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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Coattails and the Senate: An Update

A November 10 post asked whether President Obama's coattails were responsible for the Senate Democrats' net gain of two seats. It looked the 11 Democratic victories in races that RealClearPolitics rated as "tossups" or "leans," comparing the percentage of the vote for the winning Senate candidate and President Obama.  Below is an updated version of the table, with final, certified figures.  As before, it shows that only in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin did the president get a higher percentage of the vote than the winning Senate candidate, and only in Massachusetts was the difference more than five percent.  We have to conclude that the evidence for any coattail effect is very weak.


Winner
Winner%

Obama%





Connecticut
Murphy
55.2%

58.1%
Florida
Nelson
55.2%

50.0%
Indiana
Donnelly
50.0%

43.9%
Massachusetts
Warren
53.3%

60.7%
Missouri
McCaskill
54.8%

44.4%
Montana
Tester
48.6%

41.7%
North Dakota
Heitkamp
50.5%

38.7%
Ohio
Brown
50.7%

50.7%
Pennsylvania
Casey
53.7%

52.0%
Virginia
Kaine
52.9%

51.2%
Wisconsin
Baldwin
51.5%

52.8%





(In the Ohio race, rounding to two decimal places instead of one shows that Senator Sherrod Brown got a slightly greater share of the vote than President Obama: 50.70 percent to 50.67 percent.)