There is little doubt that Republican candidates at all levels rode a wave to shore last night. For those of us who spend entire election cycles with our eyes firmly fixed on the horizon looking for waves, this is one that broke late. Sure, we saw some ripples, but where was the wave?
The truth is that most of the signs that a wave was coming just didn’t seem to be there. We spent a lot of time looking at data from 2010, only to be convinced that 2014 wasn’t going to be nearly as impressive. In truth, a lot of the measurements we use – right direction/wrong track, presidential job approval and generic congressional ballot tests – ended up being closer to those same numbers in 2010 than not.
Perhaps the real difference came in perception of the two elections. In 2010, Republicans overwhelmingly won a majority in the House, picking up 63 seats. They fell short in the Senate, thanks to more exotic candidates in Colorado, Delaware and Nevada. The GOP did pick up a number of gubernatorial
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