How many votes ?
A couple of questions, one substantive and one rhetorical
1. What share of the aggregate popular vote did the two major parties receive in the US House elections ?
2. Why isn’t this reported anywhere (at least anywhere I can see) ?
As regards 2, I know that the aggregate popular vote doesn’t determine anything, but that’s true in all constituency systems and for indirect elections like the US Presidential elections, and the popular vote is generally reported in these cases. Also, I know there were some uncontested seats, but there are usually ways to adjust for this kind of problem.
Update Andrew Gelman writes:
Regarding your blog question on votes, you might be interested in our post-election summary here:
The short story is that the Democrats did much better in 2006 (56% of the average district vote) than the Republicans did in 1994 (when they only received 51.3%). In terms of national voting, the Democrats received much more of a mandate in 2006 than the Republicans did twelve years earlier. Our graph is helpful too, I think, both in showing this pattern and putting it into a longer historical context.
I’ve seen a range of estimates of the Democrats’ share of the two-party vote, from 53 to 57, but I’ve generally been impressed with Gelman and his cobloggers, so I’ll take this as the best estimate.
I still wonder that US national media don’t care about this. Even the exit polls reported by the NYT, which had all sorts of breakdowns, didn’t make it easy to get the aggregate result.
Further update Andrew Gelman has written again to advise that a more detailed recalculation produces an estimate of 54.8 per cent.