Among the 13 most competitive Senate races, Left and Right News correctly projected 11 of these races. The 2 races incorrectly projected were Alaska, where Lisa Murkowski won with a write-in campaign, and Colorado, where Michael Bennet defeated Ken Buck with less than a 1% margin. Also, even though Lisa Murkowski won as an Independent in Alaska, she is a Republican, so this election results with 47 Republican Senators and 53 Democrats (including Lieberman and Sanders who are technically Independents). Left and Right projected the outcome to be 48 Republicans and 52 Democrats – only one off of the outcome. Republicans gained 6 seats in the Senate, which is an above average shift in a midterm election. Among the past 20 midterm elections, the party not holding the presidency averages a gain of 3.65 Senators, so the 2010 result is close to double the average shift.
In the House of Representatives, the Republicans were able to win a majority, which Left and Right also correctly projected. John Boehner is favored to become the next Speaker of the House. There are still 10 House races where a winner hasn’t been declared yet, but the current total of Republican gains in the House is 63 seats. Among the past 20 midterm elections, the party not holding the presidency averages a gain of 27 House seats, so the 2010 result is well above the average turnover. In fact, the last time more than 61 House seats were lost takes us back to 1938, when FDR lost 72 seats.