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Turnover in 2008 MN House Party Control Follow-up

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My Smart Politics entry on Monday for Twin Cities Public Television's Almanac: At the Capitol site prompted a quick reply by the GOP leadership. Minnesota House Minority Leader Marty Seifert offered a thoughtful rejoinder here to my historical analysis demonstrating the rarity of turnover in party control in consecutive elections for the Minnesota House.

Representative Seifert offered several arguments indicating why 2008 will be different—that the DFL will have trouble holding serve due to a variety of factors, some of which I acknowledged in my original commentary. Seifert also asserted the top of the GOP ticket will be much stronger in 2008 than in 2006, benefiting the new crop of Republican House candidates.

I have since replied to the Minority Leader's posting here, offering more historical evidence from across the Upper Midwest that the kind of "buyer's remorse" that would be required in the electorate to prompt an immediate flip-flop back to the GOP in 2008 is a rarity: about once per 50 years for the elections to the House in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin (it is even more rare for Senate elections). Smart Politics applauds the Minority Leader's staunch defense of his Party and his optimistic gaze into the future. In the meantime, Smart Politics will continue to look to the past to measure trends and baselines in voting behavior.

Previous post: GOP Unlikely to Take Back Minnesota House in 2008
Next post: Upper Midwestern States Contemplate Presidential Primary Dates

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Remains of the Data

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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