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Democrats gain a few seats; GOP maintains majority
The Republicans held control of the U.S. House 240-190 before the election; the Democrats had a net gain of about 5 seats, so the 113th Senate, starting in January 2013, will still be controlled by the Republicans. (OnTheIssues predicted a net gain of 7 seats for the Democrats). The exact number is still not yet known because of several ongoing recounts; and the 3rd Louisiana House district will conduct a Dec. 8 runoff election.
The table below indicates, by category, the number of seats that changed hands in this election (with asterisks* indicating the races still undecided at this time).
Is this a Democratic "mandate"? No, not quite -- maybe more of a "message" about hyper-partisanship. The Democrats needed 25 seats to win control of the House -- THAT would have been a mandate! Even if all of the redistricting changes are ignored -- and we assume that all open seat takeovers were due to demographic changes from redistricting -- the Democrats would still have gained only 12 seats -- not nearly enough to take over control of the House.
Overall we will see about 82 new faces in the U.S. House of Representatives (we'll report the exact number, and rework our House member list, when the final tallies are completed). But it's not actually 82 NEW faces, because 4 of the incoming "freshmen" have been in the U.S. House before! They were re-elected after having been out of Congress, usually returning by taking advantage of some redistricting changes. They are:
Click for detailed House prediction or House results for the new 113th Senate
5 new governors; 6 re-elected
The recounts are completed for all 11 gubernatorial elections that took place on Election Day:
Click for all governors
Democrats maintain control of Senate, 52-48
The Democrats held control of the U.S. Senate 53-47 before the election; the Democrats had a net gain of one or two seats, so the 113th Senate, starting in January 2013, will still be controlled by the Democrats, 55-45.
Senator-Elect Angus King (I-ME) has not stated with which party he will caucus; if he decides on the Republican Party, that would reduce the Democratic majority to 54-46 but would not change majority control. Majority control determines which party chairs each Senate committee, and hence which bills get debated on the Senate floor.
OnTheIssues predicted a Democratic majority of 50-50 (with V.P. Joe Biden casting the majority vote for the Democrats; we predicted the Presidential race correctly also). We were wrong in our prediction of 7 Senate races -- but right in 26 out of the 33 Senate races (a rate of 79% correct!), and right in predicting the Senate majority. Mostly, we over-predicted the number of Republican takeovers. The Republican Senate candidates did not do nearly as well as expected; hence the Democrats held on to many seats. Our prediction compared to actual results:
One Governor's race and several House races are still to be decided as of today; we will report on those results when they are known.
Click for detailed Senate prediction & results or Senators in new 113th Senate
OnTheIssues predicts Obama 279 to Romney 259
OnTheIssues.org predicts that President Obama will win re-election by an electoral margin of 279-259. We predict that the popular vote will be much closer, with Romney holding Obama to under 50% of the popular vote. Hence we predict that the pundits will claim that the third party candidates acted as "spoilers" in this race. This map summarizes our prediction, or click for state-by-state prediction.
We base our prediction on Obama's state-by-state victories in 2008, modified by the redistricting changes due to the 2010 census, and then further modified by several special considerations, including:
Click for detailed electoral prediction
OnTheIssues predicts Republican majority 235-200
OnTheIssues predicts the Democrats will gain 7 House seats, leaving control of the United States House of Representatives in Republican hands, 235-200. Our evidence is laid out below.
So why do the Democratic pundits claim that they can gain the 25 seats necessary for their party to gain control of the House? For example, the Kansas City Star on Oct. 24, 2012, cites a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) spokesperson saying "The Republican majority is in jeopardy," and expressing that he is "confident that his party can buck the odds and pick up the 25 seats needed to regain control of the House of Representatives." Let's look at the sort of evidence they present, starting with the current party split -- a large Republican majority -- of 242R-193D.
OnTheIssues conducted a "vulnerability analysis" which found 26 vulnerable Republican incumbents. If all of them lose, the Democrats would gain the House majority -- it would result in a House split with a slight Democratic majority, 217R-218D.
But of course that's only a half-truth, because some Democrats are vulnerable also. Our same analysis for vulnerable Democrats knocks down the Dems' hopes to a weaker Republican majority, 230R-205D.
But it's even worse than that, due to redistricting. The 2010 census takes effect in this House election -- and will cost the Democrats another 6 seats. Some special considerations reduce that by one loss, making our final prediction 235R-200D.
OnTheIssues does not claim to be prognosticators -- but we do claim to have real substantiation for our prediction, especially when compared to the hocus-pocus of other pundits. Our vulnerability analysis has worked to identify incumbents in our local State House who have been ousted; the redistricting analysis is complicated but accurate. We would be very shocked if the Democrats do better than 230R-205D or if the Republicans do any better than 240R-195D. More extreme results than that would indicate a "landslide mandate" for one party over the other.
Click for detailed U.S. House prediction
or click for U.S. House vulnerability analysis
or click for detailed U.S. House races
At Lynn University, Boca Raton, Florida
At Hofstra University, Long Island, New York
Vice Presidential debate in Kentucky
In Denver Colorado
OnTheIssues predicts: Republicans gain 3 seats
Following are the OnTheIssues predictions for each Senate race nationwide. 33 Senate seats (out of 100) are up for election in 2012, but 23 of those seats are currently held by Democrats and 10 by Republicans. That means the Democrats have more to lose in 2012 -- but the Dems also hold the majority in the Senate, 53-47.
To gain control of the Senate, the Republicans must gain 4 seats. We arrange the chart below based on which Senate seats we predict will stay in the same party and which will change hands:
To summarize our prediction by party status:
The more likely scenario is that one of our predictions goes the other way: The most likely? Connecticut, where a wrestling executive takes on a long-term Congressman. And then Indiana, where a Tea Party Republican beat the incumbent Senator in the GOP primary. If either of those races goes against our prediction, the Democrats maintain control of the Senate. But a 50-50 split is MUCH more fun!
A 50-50 split means that control of the Senate is determined by the presidential race: If Romney wins the Presidency, Paul Ryan would get the tie-breaking vote in the Senate; if Obama wins re-election, Joe Biden retains his tie-breaking Senate vote. So stay tuned for our House and presidential prediction next week....
Click for Senate races
or click for detailed U.S. Senate prediction
or click for Senate debates
Joint Obama-Romney interview by Univision
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney answered questions in a live forum hosted by the Spanish-language Univision network. Held at the University of Miami on Sept. 19, 2012, co-hosted by Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas
The TV network's presidential forums continued the next day, Sept. 20, 2012, with the same hosts questioning President Barack Obama.
The hosts made a special point of drawing attention to the fact that the formal "Presidential Debate Commission" declined to have any Hispanic journalists as moderators or panelists for the upcoming trio of presidential debates.
Joint Obama-Romney questionnaire by ScienceDebate.org
ScienceDebate.org managed to get both Romney and Obama to answer their candidate questionnaire. Their statement:
"Science now affects every aspect of life and is an increasingly important topic in national policymaking.
"ScienceDebate.org invited thousands of scientists, engineers and concerned citizens to submit what they felt were the the most important science questions facing the nation that the candidates for president should be debating on the campaign trail.
"ScienceDebate then worked with the leading US science and engineering organizations listed at left to refine the questions and arrive at a universal consensus on what the most important science policy questions facing the United States are in 2012.
"Candidates readily debate jobs and the economy even though they are not economists; they debate foreign policy and military intervention even though they are not diplomats or generals; they debate faith and values even though they are not priests or pastors. We call on the candidates for President to also debate these Top American Science Questions that affect all voters' lives."
Speech excerpts from the DNC convention
OnTheIssues excerpted speeches from the Democratic National Convention, and incorporating them into the candidates' websites. Coverage of key speakers:
Click for Democratic National Convention speech excerpts
or click for Democratic Party Platform excerpts
Speech excerpts from the RNC convention
OnTheIssues is excerpting speeches from the Republican National Convention as they occur, and incorporating them into the candidates' websites. Coverage after the first full Convention day (and additional speeches added):
Click for Republican National Convention speech excerpts
or click for Republican Party Platform excerpts
One member of House of Representatives loses seat in Arizona GOP primary
Primary elections took place in four states on Tuesday, (plus two states last Tuesday), resulting in the following races for the November general election:
Click for House of Representatives. or U.S. Senate.
Two members of House of Representatives lose seats in Florida primaries
Primary elections took place in four states on Tuesday, resulting in the following races for the November general election:
Click for House of Representatives. or U.S. Senate.
Rep. Ryan staying in House race, too
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan will be in two places on the ballot Nov. 6 now that he has been picked by Republican Mitt Romney as his running mate. Ryan will remain on the ballot for re-election to his seat in the House of Representatives.
Ryan represents the 1st Congressional District that includes much of southeastern Wisconsin. He has won election to the seat seven times. Ryan can run both for vice president and for re-election to Congress thanks to a 1968 law that permits a candidate to be on the ballot twice, but only if he or she is running for president or vice president.
Ryan faces Democrat Rob Zerban of Kenosha in November.
Click for Paul Ryan's issue stances.
Winners are Rep. Hoekstra (R, MI) and Rep. Akin (R, MO)
Rep. Todd Akin, who played up his tea party credentials and conservative appeal, broke out from a three-way Missouri Republican primary on Tuesday to earn the right to take on Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, setting up one of the most closely watched Senate races of 2012. Akin won a contest defined by which candidate was the most conservative. In doing so, he beat out Sarah Palin's candidate of choice, former state treasurer Sarah Steelman, and John Brunner, a businessman who poured more than $7.5 million of his own money into the race.
In Michigan, meanwhile, Republicans selected former Rep. Pete Hoekstra to oppose Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow in November. Democratic Rep. John Conyers staved off a primary challenge in a slightly redrawn district to advance to November's election, when he will be strongly favored to win a 25th consecutive term in Congress.
Rep. Gary Peters defeated Rep. Hansen Clarke in a member versus member Democratic primary also brought on by congressional redistricting. In another closely watched Missouri race, Rep. William Lacy Clay defeated Rep. Russ Carnahan in a showdown of two of Missouri's most prominent Democratic families. The two were also drawn together because of congressional redistricting.
Click for other Senate candidates' issue stances.
Tea Party candidate over establishment candidate
Texas' drift toward the Tea Party brand of GOP conservatism continued Tuesday when lawyer Ted Cruz scored a surprisingly easy win over David Dewhurst in the Republican primary runoff for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Kay Bailey Hutchison.
Cruz once was considered a long shot to take down well-heeled Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst – the favorite of the party establishment and Hutchison's heir apparent. Cruz told a jam-packed crowd of supporters that when he started his campaign, he was largely unknown. "This is a victory for the grassroots, We should take it as a providential sign that today would be the 100th birthday of Milton Friedman," he said.
Cruz praised God – "To Him be the glory" – and Martin Luther King Jr., and thanked a long list that included Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Ron Paul and Rand Paul, Martin Luther King Jr. and even Dewhurst. On the Democratic side, former state Rep. Paul Sadler trounced San Antonio educator Grady Yarbrough for the chance to face Cruz in November.
Click for Ted Cruz's issue stances.
$650,000 to run special election after Thad McCotter resigns amid scandal
Michigan Republican Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, who launched a short-lived White House bid in 2011, announced Friday that he was resigning from Congress, citing personal family issues. In March, McCotter failed to acquire the necessary amount of signatures to appear on the party's primary ballot to represent his district near Detroit. He initially launched a write-in campaign, but announced he would end his efforts, choosing instead to retire from Congress when his term ended in January 2013.
McCotter chose to resign amid a scandal and criminal investigation regarding his election signature petitions. A special primary election will be held on Sept. 6 and then a special general election will be held simultaneously with the general election in November. The special election winner will be elected under the old House district and seated until Jan. 2013; the general election winner will be elected under the new House district and will be seated in Jan. 2013.
Gov. Rick Snyder called a special election, saying it was constitutionally required. His administration says it will cost $650,000 to run the special election in suburban Detroit's 11th District.
There will be five Republicans — Milford teacher Kerry Bentivolio, former state Sen. Nancy Cassis of Novi and Livonia residents Steve King, Kenneth Crider and Carolyn Cavanagh — and one Democrat, David Curson on the Sept. 5 special primary ballot.
McCotter joins our OnTheIssues Rogues' Gallery of elected members of Congress who resigned prior to completing their term, which breaks their promise to their constituents to serve out their term, to avoid a scandal or just for personal enrichment, resulting in costing their state funds to hold a special election. The updated Rogues' Gallery for the 112th Congress:
Click for Thad McCotter's issue stances.
Primary election results from last Tuesday...
Wendy Long, who promoted her conservative credentials on her way to a convincing win in New York's Republican Senate primary, now faces a broader and more liberal electorate as she takes on Democratic incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand.
Long, a New York City attorney, defeated U.S. Rep. Bob Turner and Nassau County comptroller George Maragos in a primary election Tuesday notable for low turnout.
Click for Wendy Long's issue stances.
Gabby Giffords' aide replaces Gabby Giffords
Ron Barber, the former staffer to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords who was also wounded during the Arizona shooting Jan. 8, 2011, took the oath of office today and his place in the House of Representatives, closing another chapter in the “Tragedy in Tucson.”
“Congratulations. You are now a member of the 112th Congress,” House Speaker John Boehner said after administering the oath of office on the House floor this afternoon.
Barber then acknowledged his predecessor, who resigned from office Jan. 25, a little more than a year after the shooting. The newly minted congressman was shot in the cheek and leg during the rampage at a constituent event he staffed with Giffords.
Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said, “Welcome Ron Barber, we are glad to have you here. Nobody would have wished for the circumstances that made this seat vacant. We all miss our colleagues Gabby Giffords, but it was her wish that you fill this seat for the remainder of her term, and she got her wish, as was the wish of so many Arizonans.”
Click for Ron Barber's issue stances.
First governor in US history to survive a recall
Click for Scott Walker's issue stances; or click for his opponent Mayor Tom Barrett's issue stances; or click for OnTheIssues' coverage of the Wisconsin gubernatorial debates.
OnTheIssues.org's predictions for the toughest Congressional campaigns
Click for OnTheIssues' the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents.
One of OnTheIssues' "most vulnerable GOP incumbents"
U.S. Rep. Thad McCotter, plagued by a criminal probe into his nominating petitions, on Saturday said he is ending his write-in campaign for re-election and will focus on serving out the final days of his 10-year congressional career.
The decision by the five-term congressman ends a stunning political week that began with the Secretary of State's office determining he was ineligible for the Aug. 7 primary ballot with widespread invalid and tampered petition signatures. McCotter, in agreement with the office, launched a write-in campaign and requested a criminal investigation into fraudulent petitions he said he trusted his longtime staff to handle.
"I have ended my write-in campaign in Michigan's 11th Congressional District," McCotter said in a statement released Saturday afternoon.
With about 87 percent of his nominating petitions tossed, McCotter, R-Livonia, didn't meet the minimum number of 1,000 signatures to get his name on the ballot. The Michigan attorney general launched its criminal investigation Thursday of the suspect signatures.
"One can't clean up a mess multitasking," McCotter said in his statement. "Honoring my promise to the sovereign people of our community only allows me to finish the official duties of my present Congressional term; and aid the State Attorney General criminal investigation that I requested into identifying the person or persons who concocted the fraudulent petitions that have cost me so dearly.
McCotter's withdrawal is notable because he ran for President briefly in 2011. OnTheIssues ranked McCotter as one of the most vulnerable Republican incumbents for the 2012 elections. We base that ranking on the 2008 presidential campaign results; McCotter's district went for Obama 54% to 45%, so the Democrat gets a head-start from Obama's coattails. McCotter was not among the top ten most vulnerable Republicans because his district went for Bush over kerry in 2004. Those top ten (plus McCotter) are:
Click for Thad McCotter's issue stances; or click for OnTheIssues' the most vulnerable Republican incumbents.
|Buddy Roemer ends campaign: May 31, 2012|
Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer announced in a statement this morning that his quixotic independent campaign for president has come to an end.
After failing to get access to the GOP primary debates last year, Roemer had decided to run as an independent and seek the Reform Party and Americans Elect nominations. Then, Americans Elect folded earlier this month, while Roemer continued to struggle to draw attention and interest to his campaign.
In his statement, Roemer said he would create a new organization focused on his core issue of getting corporate and special interest money out of politics.
|"As I am no longer a candidate for president, I am free to pledge a good portion of the rest of my life to enacting campaign reform in the halls of Congress and the corridors of the White House. Instead of using my right to the floor of Congress to lobby for corporate clients, I will lobby for the American people who want reform," he said. "To be successful, this endeavor must cross party lines. In truth, the two major parties are addicted to special interests and corporate money. I have said it many times: they are joined at the billfold. The two parties have been graveyards of reform too often in the past. They don’t want reform. They only want victory and reelection."|
OnTheIssues.org mourns the loss of a serious third-party contender -- this website was established to give third party candidates equal coverage because the mainstream media does not.
OnTheIssues.org also mourns the loss of Americans Elect -- we provided issue coverage for the AmericansElect organization, but we also believed in its mission. We hope they will come back in 2016.
|Ron Paul suspends new state campaigning: May 14, 2012|
Ron Paul, the last remaining GOP opponent to Mitt Romney, today suspended active campaigning in states with primaries after today. But he will continue to actively seek delegates from previous voting, and asks supporters to vote for him in all primaries. Paul's statement via email:
|“Our campaign will continue to work in the state convention process. We will continue to take leadership positions, win delegates, and carry a strong message to the Republican National Convention that Liberty is the way of the future. Moving forward, however, we will no longer spend resources campaigning in primaries in states that have not yet voted. Doing so with any hope of success would take many tens of millions of dollars we simply do not have. I encourage all supporters of Liberty to make sure you get to the polls and make your voices heard, particularly in the local, state, and Congressional elections, where so many defenders of Freedom are fighting and need your support.”|
|Newt Gingrich suspends presidential campaign: May 2, 2012|
Newt Gingrich withdrew from the presidential race, leaving the nomination to Mitt Romney. Ron Paul evidently will stay in the race until the convention, as promised. Paul's statement on Gingrich's withdrawal:
|“As he exits the race for the Republican nomination, I’d like to acknowledge my former colleague in the House Newt Gingrich for running a spirited campaign. In particular, I want to thank the former Speaker for echoing my calls for monetary policy reform including a full audit of the Federal Reserve, steps that will bring America closer to lasting economic prosperity for middle-class Americans who bear the brunt of the dangerous and unjust inflation tax.”|
|Senate debate coverage: April 20, 2012|
Senate debates are underway; some for primaries and some for the general election. OnTheIssues.org covers all debates; we'll cover more states as their races get underway. So far....
|Santorum withdraws: April 11, 2012|
Sen. Rick Santorum "suspended" his campaign; hence OnTheIssues.org switches to general election coverage. The following candidates are running for President as their party nominees:
|Gov. Mitt Romney||Republican|
|Pres. Barack Obama||Democrat|
|Vice Pres. Joe Biden||Democrat|
|Gov. Gary Johnson||Libertarian|
|Mayor Rocky Anderson||Justice|
|Gov. Buddy Roemer||AmericansElect|
|Romney wins three primaries: April 3, 2012|
After a protracted Republican primary season, many viewed tonight as the potential “tipping point night” in the Mitt Romney campaign. This was to be the win where things changed, according to the conventional wisdom.
Problem is, this is an unconventional year. Who would have predicted just a few months ago that Rick Santorum would be the last man standing to challenge Romney?
Santorum and Gingrich never got the memo. After Romney’s sweep of the primaries, Santorum gave a speech about looking toward the future and May primaries. Gingrich sent out a defiant press release saying, “Our party must commit itself to a bold, conservative platform. We cannot win on an etch-a-sketch platform that shows no principle or backbone.”
Mitt Romney began Tuesday night with an easy primary victory in Maryland. The Maryland race was called for Romney as the polls closed at 8 p.m ET. In D.C., Santorum did not appear on the ballot.
The delegate counts:
|Santorum wins Louisiana Primary: March 25, 2012|
There are two tracks to the GOP race, and the former Massachusetts governor is winning both. The most important is the fight to accumulate the 1,144 convention delegates needed to secure the nomination. Romney has done consistently well in that effort, including winning the Illinois primary. The second aspect of the race involves perceptions; here Romney has fared less well.
As a U.S. territory, Puerto Rico has no electoral votes in the general election in November. However, it does send 23 delegates to the Republican National Convention in August. Santorum made a serious gaffe while campaigning on the island last week, insisting to local voters that federal law needed to make English the "main language" to achieve statehood.
Santorum won the Louisiana Republican presidential primary Saturday. Santorum's win underscores a pattern in the drawn-out race. "This race has clearly gotten down to two candidates that can win the nomination," Santorum told reporters in Milwaukee. "I'd love to have a one-on-one debate."
Santorum claimed Sunday that his nomination chances are not nearly as dim as they look. He effectively claimed that the delegate tally is inaccurate. "There's a lot of bad math there that doesn't reflect the reality of what's going on on the ground. And so I think we're in much, much better shape than what the numbers that are out there suggest," Santorum said in an interview.
The delegate counts:
|Jan.-Feb.||Super Tuesday||Last Weeks||PR||IL||LA||Total|
What does Santorum mean about "bad math"? First, there are a couple hundred superdelegates -- party officials and so on -- who are not committed based on the primaries. Second, Santorum can force an open convention if Romney does not reach the 50% threshold in the primaries.
So far in all of the primaries, Romney is at 54% (516 out of 954). Since Super Tuesday, Romney has captured only 51% (146 out of 282). In other words, Santorum is gaining ground. The numbers require the superdelegates to push Romney below 50% -- which would require that Santorum gain more ground in upcoming primaries to persuade them!
|New Senate Challengers: March 20, 2012|
Late entrants into the Senate races now have their issue stances outlined. Each campaign has the opportunity to answer our VoteMatch quiz; we outline the basics in the meantime.
|MS||Albert N. Gore||Democratic|
|Santorum wins Southern Caucuses: March 13, 2012|
Romney was rejected by Southern conservatives in the primaries in Mississippi and Alabama, won caucuses in Hawaii and American Samoa to claim about a third of the total delegates available and maintain his lead. However, Santorum's twin primary triumphs -- while narrow -- reframed the GOP race as a one-on-one battle between the socially conservative former Pennsylvania senator and the more moderate Romney, with Gingrich's chances fading fast.
Texas Rep. Ron Paul, the libertarian champion, continued to trail well behind the other three candidates in the campaign to face President Barack Obama in November.
"There is no end in sight," noted Ari Fleischer, a CNN contributor who was White House press secretary under President George W. Bush. "... For Republicans who thought that maybe Mitt Romney could come South and make this race look like it was coming to an end, this race is going on and on and on."
OnTheIssues notes: The total for the day, in all four contests, was 43 delegates for Romney and 36 delegates for Santorum.
The delegate counts:
|Jan.-Feb.||Super Tuesday||Last Week||AL||HI||Samoa||MS||Total|
|Santorum wins Kansas Caucus: March 11, 2012|
Rick Santorum won the Kansas caucuses in a rout on Saturday Final returns in Kansas showed Santorum with 51% support, far outpacing Romney, who had 21%. Newt Gingrich had 14% and Ron Paul trailed with 13%.
Santorum picked up 33 of the state’s 40 delegates at stake, cutting slightly into Romney’s overwhelming’s advantage.
Romney’s totals included 22 that he picked up in the Virgin Islands, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.
The delegate counts:
|Jan.-Feb.||Super Tuesday||KS||Guam||Virgin Islands||Marianas||Total|
|Dennis Kucinich (D, OH) loses primary: Mar. 7, 2012|
Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio), the two-time presidential candidate and icon of the antiwar left, suffered a bruising primary defeat Tuesday as a new Republican-drawn congressional map threatened to end the career of one of the most colorful figures in Congress.
With most attention focused on the state’s GOP presidential primary battle, and no Democratic primary for president, Kucinich was left in a low-turnout race in a newly drawn district against his once-close ally, Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio).
The election is the first of 13 House races in 2012 that pit a sitting lawmaker against another sitting lawmaker. Eleven of those races are primary battles, seven Democratic and four Republican. The additional two races, in Iowa and Ohio, pit a sitting Democratic and Republican incumbent against each other in the general election.
These races guarantee that 13 incumbent lawmakers will not return next year, setting the stage for an election season of bruising and negative member-on-member campaigns that occur every 10 years. The races are:
|March 6||Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D, OH-10)||vs.||Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D, OH-9)|
|March 20||Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R, IL-11)||vs.||Rep. Don Manzullo (R, IL-16)|
|April 24||Rep. Mark Critz (D, PA-12)||vs.||Rep. Jason Altmire (D, PA-4)|
|June 5||Rep. Steve Rothman (D, NJ-9)||vs.||Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D, NJ-8)|
|June 5||Rep. Howard Berman (D, CA-28)||vs.||Rep. Brad Sherman (D, CA-27)|
|June 5||Rep. Janice Hahn (D, CA-36)||vs.||Rep. Laura Richardson (D, CA-37)|
|Aug. 7||Rep. William Lacy Clay (D, MO-1)||vs.||Rep. Russ Carnahan (D, MO-3)|
|Aug. 7||Rep. Gary Peters (D, MI-9)||vs.||Rep. Hansen Clarke (D, MI-13)|
|Aug. 14||Rep. Sandy Adams (R, FL-24)||vs.||Rep. John Mica (R, FL-7)|
|Aug. 28||Rep. David Schweikert (R, AZ-5)||vs.||Rep. Ben Quayle (R, AZ-3)|
|Nov. 6||Rep. Jeff Landry (R, LA-3)||vs.||Rep. Charles Boustany (R, LA-7)|
|Super Tuesday: March 6, 2012|
The delegate counts from Super Tuesday:
|Olympia Snowe (R, ME) announces retirement: Mar. 1, 2012|
Moderate Republican Senator Olympia Snowe's decision to step down from her long-held Senate seat in a high-stakes election year is reverberating like an earthquake across Maine's political landscape. The departure of the popular incumbent, who faced little opposition for her party's nomination--and that polls indicated stood a good chance of winning re-election--throws the race for her much-coveted Senate seat wide open.
Among those expressing interest in jumping into the race: Maine's two Democratic U.S. House representatives, Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud.
But major party candidates are coming up on a March 15 deadline to file signatures for entering the race. So far, Scott D'Amboise is the only GOP candidate left in the race, but some prominent Republicans, including Maine's current secretary of state, Charlie Summers, are being mentioned as potential candidates.
In Nebraska, Former senator and New York City college administrator Bob Kerrey (D) completed a remarkable turnaround, declaring he will run for the Democratic nomination for his old seat.
Sen. Ben Nelson (D) announced his retirement some time ago.
|Mitt Romney wins Michigan and Arizona: Feb. 28, 2012|
Mitt Romney won both the Michigan primary and the Arizona winner-take-all primary.
Romney continues to lead his foes in the delegate hunt, adding at least three dozen to his total after beating Rick Santorum in Michigan and Arizona.
But with 437 delegates on the table next Tuesday, and with most of them allocated according to each candidate's share of the vote, all four of the GOP contenders are certain to boost their delegate counts, giving everyone in the field a rationale, however thin, to move forward.
The Super Tuesday map features both bright spots and traps for every candidate -- Romney is expected to coast to easy wins in Massachusetts and Virginia, for instance, but faces a tough slog in states like Ohio and Tennessee -- meaning that no one is likely to emerge as an outright victor when the smoke clears.
The delegate count as of the two new primaries:
|Four-way debate in Arizona: Feb. 22, 2012|
The Republican presidential candidates take the stage for another debate, the last one before Super Tuesday. After 19 previous debates, that may be a relief or a disappointment, depending on your appetite for debates. But this debate in Mesa, Arizona, could have far-reaching consequences. It comes less than a week before primaries in Arizona and Michigan, and less than two weeks before voters in 10 states go to the polls.
Santorum is in a heated contest against Romney in what has essentially turned into a two-man contest for the nomination to challenge President Obama, surging in recent polls both nationally and in key primary states.
But Romney, who has a wide lead in Arizona, is claiming he's got something none of his opponents has -- a business background. Romney said if he were president, he would go through every single federal program and ask if it is affordable or whether it's worth borrowing money to pay for it.
|Donald Trump reconsiders re-entering race: Feb. 21, 2012|
Donald Trump told CNBC he would "seriously, seriously" consider jumping into the White House race if Rick Santorum wins the GOP presidential nomination.
Said Trump: "Honestly, if Santorum got it, I would seriously, seriously consider it. We need someone that's really going to be great. This is the most important election in my opinion that this country has ever had. Santorum is not the right person."
He added that he is a "free agent" after his Apprentice show ends its season on May 16.
|Mitt Romney squeaks to victory in Maine Caucuses: Feb. 12, 2012|
Ron Paul and Mitt Romney battled to a near-tie in the Maine caucuses on Feb. 12, 2012. The press declared Romney the victor by 196 votes, but the caucuses were just a "beauty contest" -- the popular vote awarded no delegates yet. The actual delegate count won't be known for several weeks; our figures below are just estimates. The Ron Paul campaign claimed they still may win the delegate count victory, based on the town-by-town results and one snowed-out caucus in a Paul-favorable district. We'll follow the mainstream media estimate of delegates for Maine, and award a near-even split between Romney and Paul:
Romney has only won 4 out of 9 contests so far, and something of a pattern has emerged: Ron Paul heavily contests caucus states such as Maine; Rick Santorum heavily contests Christian conservative states such as Colorado; and Newt Gingrich heavily contests hard-core "red states" such as South Carolina. That pattern means that Romney has a fight on his hands in just about every upcoming state, and none of his three opponents seem likely to withdraw anytime soon.
So what happens? The pundits have started talking about a "brokered convention," which means that the primaries don't choose a nominee, so a nominee is selected at the Republican National Convention. For details click below....
|Rick Santorum wins triple header: Feb. 10, 2012|
Santorum won caucus votes Tuesday in Minnesota and Colorado and a primary in Missouri. Santorum had been seen surging in the Midwestern states of Minnesota and Missouri thanks to support from evangelical Christians, but few expected him to win in the Rocky Mountain west.
It was a bitter blow for Romney, who had romped home in Colorado and Minnesota during his 2008 bid with large leads in the final counts. The triple win catapulted Santorum at least for the moment past former House speaker Newt Gingrich into the role of Romney's main rival.
Rick Santorum has surged nationally in the race for the 2012 Republican nomination after his three-state sweep this week, while Mitt Romney has lost ground among GOP primary voters. In addition, most GOP voters say the nomination race isn’t over -- someone other than Romney could still win.
The latest delegate counts appear below.
Missouri will not award delegates until a later caucus on March 17, so its primary was just a "beauty contest".
|Mitt Romney wins Nevada Caucus: Feb. 5, 2012|
Mitt Romney won the Nevada caucuses, but since it's a proportional caucus, the three other contenders -- Sen. Rick Santorum, Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Rep. Ron Paul -- also gained a few delegates each. The delegate score after the Nevada caucuses is:
Nevada holds "closed caucuses", which means only voters who had previously registered as Republicans can vote. Closed caucuses have fewer participants than open caucuses, and caucuses have fewer participants than primaries. So a closed caucus is the smallest of all contests -- only 33,000 people voted in Nevada, compared to 250,000 in New Hampshire. For more on Open vs. Closed Primaries in anticipation of Super Tuesday, see link below....
|Suzanne Bonamici (D, OR) wins special election: Feb. 1, 2012|
Democrat Suzanne Bonamici swept to victory Tuesday in Oregon's 1st Congressional District, continuing her party's nearly four-decade-long hold on the seat covering the northwestern corner of the state.
With the bulk of ballots counted [from the all-mail-in balloting], Bonamici was defeating Republican Rob Cornilles by about 15 percentage points in the special election to fill the seat left vacant by the resignation of Democrat David Wu in August.
Elsewhere, three members of the House announced their retirement this week. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords resigned from the House for her medical recovery.; Gov. Jan Brewer (R, AZ)announced the date for the special primary will be April 17 and the special general election will be on June 12.
Redistricting has caused two new House resignations: Rep. Brad Miller (D, NC) and Rep. Dan Burton (R, IN) both announced that they will not seek re-election. Redisticting in both those states caused overlapping districts in which the incumbent would have to fight over another incumbent. Redistricting may claim some additional incumbents as the district races get sorted out; see our House of Representatives page for a rough outline.
|Mitt Romney wins Florida primary: Jan. 31, 2012|
Mitt Romney won all 50 delegates in the Florida primary, the first statewide winner-take-all primary. Here is the delegate count post-Florida:
For more on Winner-take-all vs. Proportional Primaries, see link below....
|President Obama delivers State of the Union speech: Jan. 24, 2012|
It was a wish list, not a to-do list. President Obama's array of plans in his State of the Union speech was light on a key piece of context -- namely, that his hands are so tied ahead of the election that it is doubtful many if any of them can be done in the remainder of his term. There can be little more than wishful thinking behind his call to end oil industry subsidies -- something he could not get through a Democratic Congress, much less today's divided Congress, much less in this election year.
|Rep. Gabby Giffords (R, AZ) announces resignation: Jan. 22, 2012|
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the three-term Arizona Democrat who was shot in the head during a 2011 assassination attempt, announced Sunday that she will resign from Congress this week in order to focus on her continuing recovery. She plans to attend President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday and will resign sometime after that.
Giffords' resignation will force a special election to fill her seat in the 8th Congressional District. Republican candidates state Sen. Frank Antenori, R-Tucson, and Dave Sitton, a University of Arizona sports broadcaster, already had formed exploratory committees for the November general election to test the waters for a possible run in her district. Jesse Kelly, Giffords' 2010 GOP opponent also might run again. Republican Adam Hansen of Bisbee also has announced his candidacy.
On the Democratic side, state legislators Paula Aboud, Steve Farley and Matt Heinz of Tucson have been mentioned as possible Giffords replacements. Mark Kelly, Giffords' retired astronaut husband, Pia Carusone, her congressional chief of staff, and Ron Barber, her state director, also have been mentioned as possibilities, although Kelly particularly has indicated he isn't interested in running.
According to state law, Gov. Jan Brewer (R-Ariz.) must set a date for a special election primary 80 to 90 days after Giffords formally steps down, and a general election will be set for 50 to 60 days after the primary. So the primary election for Giffords seat will likely be held in late April with the general election in June.
The state’s independent redistricting comission made Giffords’ swing seat slightly more Democratic. But that map is under dispute, and a special election for Giffords’ seat will be held under the old lines. That’s the map under which Giffords was reelected in 2010 by a mere 1.3 percent margin. Her district voted for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008.
But the special circumstances — Giffords has become a national hero since the assassination attempt against her last January — surrounding the seat could give Democrats something of a boost.
|Newt Gingrich wins South Carolina primary: Jan. 21, 2012|
After the South Carolina primary (Jan. 21, 2012), the pundits breathlessly assert, "It's all tied up: One for Newt; one for Mitt; and one for Santorum." (Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina primary; Mitt Romney won the New Hampshire primary; Rick Santorum retroactively won the Iowa caucus). So is that true, that it's all tied up?
No, of course not. The way to keep score is to count delegates, not to count states. South Carolina has 25 delegates -- more than any one candidate had after the New Hampshire and Iowa contests. And furthermore, South Carolina was a "district-winner-take-all" primary -- so almost all of its delegates went to Newt; whereas the other two contests were "proportional" -- so their delegates were split. Hence Newt Gingrich is well in the lead -- but it won't matter in a few weeks, when Super Tuesday arrives! Here is the delegate count post-South Carolina:
For more on Winner-take-all vs. Proportional Primaries, see link below....
|Gov. Rick Perry exits presidential race: Jan. 19, 2012|
Texas Gov. Rick Perry dropped out of the Republican presidential race Thursday, saying he saw no way forward. The same day, the Iowa Republican party announced that Mitt Romney is no longer the winner of the caucuses there.
[Perhaps, on the eve of the South Carolina primary, Perry] wanted to spare himself the indignity of a bad finish. And actually determine the terms of his exit and to have everybody care about what he says as he leaves, and that's what endorsing Newt Gingrich does for him. It's not like Rick Perry had a lot of votes to give to Gingrich.
In Iowa, with the primary more than two weeks ago, now, we find out that it was not Romney's win. That it was actually Santorum's, although we may never really know who won because it's being called a statistical tie. When they did a re-canvas, which is part of the normal process--it's not a recount--the tally comes in Santorum 34 points ahead.
|Jon Huntsman exits presidential race: Jan. 15, 2012|
Jon M. Huntsman Jr. informed his advisers on Sunday that he intends to drop out of the Republican presidential race, ending his candidacy a week before he had hoped to revive his campaign in the South Carolina primary.
The campaign manager to Mr. Huntsman confirmed the decision in an interview Sunday evening. “The governor and his family, at this point in the race, decided it was time for Republicans to rally around a candidate who could beat Barack Obama and turn around the economy. That candidate is Gov. Mitt Romney.”
A third-place finish in the New Hampshire primary last week failed to jump start Mr. Huntsman’s flagging candidacy, aides said, and his campaign limped into South Carolina with little money. Mr. Huntsman has spent days pondering his future in the race, but aides said that he concluded he was unlikely to topple Mitt Romney or match the momentum of his Republican rivals in the conservative Southern primary.
The decision from Mr. Huntsman came on the same day that he received the endorsement from The State, the newspaper in the capital of Columbia. He had campaigned in South Carolina over the weekend, not giving any indication that the end was near.
Voters also seemed wary of a candidacy by a man whose most recent service was to the very many he now wanted to oust. Fawning letters that Mr. Huntsman wrote about Mr. Obama’s leadership did not help that case.
Mr. Huntsman did better in New Hampshire than polls might have suggested, but he came in a distant third behind Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.
|Mitt Romney wins New Hampshire primary: Jan. 12, 2012|
The Jan. 10 New Hampshire primary was the first primary in the 2012 presidential race. It followed the Iowa caucus, but represents different political skills than a caucus; we'll discuss the differences below.
Mitt Romney won both Iowa and N.H. (statistics below) and now has 20 delegates. Rick Santorum has 12 delegates from Iowa but gained none in N.H.; Ron Paul & Jon Huntsman gained their first few delegates each.
Primaries differ substantially from caucuses. The key differences, and their political implications, are:
|Meet the Pres GOP Primary Debate: Jan. 8, 2012|
This Sunday, a special edition of MEET THE PRESS live from New Hampshire, the last debate before the first in the nation Republican presidential primary. Voting here is just 48 hours away. We come to the Granite State where nearly one in five voters remains undecided despite seeing these candidates face-to-face in town halls, coffee shops and even in their living rooms, a small state that will have a big impact on the race. Their motto, "Live free or die." The issues: jobs and the economy, America's role in the world, and which of these candidates is best suited to take on President Obama. This morning, a debate in partnership with Facebook, the world's number one social platform, and the New Hampshire Union Leader. The candidates, the issues and your questions.
All six candidates are here; and before we begin, you know the drill, we quickly go through the rules. Each candidate will have one minute, 60 seconds, to make their statement, to respond to questions and, at my discretion, 30 seconds for follow-ups or rebuttals. We're on a pretty tight schedule, so I will ask the candidates to stay within their allotted time, and we'll see how that goes.
|New Hampshire Primary Debate: Jan. 7, 2012|
Protesters gathered in Manchester on Saturday hours before the Republican presidential candidates met to debate.
Occupy New Hampshire rallied at Veterans Park in downtown Manchester, saying that the 99 percent need a voice not only during the first-in-the-nation primary but during the general election, as well.
"We're saying they're controlled by lobbyists, by the 1 percent corporation and that our voice doesn't matter," said protester Grace Braley.
The gathering included Democrats, Republicans and independents, all saying they were protesting against what they called the establishment. They said the money spent on politics and getting into the White House has gotten out of control.
During the debate, protesters and supporters of the campaigns chanted outside St. Anselm College.
|What does the Iowa caucus mean?: Jan. 6, 2012|
On Jan. 3, 2012, the Iowa caucuses represented the first vote in the 2012 presidential primary. The mainstream media breathlessly reported "Romney won by 8 votes over Santorum! And Ron Paul placed a respectable third!"
As usual, the mainstream media got it wrong.
The mainstream media reported on the popular vote -- the number of actual people voting for each candidate. But the real result is the delegate count. It's the same as the electoral college vs. the popular vote in the general election -- the popular vote is what's reported, but it doesn't actually count.
The presidential campaigns focus on getting above the "magic number" of 1,143 delegates. The Iowa caucus, despite all the media hoopla, assigned only 25 delegates -- 13 to Romney and 12 to Santorum. Iowa is a small state and so is New Hampshire -- the N.H. Republican primary on Jan. 10 will assign only another 12 delegates.
Click for more detais and the popular vote count, and the delegate vote count, from the Iowa caucus.
This is the first in a series of FAQs about the 2012 election. We will update our previous election cycle's FAQs for 2012, too, over the coming weeks.
|Michele Bachmann drops out after Iowa caucus: Jan. 4, 2012|
A day after lackluster showings in the Iowa caucuses, Rep. Michele Bachmann dropped out of the Republican presidential nomination race Wednesday, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry spent several hours reassessing his candidacy before announcing he would remain in the contest.
Both onetime front-runners in Iowa, Mrs. Bachmann and Mr. Perry had tried to consolidate the state's bloc of socially conservative voters. But those voters split among multiple candidates, with former Sen. Rick Santorum drawing a big enough share to claim second place in the caucuses behind Mitt Romney.
|Sen. Ben Nelson (D, NE) announces retirement: Dec. 28, 2011|
Democrats lamented U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson's decision to retire rather than seek a third term in Nebraska, fearing the move sets up Republicans for an easy and crucial victory in their effort to reclaim control of the chamber next year.
Nelson, the lone Democrat in Nebraska's five-member congressional delegation, faced a tough re-election campaign against a large group of Republican challengers who have spent the past several months attacking his support for President Barack Obama's health care overhaul and federal stimulus legislation.
While some floated the names of state Sen. Steve Lathrop of Omaha and Nelson's former lieutenant governor, Kim Robak, as possible contenders, many said it was too early to know who might run. Messages seeking comment were left for Lathrop and Robak.
A dream candidate for Democrats: former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey. Traveling in India on Tuesday, Kerrey told The Washington Post, "Ben's retirement is a huge loss for Nebraska. I am very sad he's leaving. That is as far as I am going (right now)."
|Jill Stein interview: Dec. 22, 2011|
Former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson will abandon his GOP presidential bid and seek the White House under the Libertarian Party banner.
Dr. Jill Stein is the Green Party nominee for President of the United States in 2012.
She ran as the Green Party nominee for Governor of Massachusetts in 2002 and 2010 prior to entering the Presidential race.
Dr. Stein is a medical doctor who resides in Lexington Massachusetts.
This interview, which took place on Dec. 21, 2012, addresses our usual VoteMatch quiz plus the AmericansElect.org questions.
|Gary Johnson withdraws from GOP race: Dec. 21, 2011|
Former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson will abandon his GOP presidential bid and seek the White House under the Libertarian Party banner.
Johnson has drawn scant attention in the race for the Republican Party nomination and barely registered in national public opinion polls, which are often used as a criteria for participation in debates.
The former two-term governor participated in two of the 13 GOP debates this year: the first, in May in South Carolina, which lacked many of the big-name candidates, and most recently in Florida in September.
|Past Presidential Coverage: Dec. 17, 2011|
OnTheIssues.org today expands our coverage to include past presidents back to 1960. Please check out our new President's page.
|1961-1963||John F. Kennedy||Democrat|
|1989-1993||George Bush Sr.||Republican|
|2001-2009||George W. Bush||Republican|
|Mayoral Coverage: Dec. 16, 2011|
OnTheIssues.org today expands our coverage to include a dozen big-city mayors. Please check out our new Mayor's page which includes current mayors and numerous past mayors.
The long past mayor's list, of course, is why we cover mayors -- because they often "graduate" to higher offices which we already cover. Our new coverage includes:
|Boston MA||Tom Menino|
|Chicago IL||Rahm Emanuel|
|Dallas TX||Mike Rawlings|
|Houston TX||Annise Parker|
|Los Angeles CA||Antonio Villaraigosa|
|New York City NY||Mike Bloomberg|
|New York City NY||Rudy Giuliani|
|Newark NJ||Cory Booker|
|Philadelphia PA||Michael Nutter|
|Phoenix AZ||Phil Gordon|
|Salt Lake City UT||Rocky Anderson|
|San Antonio TX||Julian Castro|
|San Diego CA||Jerry Sanders|