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The 6 bellwether counties of 2014

The 6 bellwether counties of 2014

Kentucky electorate line adult to attend a convene with former U.S. President Bill Clinton campaigning with U.S. Senate Democratic claimant and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes Oct 21, 2014 in Owensboro, Kentucky. Grimes stays sealed in a parsimonious competition with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) with midterm elections reduction than dual weeks away. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Kentucky electorate line adult to attend a convene with former U.S. President Bill Clinton campaigning with U.S. Senate Democratic claimant Alison Lundergan Grimes on Oct. 21 in Owensboro, Kentucky, in a state’s choosing bellwether Daviess County. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Morning Line

Today in a Morning Line:

  • The counties that have left with, or could go with, a winner
  • Taking a closer demeanour during Georgia demographics
  • Kentucky spark vs. Liberal Louisville
  • The Democratic firewall keys
  • Louisiana’s legacy

Some of us can’t wait for Election Night. Instead of pundit talk, and pronounce of polls, trends and history, we get tangible tender vote. People will describe their judgment. There’s a lot to keep lane of, generally for what to watch in a competition for a Senate. There are several counties to watch in several pivotal states, yet let’s take a demeanour during probable bellwethers in 6 pivotal states. These counties competence not simulate a ideal or closest compare to a statewide formula in any instance, yet they are tighten and, importantly, they have adequate votes to matter. Here’s a demeanour by poll-closing time:


GEORGIA: Georgia is a state that has seen outrageous demographic changes over a past 10 years. The state has left from 70 percent white, 30 percent non-white in 1990 to 55-45 percent today. Because of that, an stagnation rate that is a tip in a nation during 7.9 percent, and missteps by a Republican Senate candidate, Democrats are carefree about picking this one off. It is a many rival state of a pivotal Senate races, formed on a Real Clear Politics average. No place are those demographic changes some-more conspicuous than in Metro Atlanta, where several counties have seen a doubling of minority electorate over a decade. But even yet Democrats need to get minority electorate out, Michelle Nunn, D, can’t omit Southern farming white counties. Consider: The final Democrat to win a U.S. Senate chair was Max Cleland in 1996. In a really tighten race, and before a demographic changes, he won scarcely all of those Southern majority-white districts.

The Bellwether — Gwinnett (Metro Atlanta): Gwinnett is potentially an rising bellwether. Consider this: In 2012, even yet President Obama mislaid Georgia by some-more than in 2008, when he mislaid it by usually 5 points, he indeed did BETTER in this populous Atlanta suburb, prolonged a Republican stronghold. The thing to watch Tuesday is David Perdue’s, R, domain here:
2012 — Romney 54-45 | Statewide: Romney 53-45
2008 — McCain 55-44 | Statewide: McCain 42-47

KENTUCKY: No state is closer watched given of Mitch McConnell, who would be infancy personality if Republicans take behind a Senate. Despite his 30-year reign in a Senate, McConnell has struggled to keep his seat. He won usually 53-46 percent for reelection in 2008, and his favorability ratings continue to suffer. The areas to watch here are spark nation vs. magnanimous Louisville and Lexington, where a University of Kentucky is. Jack Conway, D, in 2010 indeed got roughly a entertain of his whole opinion sum from Jefferson and Fayette counties, where Louisville and Lexington are, respectively. Because of their size, though, watch McConnell’s opinion totals in those dual places, too. Jefferson is a tip vote-getting county for Republicans in further to Democrats. Alison Lundergan Grimes, D, needs to run adult a measure there to have a chance, yet she can’t get blown out in a coal-rich Eastern partial of a state. Watch Pike County, a many populous of a spark counties, that went 51-49 percent for Rand Paul in 2010.

The Bellwether — Daviess (Owensboro): Daviess closely mirrored Paul’s outcome in 2010, McConnell’s in 2008 and Jim Bunning’s, R, 1-point statewide win in 2004:
2010 — Paul 55-45 | Statewide: Paul 56-44
2008 — McConnell 52-48 | Statewide: McConnell 53-47
2004 — Bunning 51-49 | Statewide: Bunning 51-49


NORTH CAROLINA: Like Georgia and Virginia, North Carolina represents a Emerging South. It has already seen large demographic changes in a Research Triangle, evidenced by Barack Obama winning a state in 2008. It’s altered so many that we have to put a long-held law to rest — that Wake County is a pitch county. It’s not anymore. Though Romney won a state by 2 points in 2012, President Obama won Wake by 4 points. Still, a white opinion domain competence still be many revelation between obligatory Democrat Kay Hagan and Republican challenger Thom Tillis.

The Bellwether — Watauga (Western mountains): This county that borders Tennessee has left with a leader in any of a presidential and Senate races over a final decade:
2012 — Romney 50-47 | Statewide: Romney 50-48
2010 — Burr 55-43 | Statewide: Burr 55-43
2008 — Obama 51-47 | Statewide: Obama 50-49
2008 — Hagan 51-44 | Statewide: Hagan 53-44
2004 — Bush 53-47 | Statewide: Bush 56-44


COLORADO: It’s conspicuous that President Obama has not campaigned in possibly Colorado, a place where he supposed a 2008 presidential nomination, or Iowa, a state that launched his candidacy in a 2008 caucuses. Democrat Mark Udall, like many Democrats, needs to do good in Denver, yet a genuine pivotal is a pitch Denver suburbs.

The Bellwether — Jefferson (Denver suburbs): Populous Jefferson County, usually west of Denver, has voted with a accurate domain (within tenths of points) in all 4 of a large races there given 2008:
2012 — Obama 51-46 | Statewide: Obama 51-46
2010 — Bennet 48-46 | Statewide: Bennet 48-46
2008 — Obama 54-45 | Statewide: Obama 54-45
2008 — Udall 53-42 | Statewide: Udall 53-42

IOWA: The Hawkeye State has been many some-more accessible domain to Democrats in new years than many of a other rival Senate races we’re examination on Election Night. But it is a pitch state — George W. Bush won it in 2004 and Barack Obama won it twice in 2008 and 2012. Bruce Braley, like President Obama, would have to do good in Des Moines (Polk) and Davenport (Johnston), and Republicans have to purify adult in a reduction populated, some-more farming counties, and in sold in a Western partial of a state, in places like Sioux.

The Bellwether — Cedar (Eastern): Cedar has left with a leader of any Iowa presidential and Senate leader given 1992. That’s 13-for-the-last-13 elections. The formula have all remarkably mirrored a statewide results. Take a demeanour during a final 5 presidential elections, for example:
2012 — Obama 52-47 | Statewide: Obama 52-46
2008 — Obama 54-44 | Statewide: Obama 54-44
2004 — Bush 50-49 | Statewide: Bush 50-49
2000 — Gore 48.3-48.1 | Statewide: Gore 48.5-48.2
1996 — Clinton 50-39 | Statewide: Clinton 50-40

LOUISIANA: Sen. Mary Landrieu, D, is no foreigner to tighten races or to runoffs. But this year competence be different. While this competition is roughly positively headed to a Dec. 6 runoff, polls uncover Landrieu trailing Rep. Bill Cassidy in a head-to-head. Part of Landrieu’s problem in this runoff as compared to past years is that it’s not transparent where a opinion would come from to put her over a top. Operatives on both sides indicate to a post-Katrina exodus of many normal Landrieu bottom electorate as one reason.

The Bellwether — Jefferson (New Orleans suburb): Landrieu’s family is from a New Orleans area. Her hermit is a stream New Orleans mayor; her father is a past one. So, a pitch area of Jefferson, usually outward New Orleans could be key. It went for Landrieu in her tighten 2008 reelection, 52-46 percent, mirroring her statewide result. But there are copiousness of conservatives there, too, as it also went for John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012:
2008 — Landrieu 52-46 | Statewide: Landrieu 52-46
2002 — Landrieu 56-44 | Statewide: Landrieu 52-48
2012 — Romney 58-40 | Statewide: Romney 58-41


  • President Obama campaigns for Democrats in Portland, Maine, and Providence, Rhode Island, Thursday. Michael Beschloss and The Washington Post’s Dan Balz discussed a president’s midterm travels with Gwen Ifill on Wednesday’s NewsHour.

  • Amid rumors of a White House shake-up, President Obama is disposition some-more than ever on his tiny round of advisers.

  • North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan leads Republican State House Leader Thom Tillis 45 to 41 percent in an Elon University poll expelled Thursday.

  • Colorado Rep. Cory Gardner leads Sen. Mark Udall 46 to 39 percent in a Quinnipiac check expelled Thursday.

  • Hillary Clinton campaigned in Iowa for Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley Wednesday.

  • National Democrats and state affiliates are contracting racially charged messages — about Trayvon Martin’s genocide or Ferguson, for instance — to motivate African-American voters.

  • Local politicking is now just a memory in Louisiana, where a some-more nationalized Senate competition is withdrawal electorate unenthused.

  • Early voting among Georgia whites is down, yet adult among Georgia blacks. And in North Carolina, Democrats are casting lots of early votes.

  • Democrats are losing belligerent with immature voters, compared to where they stood in prior cycles, according to a Harvard Institute of Politics poll.

  • Gardner has expelled his first Spanish-language ad.

  • In Colorado’s 6th Congressional District, “the hardest-working House candidates in a country” are gearing adult for their initial Spanish-language discuss – never mind that a GOP obligatory didn’t even pronounce Spanish this time final cycle.

  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce expel Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul in their latest ad for Iowa Republican Joni Ernst. Paul is also appearing in Chamber ads for Republicans in New Hampshire.

  • In an unpretentious press discussion Wednesday, Eliot Cutler, Maine’s Independent claimant for governor, said, “I am realist about my chances,” and urged electorate to “vote their conscience” if they fear he’s going to lose. But Cutler, who’s been trailing in a polls, stopped brief of dropping out.

  • Later Wednesday, Independent Sen. Angus King switched his endorsement from Cutler to Democrat Mike Michaud.

  • The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is creation a last-minute investment on interest of dual possibilities and expanding spending on 5 others.

  • Economic indicators competence be improving, yet voters aren’t feeling it, and obligatory governors — Republican and Democrats — are feeling a anger.

  • In Florida’s governor’s race, former Gov. Charlie Crist enjoys a slight lead over GOP Gov. Rick Scott, 43 to 40 percent, according to a Quinnipiac poll expelled Thursday. The Libertarian carries 8 percent.

  • Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker leads Democrat Mary Burke 50 to 43 percent in a Marquette University poll expelled Wednesday.

  • Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder leads Democrat Mark Schauer 45 to 43 percent in a check conducted for a Detroit Free Press.

  • The anti-corruption Moreland Commission that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo combined and is now being investigated for interfering with is not a usually elect he’s tampered with.

  • In a Massachusetts gubernatorial discuss progressing this week, a possibilities were asked about a final time they cried. But 42 years after Ed Muskie blamed descending sleet for his waterworks, do tears assistance or hurt on a debate trail?

  • Keep an eye on the Rundown blog for violation news via a day, a home page for uncover segments, and follow @NewsHour for a latest.


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