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The election is over, which means it’s time for pundits to cram the outcomes into a narrative. But why let the talking heads have all the fun? Below are some of the highlights from the election—told by the numbers. Did the Blue Dogs lose big? Did Sarah Palin’s chosen candidates sweep their races? And how did incumbents fare in the most anti-incumbent election … possibly ever?
Election results are as reported by The New York Times on Wednesday afternoon. Palin endorsement data comes from The Washington Post’s Palin Tracker. Historical re-election rates come from the Center for Responsive Politics. Win rates were calculated by dividing the number of wins reported by the number of elections with a consensus winner announced. (Of course, some races are still up in the air, so those were left out for now. That’s why the math might not always add up perfectly.)
How would you spin the numbers?
Health Problems?
Number of House Democrats from districts McCain won who voted in favor of health care reform: 17
Number winning re-election: 1
Number losing: 15

Battle of the Sexes
Number of women in the House seeking re-election: 70
Number winning: 57
Number losing: 10 (including 1 in a primary election)
Win rate: 85 percent

Star Power
Number of candidates Sarah Palin endorsed in congressional races: 33
Number winning: 21
Number losing: 9

Number of congressional candidates President Obama held fundraisers or rallies for: 12
Number who won: 4
Number who lost: 5

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