The Election Map Alone Doesn’t Explain The 2014 Republican Wave

Throughout the 2014 campaign, we kept hearing that Republicans were going to do well because of the “map.” …

It’s time to give the map argument a rest. Even if you control for the fact that a large number of races took place in red states, the Republican performance was the fourth-best by either party in the 17 Senate cycles since 1982. CONT.

Harry Enten & Dhrumil Mehta, FiveThirtyEight

No New Diversity in GOP’s Newly Won Districts

House Republicans had a good midterm election, giving them the biggest majority they’ve held since the 1920s and — coupled with the GOP’s new Senate majority — prompting some in Washington to talk about a more productive 114th Congress.

But as the Republicans have expanded their territory, there’s a curious wrinkle: The new Republican caucus looks a lot like the old Republican caucus. On the whole, the districts that make up the new House Republican majority look like they will be slightly more white and less Hispanic than the districts that made up the old House Republican majority — and just as rural. CONT.

Dante Chinni (American U.), Wall Street Journal

Despite Widespread Job Satisfaction, Americans Want More Flexibility and Opportunities

Most Americans say they are satisfied with their job, but pay, schedules, and the opportunity to advance remain sore spots for many, with the large percentage of adults whose work doesn’t follow the traditional 9-to-5 track reporting particular difficulty balancing their obligations on the job and at home, the latest Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll has found. CONT.

Ron Brownstein, National Journal

Trial Run

An oft-asked question these days is just how the Republican takeover of the Senate—and the GOP’s now-complete occupation of Capitol Hill—will affect the 2016 presidential election. More specifically, how will it affect former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should she decide to run for president? While the conventional wisdom now appears to be that the GOP takeover helps her 2016 ambitions, it seems to me the jury will be out on that question for quite some time. CONT.

Charlie Cook

Why people vote Republican but support liberal policies

A funny thing happened in five states on election night. In Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota, a majority of voters surveyed their choices of candidates and ballot initiatives, and chose a Republican candidate along with a liberal position on a ballot initiative. …

My research suggests a key reason why this happened: our partisan identities motivate us far more powerfully than our views about issues. Although voters may insist in the importance of their values and ideologies, they actually care less about policy and more that their team wins. CONT.

Lilliana Mason, The Monkey Cage

Why the GOP Really Hates the Immigration Executive Order

When President Obama took steps to legalize the status of 5 million undocumented immigrants, he brought out the real Republican Party, not the reasonable one Republican leaders put forward momentarily after the election. There is a reason the Republican Party has stopped immigration reform and is now suing the president. The Republican Party is the anti-immigrant party, as reflected in the strong views expressed by the party’s base about undocumented immigrants. Tea Party and Evangelical Republican base voters drive the intense majority opinion among the GOP on this issue, as Democracy Corps polling shows. CONT.

Stan Greenberg & James Carville , Democracy Corps

The Clinton-Warren Binary

… Despite all the talk about a “yearning” for a more liberal candidate from the Democratic base, we see no evidence – at least at this point – that liberals are unhappy with Hillary Clinton. She scored an 88 percent favorable rating among “solid liberals” in Pew’s Typology Poll. Compare that to some of the leading GOP candidates like Jeb Bush and Chris Christie, none of whom crack 65 percent favorable ratings from “steadfast conservatives.” On Election Day, the national House exit poll found most Democrats supportive of a Hillary Clinton presidency, with just 14 percent of them saying they thought she would not make a good president. Meanwhile, a whopping 45 percent of Republicans thought Chris Christie wouldn’t be a good president. CONT.

Amy Walter, Cook Political Report

Executive Action on Immigration

On behalf of Americans United for Change, Hart Research Associates conducted a national survey on the topic of President Obama’s executive action on immigration. The survey was conducted among 800 likely 2016 voters from November 19 to 20, 2014. …

Voters respond favorably by an overwhelming 39-point margin to executive action by President Obama that would focus immigration enforcement efforts on threats to national security and public safety while allowing some illegal immigrants to stay and work in the United States (67% favorable, 28% unfavorable). …

Executive action receives support from 91% of Democrats and 67% of political independents. While a narrow 51% majority of Republicans oppose executive action (41% favor), this is driven mainly by a 34-point margin of opposition among Tea Party Republicans (30% favor, 64% oppose). CONT.

Geoff Garin & Guy Molyneux, Hart Research Associates

Most Americans Still See Crime Up Over Last Year

A majority of Americans say there is more crime in the U.S. than there was a year ago, as is typical for this long-term Gallup trend. The current 63% of Americans who believe this is well below the recent high of 74% in 2009 and is one of the lowest percentages since 2004. However, it is still much higher than the historic low points between 1999 and 2001. CONT.

Justin McCarthy, Gallup

Why Americans are Conflicted about Climate Change, Environmental Policy, and Science

In the wake of a climate deal with China and congressional vote on the Keystone XL pipeline, a new national survey finds that few Americans believe they will personally be harmed by climate change but that it poses significant risk to people in poorer countries. The PRRI/AAR Religion, Values and Climate Change Survey finds that less than one-quarter (24 percent) of Americans believe that they will be personally harmed a great deal by climate change, while 30 percent say climate change will affect them a moderate amount. Nearly half say climate change will cause them little (23 percent) or no (22 percent) harm. In contrast, a majority (54 percent) of Americans say that people living in poorer developing countries will be harmed a great deal as a result of climate change, while 20 percent say people in developing countries will experience a moderate amount of harm.

The landmark 3,000-person survey, conducted by the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute in association with the American Academy of Religion, explores beliefs and concerns about climate change and the impact of religion on those attitudes. CONT.

Public Religion Research Institute