the flip side, look at how men voted. They turned out as a larger share of the population and voted for Republicans by a much greater margin.
2014 National Exit Poll: Men
Men 2014: 49% of electorate | 57-41 for Republicans +16
Men 2012: 47% of electorate | 52-47 for Republicans +5
The marriage gap: More important to Democratic hopes than women overall are unmarried women. They generally vote 2-to-1 for Democrats, while married women have trended more Republican. In this election, unmarried women were 21 percent of the electorate, mirroring their 2010 and 2006 midterm turnout and down from 23 percent in 2008 and 2012. And their margin for Democrats was down 14 points from the 2012 presidential election.
2014 National Exit Poll: Unmarried women
2014: 21% of electorate | 60-38 for Democrats +22
2012: 23% of electorate | 67-31 for Democrats +36
Married women, on the other hand, voted by an even wider margin in this election for Republicans than in the presidential election.
2014 National Exit Poll: Married women:
2014: 30% of electorate | 54-44 for Republicans +10
2012: 31% of electorate | 53-47 for Republicans +6
Two key states — Iowa and Colorado: The swing states of Iowa and Colorado were two of the three states that were part of that “Democratic firewall” (North Carolina being the other). But all three of those purple states went Republican. How did that happen when President Obama won them twice? Democrats were aiming to drive up their margins with women and turn them out. It didn’t happen in Iowa.
2014 National Exit Poll: Women in key battleground states
Iowa 2014: 51% of the electorate | 49-49 tie between Braley, D, and Ernst, R +0
Iowa 2012: 54% of the electorate | 59-40 Obama +19
It did happen in Colorado, but they lost men by a huge margin. Udall used a single-issue campaign to try and get women out, but the Denver Post criticized him for it. He wound up winning women by a larger margin than President Obama, but they were a smaller percentage than men. Latinos were the same percentage of voters — 14%. But men made up more voters and went for Rep. Cory Gardner by 16 points. President Obama won men in Colorado in 2012 by 5 points.
Colorado women 2014: 47% of the electorate | 52-44 Udall +8
Colorado women 2012: 49% of the electorate | 51-48 Obama +3
Colorado men 2014: 53% of the electorate | 56-39 Gardner +17R
Colorado men 2012: 51% of the electorate | 51-46 Obama +5D
Daily Presidential Trivia: On this day in 1900, President McKinley was re-elected when he beat William Jennings Bryan for the presidency. How many times did Bryan run for president and against whom? Be the first to tweet us the correct answer using #PoliticsTrivia and you’ll get a Morning Line shout-out. Congratulations to Peter Szabo (@p_szabo) for guessing Wednesday’s trivia: When was the law changed to limit the president to two terms? The answer was: Congress passed the amendment in March 21, 1947 and it was ratified by all the states by February 27, 1951.
Addressing Democrats’ losses Wednesday from the White House, Mr. Obama “sounded as though he was already speaking to the country from some time in the future. His ruminations had an elegiac tinge, and could have been the first draft of his presidential memoir,” writes The Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty.
Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell, the man who is likely to be the new majority leader, said he would seek areas where lawmakers on both sides of the aisle could work together and avoid shutdowns and gridlock. NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff offers a look at the night’s highlights and winners.
With the Virginia Senate race still not said and done, Sen. Mark Warner looks as if he will win reelection, but a recount is still possible with less than one percentage point separating the incumbent from Republican Ed Gillespie. The Washington Post writes that Warner’s “slim victory” can be attributed to his focus on being a moderate and appealing to both parties, instead of working to excite the growing Democratic base in the commonwealth.
Republican Dan Sullivan is leading Sen. Mark Begich by almost 8,000 votes in Alaska, but the incumbent has refused to concede, saying that there are thousands of uncounted votes in rural areas that could change the race.
In former Rep. Gabby Giffords’ old district, the Republican, Martha McSally, is leading Rep. Ron Barber by just under 1,300 votes. The Arizona Republic reports there are thousands of votes yet to be counted, and the result could remain unknown for days.
The Connecticut governor’s race came to an end Wednesday afternoon when GOP challenger Tom Foley conceded to Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy.
Colorado’s Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper eked out a win over former Rep. Bob Beauprez Wednesday.
In a joint Wall Street Journal op-ed Wednesday evening, the likely soon-to-be Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner laid out what they hope to achieve in a GOP-controlled Congress — namely repeal of “Obamacare,” authorization of the Keystone XL pipeline, and restoration of the 40-hour workweek as “full-time employment.”
NewsHour’s Gwen Ifill sat down with Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, to discuss the midterm outcome and what the GOP hopes to do with its new leverage.
Wall Street is feeling good about the establishment Republicans elected Tuesday. Big business is expecting the GOP to lower the corporate tax rate, and Republicans are expected to fight Mr. Obama’s efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
How did Republicans deliver their big win on election night? How did Democrats miss their goals on promoting issues and mobilizing voters? Gwen Ifill talks to Stu Rothenberg of the Rothenberg Political Report and Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report for a post-election analysis of the voting demographics.
Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., and Angus King, I-Maine, said separately Wednesday that they intend to stick with the Democrats.
After Republicans’ strong showing Tuesday, National Republican Congressional Committee Chair Greg Walden’s job may be safer. Texas Rep. Roger Williams told his GOP colleagues Wednesday he wouldn’t challenge Walden, although Illinois’ Aaron Schock could still take on Walden.
Meanwhile, GOP Sens. Roger Wicker, Miss., and Dean Heller, Nev., are campaigning to take over the Republican Senate’s campaign arm from Sen. Jerry Moran, Kan.
Speaker John Boehner telephoned House Republicans and newly elected lawmakers from his office Wednesday to ask for their support in closed party elections next week and full chamber speakership elections in January. Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling announced Wednesday morning he would not challenge Boehner.
NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff spoke with Republican Rep. David Schweikert of Arizona and Democrat Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland about whether they see potential for compromise and progress on controversial issues like immigration.
In Georgia and North Carolina, both sites of competitive and high-stakes races, voters picked Republican candidates. NewsHour’s Hari Sreenivasan spoke to Merle Black of Emory University and Mac McCorkle of Duke University for their take on why demographic shifts did not make the difference for Democrats.
Even as a long midterm campaign season comes to a close, politicians don’t have much time to breathe before the race for the White House in 2016. With a new party in control of Congress, what will the next big race look like? Judy Woodruff talked to Democratic strategist Jeff Link and Republican strategist Doug Heye for what both parties can expect.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was one of Sen.-elect Joni Ernst’s and Rep.-elect Rod Blum’s earliest supporters in Iowa, and local GOP leaders took notice.
West Virginia Republicans won control of the state House of Delegates Tuesday night. And now they control the state Legislature, too, after a Democratic state senator changed parties Wednesday. Across the country, Republicans will control 68 of 98 partisan legislatures next year.
Zoom in on how your neighbors voted — well, almost — in these highly detailed midterm results maps from key Senate races compiled by the Upshot.
From the minimum wage to genetically modified food labeling, voters across the country got to decide on issues that will have direct impacts on their lives. NewsHour’s Lisa Desjardins dissects some of Tuesday’s winning and losing ballot initiatives.
Annie Lowrey examines why voters elected politicians who didn’t or wouldn’t support the policies (like the minimum wage ballot initiative, for example) that those same voters say they benefited from or embraced at the polls.
National Journal has compiled a searchable database of new members of Congress based on party, ethnicity, age and educational and career experience.
Eight of the 11 new senators elected are under age 60, although most already have government experience. When they take office, though, half of the Senate will have joined since 2008.
Earnest on @NewDay on Bourbon summit: POTUS "eagerly looking for an opportunity" to share bourbon with McConnell. But may not be public.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) November 6, 2014
Mitch McConnell won by 35% in Lee County, home of his "not my job" Beattyville statement. #kysen
— Joe Sonka (@joesonka) November 6, 2014
Outstanding House races: AZ2, CA7, CA16, CA17, CA26, CA52, MD6, NY25 & WA4.
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) November 6, 2014
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) November 6, 2014
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