2014 United States elections

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2014 United States elections
2013          2014          2015
Midterm elections
Election day November 4
Incumbent president Barack Obama (Democratic)
Next Congress 114th
Senate elections
Overall control Republican Gain
Seats contested 36 of 100 seats
(33 seats of Class II + 3 special elections)
Net seat change Republican +9
2014 Senate election results map.svg
Map of the 2014 Senate races
     Democratic hold
     Republican hold
     Republican gain
A box in a state indicates that both Senate seats were up for election.
House elections
Overall control Republican Hold
Seats contested All 435 seats to the 114th Congress
Popular vote margin Republican +5.7%
Net seat change Republican +13
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 39 (36 states, 3 territories)
Net seat change Republican +2, Independent +1
2014 gubernatorial election results map.svg
Map of the 2014 gubernatorial races
     Democratic hold      Republican hold
     Democratic gain      Republican gain
     Independent gain

The 2014 United States elections were held on Tuesday, November 4, 2014, in the middle of Democratic President Barack Obama's second term. Republicans retained control of the House of Representatives and won control of the Senate.

Republicans won a net gain of nine Senate seats, the largest Senate gain for either party since the 1980 elections. In the House, Republicans won a net gain of thirteen seats, giving them their largest majority since the onset of the Great Depression. In state elections, Republicans won a net gain of two seats and flipped control of ten legislative chambers. Various other state, territorial, and local elections and referenda were held throughout the year.

With total spending reaching $3.7 billion, the midterm election, at the time, was the most expensive in history, being surpassed by the 2018 midterm election four years later. The 2014 election also saw the lowest turnout since 1942, with just 36.4% of eligible voters voting.


The 2014 election lacked a "dominant national theme", but illegal immigration was a major issue for Republican, and many independent, voters. (61) Some other major issues of the election included income inequality,[1] and the effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to as "Obamacare")[2]

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.[3][4][5] Another potentially important issue, net neutrality, received little attention during the campaign.[6]

Federal elections

With a final total of 247 seats (56.78%) in the House and 54 seats in the Senate, the Republicans ultimately achieved their largest majority in the U.S. Congress since the 71st Congress in 1929.[7]

Congressional elections

Senate elections

All 33 seats in Senate Class II were up for election. Additionally, three special elections were held to fill vacancies in Class III.[8]

Of the 36 Senate races, the Republican Party won 24 (a net gain of nine seats, which represents the largest gain for a party in the Senate since 1980, and the largest Senate gain in a midterm since 1958) and the Democratic Party won 12, thus resulting in the Republicans regaining control of the Senate for the first time since 2006, with a total of 54 seats. The race in Louisiana headed to a run-off on December 6, 2014, in which Rep. Bill Cassidy (R) defeated 3-term incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu 55.9% to 44.1%.

House of Representatives elections

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 247 seats (a net gain of 13 seats) and the Democratic Party, 188 seats. Thus, the Republicans gained their largest majority in the House since 1928.[citation needed] Nationwide, Republicans won the popular vote for the House of Representatives by a margin of 5.7 percent.[9]

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

State elections

Gubernatorial elections

Elections were held for the governorships of 36 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, as they picked up open Democratic-held seats in Arkansas, Maryland and Massachusetts and defeated incumbent Governor Pat Quinn in Illinois, while Republican incumbents Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania and Sean Parnell of Alaska respectively lost to Democrat Tom Wolf and independent Bill Walker. This cycle marked the first time an incumbent Governor running for re-election in Pennsylvania lost in the modern era. The final total, as a result, was 31 Republican governors, 18 Democratic governors, and one Independent governor.[10]

State legislative elections

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 10 legislative chambers: 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. This increased the total number of Republican-controlled state houses from 57 to 67. 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, thus increasing their total gains to 11, for a final total of 68 state houses won.[11] The election left the Republicans in control of the highest amount of state legislatures in the party's history since 1928, and also left the Democrats in control of the smallest amount of state legislatures since 1860.[12][13][14]

Local elections

Numerous elections were held for officeholders in numerous cities, counties, school boards, special districts, and others around the country.[15]

Mayoral elections

Major cities which held mayoral elections in 2014 include:


Nationwide voter turnout was 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.[21][22][23]

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.[22][23] The states with the highest turnout that had no Senate or gubernatorial race that year were North Dakota (44.1%) and Washington state (38.6%).[22][23]

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.[22][23] Turnout in Washington, D.C. was (30.3%).[22][23]

According to CNN Young Americans aged between 18-29 accounted for 13%, down from 19% in the presidential election two years before.

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.[24]

The New York Times counts apathy, anger and frustration at the relentlessly negative tone of the campaigns as the reasons of low turnout and stated, "Neither party gave voters an affirmative reason to show up at the polls."[25]

Controversies and other issues

Allegations of misconduct

Connecticut State Representative Christina Ayala (Democrat) was arrested in September 2014 on 19 voting fraud charges, specifically "eight counts of fraudulent voting, 10 counts of primary or enrollment violations and one count of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence."[26] In September 2015 she pleaded guilty to state election law violations, received a one-year sentence (suspended) along with two years 'conditional discharge', and agreed not to seek elective office for two years. Her mother, Democratic Registrar of Voters Santa Ayala, was also the subject of an investigation in the case, but was not charged. [27]

California State Senator Roderick Wright (Democrat) resigned from office in September 2014 and was sentenced to 90 days in Los Angeles county jail for perjury and voter fraud.[28] Despite being convicted months earlier for 8 felonies, Wright was allowed to take a paid leave of absence as State Senator.[29]

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.[30]

New voting restrictions

In June 2013, the Supreme Court invalidated part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, permitting nine (mostly Southern) states to change their election laws without advance federal approval.[31] Since 2010, 22 states enacted new voting restrictions.[32] The 2014 federal election was the first federal election where 15 states enacted new voting restrictions, many of which faced challenges in court.[32][33][34]

Voting machine issues

Scattered issues with voting machines occurred, with miscalibrated machines recorded a vote cast for one candidate as a vote for another candidate. They occurred in Virginia,[35] Maryland,[36] Illinois,[37] and North Carolina.[38]

In Bexar County, Texas, the Republican candidate for governor, Greg Abbott, was accidentally replaced on the ballot by David Dewhurst on one machine, on which 12 votes were cast before the problem was caught.[39]


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

  • Republican Saira Blair, elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates, became the youngest elected official to state office in American history, at age 18.[40]
  • Republican Terry Branstad, the governor of Iowa, was re-elected to a sixth four-year term as governor, thus becoming the longest-serving governor in U.S. history (surpassing George Clinton of New York).[41]
  • Republican Shelley Moore Capito, elected to the Senate from West Virginia, became the first female senator in West Virginia's history.[42]
  • 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.[43]
  • Democrat Nellie Gorbea, elected Secretary of State of Rhode Island, became the first Hispanic to be elected to a statewide office in New England.[44]
  • Democrat Maura Healey, elected Massachusetts Attorney General, became the first openly gay state attorney general elected in America.[45]
  • Republican Will Hurd, elected to the House from Texas, was the first African-American Republican elected to Congress in Texas.[46]
  • Republican Mia Love, elected to the House from Utah, was the first African-American woman elected to Congress as a Republican, the first Haitian-American person elected to the U.S. Congress, and the first African-American elected to Congress from the state of Utah.[47]
  • Republican Martha McSally, the first American woman to fly in combat since the 1991 lifting of the prohibition of women in combat, as well as the first woman to command a USAF fighter squadron, was elected to the House from Arizona.[48][49]
  • Republican Alex Mooney, elected to the House from West Virginia, became the first Latino elected to Congress in West Virginia's history.[50]
  • Democrat Gina Raimondo, elected Governor of Rhode Island was the first woman elected governor in Rhode Island.
  • Republican Tim Scott, elected to the Senate from South Carolina, was the first African-American in history to be popularly elected to the U.S. Senate in a former Confederate state,[51] and also became the first African-American to be elected to both the House and the Senate.[52]
  • 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.[53]

Table of federal and state results

Bold indicates a change in partisan control. Note that not all states held gubernatorial, state legislative, and United States Senate elections in 2014.

State[54] Before 2014 elections[55] After 2014 elections[56]
State PVI Governor State leg. US Senate US House Governor State leg. US Senate US House
Alabama R+14 Rep Rep Rep Rep 6–1 Rep Rep Rep Rep 6–1
Alaska R+12 Rep Rep Split Rep 1–0 Ind Rep Rep Rep 1–0
Arizona R+7 Rep Rep Rep Dem 5–4 Rep Rep Rep Rep 5–4
Arkansas R+14 Dem Rep Split Rep 4–0 Rep Rep Rep Rep 4–0
California D+9 Dem Dem Dem Dem 38–15 Dem Dem Dem Dem 39–14
Colorado D+1 Dem Dem Dem Rep 4–3 Dem Split Split Rep 4–3
Connecticut D+7 Dem Dem Dem Dem 5–0 Dem Dem Dem Dem 5–0
Delaware D+7 Dem Dem Dem Dem 1–0 Dem Dem Dem Dem 1–0
Florida R+2 Rep Rep Split Rep 17–10 Rep Rep Split Rep 17–10
Georgia R+5 Rep Rep Rep Rep 9–5 Rep Rep Rep Rep 10–4
Hawaii D+20 Dem Dem Dem Dem 2–0 Dem Dem Dem Dem 2–0
Idaho R+18 Rep Rep Rep Rep 2–0 Rep Rep Rep Rep 2–0
Illinois D+8 Dem Dem Split Dem 12–6 Rep Dem Split Dem 10–8
Indiana R+5 Rep Rep Split Rep 7–2 Rep Rep Split Rep 7–2
Iowa D+1 Rep Split Split Split 2–2 Rep Split Rep Rep 3–1
Kansas R+12 Rep Rep Rep Rep 4–0 Rep Rep Rep Rep 4–0
Kentucky R+13 Dem Split Rep Rep 5–1 Dem Split Rep Rep 5–1
Louisiana R+12 Rep Rep Split Rep 5–1 Rep Rep Rep Rep 5–1
Maine D+5 Rep Dem Split R/I Dem 2–0 Rep Split Split R/I Split 1–1
Maryland D+10 Dem Dem Dem Dem 7–1 Rep Dem Dem Dem 7–1
Massachusetts D+10 Dem Dem Dem Dem 9–0 Rep Dem Dem Dem 9–0
Michigan D+4 Rep Rep Dem Rep 9–5 Rep Rep Dem Rep 9–5
Minnesota D+2 Dem Dem Dem Dem 5–3 Dem Split Dem Dem 5–3
Mississippi R+9 Rep Rep Rep Rep 3–1 Rep Rep Rep Rep 3–1
Missouri R+5 Dem Rep Split Rep 6–2 Dem Rep Split Rep 6–2
Montana R+7 Dem Rep Dem Rep 1–0 Dem Rep Split Rep 1–0
Nebraska R+12 Rep NP Rep Rep 3–0 Rep NP Rep Rep 2–1
Nevada D+2 Rep Dem Split Split 2–2 Rep Rep Split Rep 3–1
New Hampshire D+1 Dem Split Split Dem 2–0 Dem Rep Split Split 1–1
New Jersey D+6 Rep Dem Dem Split 6–6 Rep Dem Dem Split 6–6
New Mexico D+4 Rep Dem Dem Dem 2–1 Rep Split Dem Dem 2–1
New York D+11 Dem Split Dem Dem 21–6 Dem Split Dem Dem 18–9
North Carolina R+3 Rep Rep Split Rep 9–4 Rep Rep Rep Rep 10–3
North Dakota R+10 Rep Rep Split Rep 1–0 Rep Rep Split Rep 1–0
Ohio R+1 Rep Rep Split Rep 12–4 Rep Rep Split Rep 12–4
Oklahoma R+19 Rep Rep Rep Rep 5–0 Rep Rep Rep Rep 5–0
Oregon D+5 Dem Dem Dem Dem 4–1 Dem Dem Dem Dem 4–1
Pennsylvania D+1 Rep Rep Split Rep 13–5 Dem Rep Split Rep 13–5
Rhode Island D+11 Dem Dem Dem Dem 2–0 Dem Dem Dem Dem 2–0
South Carolina R+8 Rep Rep Rep Rep 6–1 Rep Rep Rep Rep 6–1
South Dakota R+10 Rep Rep Split Rep 1–0 Rep Rep Rep Rep 1–0
Tennessee R+12 Rep Rep Rep Rep 7–2 Rep Rep Rep Rep 7–2
Texas R+10 Rep Rep Rep Rep 24–12 Rep Rep Rep Rep 25–11
Utah R+22 Rep Rep Rep Rep 3–1 Rep Rep Rep Rep 4–0
Vermont D+16 Dem Dem Split D/I Dem 1–0 Dem Dem Split D/I Dem 1–0
Virginia Even Dem Rep Dem Rep 8–3 Dem Rep Dem Rep 8–3
Washington D+5 Dem Split Dem Dem 6–4 Dem Split Dem Dem 6–4
West Virginia R+13 Dem Dem Dem Rep 2–1 Dem Rep Split Rep 3–0
Wisconsin D+2 Rep Rep Split Rep 5–3 Rep Rep Split Rep 5–3
Wyoming R+22 Rep Rep Rep Rep 1–0 Rep Rep Rep Rep 1–0
United States Even Rep 29–21 Rep 27–19 Dem 55–45[57] Rep 233–199 Rep 31–18 Rep 30–11 Rep 54–46[57] Rep 247–188
Washington, D.C. D+43 Dem[a] Dem[a] N/A Dem Dem Dem N/A Dem
American Samoa N/A NP/I[b] NP Rep NP/I[b] NP Rep
Guam Rep Dem Dem Rep Dem Dem
N. Mariana Islands Rep[c] Split Ind[d] Rep Split Ind[d]
Puerto Rico PDP/D[e] PDP PNP/D[f] PDP/D[e] PDP PNP/D[f]
U.S. Virgin Islands Dem Dem Dem Ind Dem Dem
Subdivision PVI Governor State leg. U.S. Senate U.S. House Governor State leg. U.S. Senate U.S. House
Subdivision and PVI Before 2014 elections After 2014 elections


Source: adweek


  1. ^ a b Washington, D.C. does not elect a governor or state legislature, but it does elect a mayor and a city council.
  2. ^ a b Although elections for governor of American Samoa are non-partisan, Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga was elected as an Independent in 2012.
  3. ^ Northern Marianas Islands Governor Eloy Inos was elected as a member of the Covenant Party, but became a Republican in 2013 after being elevated from lieutenant governor to governor.
  4. ^ a b Northern Marianas Islands Delegate Gregorio Sablan was elected as an independent and has caucused with the Democrats since taking office in 2009.
  5. ^ a b Puerto Rican Governor Alejandro García Padilla is a member of the Popular Democratic Party but affiliates with the Democratic Party at the national level.
  6. ^ a b Puerto Rico's Resident Commissioner, Pedro Pierluisi, was elected as a member of the New Progressive Party and has caucused with the Democrats since taking office in 2009.


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  2. ^ Page, Susan (April 10, 2014). "Poll: Health law's campaign clout bad news for Democrats". USA Today.
  3. ^ Schor, Elana (October 14, 2014). "The incredible shrinking Keystone". Politico. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
  4. ^ Mooney, Chris (October 27, 2014). "Environmental groups are spending an unprecedented $85 million in the 2014 elections". Washington Post. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
  5. ^ Davenport, Coral, "Meager Returns for the Democrats’ Biggest Donor, The New York Times, 6 November 2014
  6. ^ Fung, Brian (November 4, 2014). "Net neutrality was the biggest tech issue of the year. But nobody campaigned on it". The Washington Post.
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  34. ^ "Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Struck Down as Judge Cites Burden on Citizens". The New York Times. January 17, 2014. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  35. ^ "Rigell campaign demands paper ballots in Va. Beach | WAVY-TV". wavy.com. Archived from the original on November 17, 2014. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
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  39. ^ "Company acknowledges Bexar ballot glitch that omitted Greg Abbott's name". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
  40. ^ Maher, Kris (November 4, 2014). "West Virginia Elects America's Youngest State Lawmaker". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
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  43. ^ "Ernst becomes first woman elected statewide in Iowa". Washington Post. November 5, 2014. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  44. ^ "Gorbea accepts victory in R.I. secretary of state race, first Hispanic in N.E. to win statewide office". Providence Journal. Archived from the original on November 6, 2014. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  45. ^ "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.
  46. ^ Recio, Maria (November 6, 2014) - "Texas Sending First Black Republican to Congress". Star-Telegram. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  47. ^ Richardson, Valerie (November 5, 2014). "Mia Love makes history by winning House seat in Utah". Washington Times. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  48. ^ Air Force Lt. Col. Martha McSally profile, US Department of Defense official website; accessed November 7, 2014.
  49. ^ "UPDATE: McSally Wins Congressional Seat, Recount Confirms". Archived from the original on 2014-12-17. Retrieved 2014-12-17.
  50. ^ "West Virginia, the nation's least Hispanic state, elects its first Latino congressman" Archived 2014-11-29 at the Wayback Machine. Fox News Latino. Published November 4, 2014. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  51. ^ Bradner, Eric (November 5, 2014). "Scott first black senator elected in South since Reconstruction". CNN. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  52. ^ "South Carolina black senator makes history". CNN. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
  53. ^ "New York voters elect youngest woman to US Congress". Yahoo News. AFP. November 4, 2014. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
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  57. ^ a b Two independents caucused with the Democrats in the 113th United States Congress and the 114th United States Congress.

External links

  • 2014 United States elections at Curlie
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