United States elections, 2014

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2014 United States elections
Midterm elections
Election day November 4
Senate elections
Seats contested 33 seats of Class II
and 3 mid-term vacancies
2014 Senate election results map.svg
Map of the 2014 Senate races
     Democratic hold      Republican hold      Republican gain      To be determined
Line through state means both Senate seats are up for election
House elections
Seats contested All 435 seats to the 114th Congress
Color coded map of 2014 Senate races

Map of the 2014 House races

  Democratic hold
  Democratic gain
  Republican hold
  Republican gain
Gubernatorial elections
Seats contested 38
2014 gubernatorial election results map.svg
Map of the 2014 gubernatorial races
  Democratic hold
  Democratic gain
  Independent gain
  Republican gain
  Republican hold
  To be determined

General elections in the United States were held on Tuesday, November 4, 2014, and other elections were being held throughout the year. During this midterm election year, all 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 36 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate were contested; along with 38 state and territorial governorships, 46 state legislatures (except Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Virginia),[1] four territorial legislatures, and numerous state and local races. This midterm election became the most expensive in history, with total spending reaching $3.7 billion, including spending by outside entities.[2]

The elections saw sweeping gains by the Republican Party in the Senate, House, and in numerous gubernatorial, state, and local races. The Republicans will gain control of the Senate (in early January 2015) for the first time since early January 2007, and increase their majority in the House.[3] The Republicans also gained two seats in governors' races.[4] As of November 19, 2014, one race in the U.S. Senate and five in the U.S. House of Representatives were still too close to call or could be subject to recounts.

Overall, the elections resulted in the largest Republican majority in the entire country in nearly a century. With 53 seats in the Senate (which could rise to 54 in December), 246 (56.55%) in the House (which could rise to 247, or 56.78%), 31 governorships (62%), and 67 state legislative chambers, the Republicans gained their largest majority in the House since 1946, the largest majority in Congress overall since 1928, and the largest majority of state legislatures since 1928.[5][6][7]


Unlike certain other elections, the 2014 election lacked a "dominant national theme", with no one issue standing above the others.[8] Some of the major issues of the election included income inequality,[9] the effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to as "Obamacare"),[10] and immigration.[8]

Although it generated much debate in early 2014, the Keystone Pipeline ultimately received little attention in the election, with environmentalists instead focused on fighting global warming and supporting the EPA's proposed regulations on greenhouse gas emissions.[11][12] Another potentially important issue, net neutrality, received little attention during the campaign.[13]

According to political commentator Stuart Rothenberg prior to the election, foreign policy crises in the Middle East, Ukraine, and Russia were likely to hurt the Democratic Party's chances in 2014.[14]

The environment was touted as a key issue in the elections, but the results did not show the majority of voters were influenced by environmental concerns. In one example, environmental philanthropist Tom Steyer spent $57 million of his personal fortune supporting campaigns for various Democratic candidates. Of the seven candidates his organization supported, only three won their races.[15]


Perhaps affected by the lack of a single key issue, nationwide voter turnout was just 36.4%, down from 40.9% in the 2010 midterms and the lowest since the 1942 elections, when just 33.9% of voters turned out, though that election came during the middle of World War II.[16][17][18]

The states with the highest turnout were Maine (59.3%), Wisconsin (56.9%), Alaska (55.3%), Colorado (53%), Oregon (52.7%) Minnesota (51.3%), Iowa (50.6%), New Hampshire (48.8%), Montana (46.1%) and South Dakota (44.6%), all of which except for Iowa and Montana featured a competitive gubernatorial race and all of which except for Maine and Wisconsin also featured competitive Senate races.[17][18] The states with the highest turnout that had no Senate or gubernatorial race this year were North Dakota (44.1%) and Washington state (38.6%).[17][18]

The states with the lowest turnout were Indiana (28%), Texas (28.5%), Utah (28.8%), Tennessee (29.1%), New York (29.5%), Mississippi (29.7%), Oklahoma (29.8%), New Jersey (30.4%) and West Virginia and Nevada (31.8%). Indiana and Utah had no Senate or gubernatorial elections and the others all had races for at least one of the posts, but they were not considered competitive.[17][18] Turnout in Washington, D.C. was (30.3%).[17][18]

Analysis by the Pew Research Center found that 35% of non-voters cited work or school commitments which prevented them from voting, 34% said they were too busy, unwell, away from home or forgot to vote, 20% either didn't like the choices, didn't know enough or didn't care and 10% had recently moved, missed a registration deadline or didn't have transportation.[19]

Federal elections[edit]

Congressional elections[edit]

Senate elections[edit]

All 33 seats in Senate Class II were up for election. Additionally, three special elections were held to fill vacancies in Class III.

Of the 36 Senate races, the Republican Party won 23 (a net gain of eight seats) and the Democratic Party won 12, thus resulting in the Republicans regaining control of the Senate for the first time since 2006. The race in Louisiana is headed to a run-off in December 2014.

House of Representatives elections[edit]

All 435 voting seats in the United States House of Representatives were up for election. Elections were held to select the delegates for the District of Columbia and four of the five U.S. territories. The only seat in the House not up for election was the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico, who serves a four-year term. The Republican party won 244 seats (a net gain of 12 seats) and the Democratic Party, 186 seats (5 races were still undecided as of November 13, 2014). Thus, the Republicans gained their largest majority in the House since 1946, and could gain their largest majority since 1928 if they win one more of the 5 undecided races.

On March 11, there was a special election for Florida's 13th congressional district, won by the Republican Party.

State elections[edit]

Gubernatorial elections[edit]

Elections were held for the governorships of 36 of the 50 U.S. states and three U.S. territories. The Republican Party won 24 of the 36 state governorships (for a net gain of two seats), with the Democratic Party losing a total of three seats, and an independent candidate winning one (Bill Walker in Alaska). The final total, as a result, was 31 Republican governors, 18 Democratic governors, and one Independent governor.[20]

State legislative elections[edit]

Elections to state legislatures were held in 46 states, with a total of 6049 seats up for election (82 percent of the total number of state legislative seats in the United States). Republicans won control of several legislative chambers, including both chambers of the Nevada Legislature, the Minnesota House of Representatives, New Hampshire House of Representatives, the New Mexico House of Representatives, the West Virginia House of Delegates, the Colorado Senate, the Maine Senate, the New York Senate, and the Washington Senate. The day after the election, Republicans, who achieved a 17-17 tie in the West Virginia Senate, gained control of that chamber as well thanks to the defection of State Senator Daniel Hall.[21] The election left the Republicans in control of the highest amount of state legislatures in the party's history since 1929, and also left the Democrats in control of the smallest amount of state legislatures since 1861.[6][7][22]

Local elections[edit]

Numerous elections were held for officeholders in numerous cities, counties, school boards, special districts, and others around the country.

Mayoral elections[edit]

Major cities which held mayoral elections in 2014 include:

Allegations of misconduct[edit]

In Chicago, election judges said they had received automated phone calls between October–November 3 with apparently false instructions about voting or required training, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. In Pontiac, Michigan, local Democrats cited reports of voter harassment and intimidation by Republicans over questioning legally-cast ballots with election workers repeatedly having had to ask them to step aside. A clerk called police for help.[27]

Voting machine irregulaties across the country, in which a vote cast for one Republican candidate was counted for another Democrat, including Virginia,[28] Maryland,[29] Illinois,[30] and North Carolina.[31]

In Bexar County, Texas, the Republican candidate for governor, Greg Abbott, was accidentally replaced on the ballot by David Dewhurst.[32]


A series of milestones were set for African-Americans and women, among others, in the U.S. Congress and American politics in general. These include:

  • Republican Joni Ernst, elected to the Senate from Iowa, became the first female combat veteran elected to the U.S. Senate, the first woman ever elected on a statewide level in Iowa, and the first woman ever elected to the U.S. Congress from Iowa.[37]
  • Republican Mia Love, elected to the House from Utah, was the first African-American woman elected to Congress as a Republican, and the first Haitian-American person elected to the U.S. Congress.[40]
  • Republican Alex Mooney, elected to the House from West Virginia, became the first Latino elected to Congress in West Virginia's history.[41]
  • Republican Tim Scott, elected to the Senate from South Carolina, was the first African-American elected to a statewide office in a former Confederate state since 1881,[42] and also became the first African-American to be elected to both the House and the Senate.[43]
  • Republican Elise Stefanik, elected to the House from New York, was the youngest woman elected to Congress at age 30. She beat the previous record-holder and fellow New Yorker, Elizabeth Holtzman, who was elected at age 31 in 1972.[44]


  1. ^ "2010 Primary Dates and Seats Up". September 23, 2009. Retrieved January 26, 2010. 
  2. ^ Hagedorn, Elizabeth (November 4, 2014). "How 2014's midterm elections became the most expensive ever". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved November 6, 2014. 
  3. ^ "2014 Elections Coverage". Fox News. November 4, 2014. Retrieved November 6, 2014. 
  4. ^ "National Election Results (Governor)". Washington Post. November 4, 2014. Retrieved November 6, 2014. 
  5. ^ By Karen Pierog. "Republicans gain big in state legislative elections | Reuters". reuters.com. Retrieved November 20, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Nearly half of Americans will now live in states under total GOP control - The Washington Post". washingtonpost.com. Retrieved November 20, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "The Other GOP Wave: State Legislatures | RealClearPolitics". realclearpolitics.com. Retrieved November 20, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Rucker, Philip (August 9, 2014). "Unlike previous midterm election years, no dominant theme emerged for 2014". Washington Post. Retrieved October 31, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Income gap takes shape as central issue for both parties ahead of 2014 midterms". Washington Post. January 6, 2014. 
  10. ^ Page, Susan (April 10, 2014). "Poll: Health law's campaign clout bad news for Democrats". USA Today. 
  11. ^ Schor, Elana. "The incredible shrinking Keystone". Politico. Retrieved October 31, 2014. 
  12. ^ Mooney, Chris (October 27, 2014). "Environmental groups are spending an unprecedented $85 million in the 2014 elections". Washington Post. Retrieved October 31, 2014. 
  13. ^ Fung, Brian (2014-11-04). "Net neutrality was the biggest tech issue of the year. But nobody campaigned on it.". The Washington Post. 
  14. ^ Rothenberg, Stuart. "President George W. Obama Meets the Midterms". www.rollcall.com. Roll Call. Retrieved August 6, 2014. 
  15. ^ Davenport, Coral, "Meager Returns for the Democrats’ Biggest Donor, New York Times, 6 November 2014
  16. ^ Charlotte Alter. "Voter Turnout in Midterm Elections Hits 72-Year Low". Time. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  17. ^ a b c d e Charlotte Alter (November 10, 2014). "2014 midterm election turnout lowest in 70 years". PBS. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  18. ^ a b c d e "2014 November General Election Turnout Rates". United States Elections Project. November 7, 2014. Retrieved November 13, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Little Enthusiasm, Familiar Divisions After the GOP’s Big Midterm Victory". Pew Research Center. November 12, 2014. Retrieved November 13, 2014. 
  20. ^ 2014 gubenatorial elections - Real Clear Politics.com
  21. ^ Wilson, Reid (5 November 2014). "Party switch gives Republicans control of West Virginia Senate". Washington Post. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  22. ^ Pierog, Karen (5 November 2014). "Republicans gain big in state legislative elections". Reuters. Retrieved November 6, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Mitch Landrieu Is Re-elected Mayor of New Orleans". New York Times. February 2, 2014. Retrieved February 4, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Kevin Faulconer elected next mayor of San Diego, will finish Filner's term". San Diego 6 - the CW. February 12, 2014. Retrieved February 16, 2014. 
  25. ^ Rosenberg, Mike (November 4, 2014). "San Jose mayor: Sam Liccardo declares victory; Dave Cortese not conceding". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved November 6, 2014. 
  26. ^ "D.C. mayoral primary election results". The Washington Post. April 2, 2014. Retrieved November 5, 2014. 
  27. ^ McCormick, John; Talev, Margaret (November 4, 2014). "As Polls Close, Both Sides Predict Senate Victories". Bloomberg Politics. Retrieved November 6, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Rigell campaign demands paper ballots in Va. Beach | WAVY-TV". wavy.com. Retrieved November 15, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Maryland GOP calls for investigation of voting machines - Baltimore Sun". baltimoresun.com. Retrieved November 15, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Lawsuit filed against Rock Island County Clerk for voting machine issues | WQAD.com". wqad.com. Retrieved November 15, 2014. 
  31. ^ "Voting machine again displays wrong choice - News-Record.com: News". news-record.com. Retrieved November 15, 2014. 
  32. ^ "Company acknowledges Bexar ballot glitch that omitted Greg Abbott's name - San Antonio Express-News". mysanantonio.com. Retrieved November 15, 2014. 
  33. ^ Maher, Kris (November 4, 2014). "West Virginia Elects America’s Youngest State Lawmaker". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 6, 2014. 
  34. ^ "Branstad elected to 6th term as Iowa governor". KETV Omaha. November 4, 2014. Retrieved November 6, 2014. 
  35. ^ Stableford, Dylan (November 5, 2014). "Election 2014 firsts". Yahoo News. Retrieved November 6, 2014. 
  36. ^ Siddiqui, Sabrina (November 4, 2014). "Shelley Moore Capito First Woman Elected As West Virginia Senator". Huffington Post. Retrieved November 6, 2014. 
  37. ^ "Ernst becomes first woman elected statewide in Iowa". Washington Post. November 5, 2014. Retrieved November 6, 2014. 
  38. ^ "Gorbea accepts victory in R.I. secretary of state race, first Hispanic in N.E. to win statewide office". Providence Journal. Retrieved November 6, 2014. 
  39. ^ "Democrat Maura Healey tops GOP's Miller to become the nation's 1st openly gay attorney general". My Fox Boston. November 5, 2014. Retrieved November 17, 2014. 
  40. ^ Richardson, Valerie (November 5, 2014). "Mia Love makes history by winning House seat in Utah". Washington Times. Retrieved November 6, 2014. 
  41. ^ "West Virginia, the nation's least Hispanic state, elects its first Latino congressman". Fox News Latino. Published November 4, 2014. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  42. ^ Bradner, Eric (November 5, 2014). "Scott first black senator elected in South since Reconstruction". CNN. Retrieved November 6, 2014. 
  43. ^ "South Carolina black senator makes history - CNN.com". cnn.com. Retrieved November 15, 2014. 
  44. ^ "New York voters elect youngest woman to US Congress". Yahoo News (AFP). November 4, 2014. Retrieved November 6, 2014. 

External links[edit]