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Senate Races:

Democrats have fifty-six seats, Republicans forty. With all or almost all (99% in Alaska) the votes counted, if current totals hold after recounts and whatnot, the Republicans get three more (Georgia, Minnesota, and believe it or not, Ted Stevens's seat in Alaska). Oregon only has about 3/4 reporting, with the Republican ahead slightly, and Portland results in.

More generally, the picture is of a solid Democratic win, but not the tsunami some had expected. Obama won the popular vote by a solid, but not crushing, margin of slightly less than six percent (52.4-46.5). Bill Clinton beat Bob Dole by a significantly greater margin and even greater relative percentage (49.25-40.71), and George Bush by a slightly lower margin, but higher relative percentage (43.01-37.45). Bush, meanwhile, beat Dukakis by a larger margin, 53.4 to 45.6. The Democrats picked up about twenty House seats, on the low end of the expected range. And, as noted above, they seem likely to pick up five or six Senate seats,which would make the Senate races either 18-16 in favor of the Democrats, or tied at 17-17, again on the low end of the expected range.

UPDATE: BTW, of course I'm aware that presidential elections are decided by the Electoral College, not the popular vote. But comparing electoral college results gives the same picture, and I think looking at the popular vote gives one a better idea of how much national sentiment has shifted to the Democrats.

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More on the Lack of a Democratic Tsunami:

A reader in the comments:

Consider the ratio of winners' votes to runners'-up votes in the last 25 Presidential elections.

Obama won a clear victory with a ratio of 1.13 over McCain. (63.0 / 55.8 = 1.13)

But by any reasonable historical standard, this election was actually fairly close.

The average over the last 25 elections has been 1.30. For the last 12 its 1.22....

Winner RunnerUp Ratio Contest

2000 0.479 0.484 0.98 Bush - Gore

1960 0.497 0.496 1.00 Kennedy - Nixon

1968 0.434 0.427 1.01 Nixon - Humphrey

1976 0.501 0.48 1.04 Carter - Ford

2004 0.507 0.483 1.04 Bush - Kerry

1916 0.492 0.461 1.06 Wilson - Hughes

1948 0.496 0.451 1.09 Truman - Dewey

2008 0.52 0.46 1.13 Obama - McCain

1992 0.43 0.377 1.14 Clinton - Bush

1944 0.534 0.459 1.16 Roosevelt - Dewey

1988 0.534 0.456 1.17 Bush - Dukakis

1996 0.4924 0.4071 1.20 Clinton - Dole

1940 0.547 0.448 1.22 Roosevelt - Willkie

1980 0.507 0.41 1.23 Reagan - Carter

1952 0.552 0.443 1.24 Eisenhower - Stevenson

1956 0.574 0.42 1.36 Eisenhower - Stevenson

1928 0.582 0.408 1.42 Hoover - Smith

1932 0.574 0.397 1.44 Roosevelt - Hoover

1984 0.588 0.406 1.44 Reagan - Mondale

1912 0.418 0.274 1.52 Wilson - Roosevelt

1964 0.611 0.385 1.58 Johnson - Goldwater

1972 0.607 0.375 1.61 Nixon - McGovern

1936 0.608 0.365 1.66 Roosevelt - Landon

1920 0.603 0.341 1.76 Harding - Cox

1924 0.54 0.288 1.87 Coolidge - Davis

It's only because the last two elections were so close that this one seems remarkable. I don't know that I'd call it "fairly close," but it certain isn't a blowout, landslide, tsunami, etc., by historical standards, but just a mundane victory.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. More on the Lack of a Democratic Tsunami:
  2. Senate Races:
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