As you no doubt know, the Democrats got their clocks cleaned last night in two House seat runoff elections and one Senate one. The question is, could they have done better? – Actually, no, the question is, could they have done much better? …And the answer may indeed be ‘yes’ in both cases. Please note: a lot of this is going to be a discussion on how much or how little the rubble might have bounced, so keep that in mind.
Let’s start with the Senate race. All numbers here from AOSHQDD: they’re not the certified results, but they’re going to be fine for this analysis.
The total drop-off for that election was 91% for the Democrats, 88% for the GOP, and 89% overall. In other words: the Democrats managed to retain more of their Election Day voters than the Republicans did. Mary Landrieu still got destroyed in the general because the people who voted for Rob Maness clearly decided to show up for Bill Cassidy, too. This was not particularly contested by Sen. Landrieu, probably because she had limited resources and clearly decided that she needed to boost her own side’s turnout more than she needed to depress her opponent’s turnout. Considering that Sen. Landrieu’s base was mostly African-American – a demographic that’s hard to get to turn out, historically – she didn’t actually do a bad job. (more…)