Monday, January 7, 2013

The 2012 Election: Congressional Races 3rd of 4-part Retrospective of 2012 Election

by Clifford F. Thies In the 2012 Congressional Elections, Republicans suffered a net loss of eight seats, but retained a majority, 234 to 201. In terms of the nationwide popular vote, Democratic candidates received 49 percent of the vote, Republicans 48 percent, Libertarians 1 percent, and various left-of-center and right-of-center splinter parties a total of 1 percent each.

This calculation requires some judgment with respect to: (1) how to count votes in California in races involving a top-two combination other than a Democrat and a Republican, (2) how to count votes cast for major party candidates that are cross-endorsed by other parties in New York and some other states, and (3) how to characterize certain splinter parties.

With the Republicans winning a majority of the seats even though the Democrats won the plurality of the vote illustrates the net advantage of Republicans in re-districting subsequent to the 2010 census. Indeed, the Republicans might not have lost any seats at all had they not been so greedy in Arizona and Florida, and stretched Republicans too thin in the districts designed to facilitate Republican victories.

Republicans seemed to fall short in most of the high profile races including incumbent Allen West in Florida, and challengers Vernon Parker of Arizona, Richard Tisei in Massachusetts, and Mia Love in Utah (all three challengers lost due to Libertarian Party-vote siphoning).

In a couple cases, good guys from the 1994 Republican Revolution were returned to the Congress after an absence, viz., Matt Salmon of Arizona and Steve Stockman of Texas.

In Idaho, Pro-Life of the Pro-Life Party finished fourth in Idaho's 1st Congressional District. In the course of his own life, the man switched from Republican to independent, from Mormon to non-denominational, from having a name to having a slogan, and from being an accountant to growing organic strawberries. Let this be a warning to anybody considering pursing a career as an accountant.

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