Was the Midwest Unique in 2010?

In my earlier post, I suggested that it wasn’t. I had a more specific inquiry from a reporter based in the Midwest. This is what he asked me via email:

I’m basically interested in how the size of the GOP shift in House voting in some of these Midwestern states compared to the national shift. Can you run the numbers (aggregate House vote by party in 08 v. ‘10) for Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, to see how they compare to the shift nationwide?

Here is the answer. Across all 435 districts, the Democrats lost on average about 10 points, relative to 2008. They lost an average of 9 points in districts in those Midwestern states, and an average of 11 points in all other states.

So, short answer: there is no real evidence that the size of the shift to the GOP was greater in Midwestern house districts and, in fact, the shift was a little bit smaller (although not statistically significantly so). If you look at medians, the two groups of districts are identical (a 7-point loss for the Democrats).

One Response to Was the Midwest Unique in 2010?

  1. ML November 9, 2010 at 10:14 pm #

    The easiest explanation for the carnage in the Midwest is merely that there are more competitive districts in the Midwest. It’s where the battleground states are, after all. No rocket surgery there.