2014 Midterm Elections
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|Persons of interest|
The 2014 midterm elections were a series of local, state, and federal elections held in the United States on 4 November 2014. These included elections for all 435 members of the US House of Representatives, 36 US Senators, 39 state and territorial governorships, and the majority of state legislative seats.
The 2014 midterms have been widely described as a “red wave” on account of the major losses of the Democratic Party. Notably, Republicans won 13 more seats, giving them there largest majority in a while. Republicans had more success in the Senate, where Democrats were defending the majority (21 out of 36) of the seats up for election. Republicans gained their majority by flipping 9 Democratic-held seats.
Most people saw the 2014 midterms as something of a referendum on the
professional dumpster fire presidency of Barack Obama. As we saw with midterms, the GOP had gains, flipping 13 house seats to gain their largest majority since the Great Depression began. They also gained a senate majority for the first time since before the 2006 midterms.
US House results
Republicans flipped 16 Democrat-held seats in the US House of Representatives, while Democrats only won three Republican-held seats. This put them into a 247-188 majority, there biggest since after the 1928 elections. This was mainly due to how much people hated Barack Obama due to the six year itch, and due to the GOP gerrymandering seats in 2012. Notable seats include
- Illinois - Both the 10th and 12th districts flipped to the GOP. The 10th is very Democrat and in the Chicago area, and like the governorship, flipped in a fluke, reverted in 2018. The 12th is based in south Illinois and is Republican to this day.
- New England - Republicans picked up New Hampshire's 1st and Maine's 2nd districts, both reverted in 2016 and 2018. Maine's 2nd district would vote for Donald Trump in both 2016 and 2020.
- New York - The 1st, 21st and 24th district flipped, the 1st being the eastern edge, the 21st representing the northern front of the state, and the 24th being the Syracuse area. The 24th leans Democrat, but the representative is still in office. The person in the 21st is also the chair of the Republican conference.
US Senate results
Democrats lost the Senate that the Democrats had gained back in 2006. Despite having a powerful 55-45 advantage, Republicans came back from there landslide defeat in 2008 and gained 9 seats. This put them in a 54-46 advantage, and they also lost zero seats of the 15 they had up. They picked up Alaska, North Carolina, Colorado (which got reverted in 2020), Montana, South Dakota, Iowa, West Virginia, Arkansas and Louisiana. This was the largest gain for them since Reagan's Revolution in 1980; even the 1994 Republican Revolution was only +8 seats for the GOP. The Republicans would never get stronger from this point.
In addition to holding three governors’ races in swing states (Wisconsin, Michigan, and Florida), the Republicans flipped 4 Republican-held governorships in the following states:
- Illinois—Though otherwise a blue state, Illinois governor actually flipped, breaking the Democrats trifecta. This is due to the fact that, as seen in 2010, Illinois is very prone to wave years. However, in the 2018 midterm elections, Democrats picked it back up.
- Maryland-One of the most solid blue states, Larry Hogan narrowly got elected governor, breaking 60 years of Democratic control in the state (due to supermajorities, Democrats held control from 2003-2007), and cottailed many Republicans to the House, narrowing it up to 91-49, Democrat.
- Massachusetts-This very blue state has a long history of Republican governers including Mitt Romney and Bill Weld, although Democrat supermajorities prevent many vetoes, and the governership flipped in 2006, but the GOP picked it back up in 2014, as the incumbent retired.
- Arkansas-Republicans gained a trifecta for the first time since Reconstruction as they flipped the seat from a term limited governor, whilst maintaining the legislature. This was very impressive in such a deep South state, and marked a political realignment.
Republicans did have numerous setbacks though. An incumbent was defeated in the critical swing state of Pennsylvania, by nearly ten points, which is nearly five points more then what Mitt Romney lost by in 2012. This was, however, due to his extreme unpopularity. Also in Alaska, a left leaning independent, Bill Walker, beat the incumbent due to poor approval ratings. They also failed to flip Colorado, and Minnesota. However, Vermont remained undecided as no candidate reached 50%, so it was chosen by the legislature to be a Democrat in a 110-69 vote. That would flip in 2016.
In addition to House, Senate, and governors’ races, Republicans achieved success in:
- State legislatures—Both branches of the Nevada legislature flipped, giving Republicans full control. However, in 2016, Democrats would flip back both branches. They also picked up the Minnesota House of Representatives, the New Hampshire House of Representatives (ending a Democratic trifecta), the New Mexico House of Representatives, the West Virginia House of Delegates (ending a trifecta), the Colorado Senate, the New York Senate and the Maine Senate. They also flipped West Virginia's Senate following a senator switching parties.