Democratic House candidates received more than 8.6 million votes than did their Republican counterparts — the biggest such midterm margin for either party in over 40 years.
According to an NBC News report current as of noon Wednesday, Democratic House candidates got 58,990,609 votes to Republicans’ 50,304,975 — a margin of 53.1 percent to 45.2 percent.
With two races still outstanding, that 8-million vote edge translated into a Democratic advantage in the next U.S. House of 234 to 199 — a 38-seat pickup over the partisan split in the current Congress.
The 8.6-million vote midterm margin was the largest any party has had since the 1974 elections, held less than three months after Republican President Richard Nixon resigned over the Watergate scandal. The 8.7-million-vote advantage, however, was on a much smaller U.S. population, and it translated into a much larger percentage margin (58 percent to 41 percent) and a bigger pickup of seats onto what was already a healthy Democratic majority. The 49 seats Democrats gained that election gave them an advantage of 291 to 144. (Read more)
What did North Carolina Democrats learn from the elections earlier this month?
A few lessons:
1. North Carolina Democrats learned the great advantages of recruiting good candidates to run in every district, even when the odds of winning some entrenched legislative seats had seemed remote. Well-funded, well-organized campaigns can produce demonstrably good results.
2. However, they learned again that clever partisan gerrymandering gives Republicans a clear advantage in legislative and congressional elections.
Until this year, the situation was similar in Pennsylvania. Republicans held a 13-5 edge in that state’s congressional delegation prior to redistricting ordered by the state’s supreme court. In this month’s election, using the new districts, each party won nine seats.
In North Carolina, where the total statewide congressional vote is about even, Republicans nevertheless have a 10-3 advantage. The current districting plan concentrates many Democratic voters into the three Democratic districts and spreads Republican voters throughout the remainder. With seven losing Democrats garnering more than 40 percent of the vote in the recent election, a fair redistricting plan would have made several of them winners. (Read more)