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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

Gender Equality in the US House: A State-by State Quarter-Century Report Card (1989-2014)

A study of 5,325 congressional elections finds the number of female U.S. Representatives has more than tripled over the last 25 years, but the rate at which women are elected to the chamber still varies greatly between the states.

Political Crumbs

Final Four Has Presidential Approval

By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.


Three for the Road

A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat with likely 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Burke. Walker is seeking to win his third consecutive election after prevailing in 2012's recall contest. Eight of his predecessors accomplished this feat: Republicans Lucius Fairchild (in 1869), Jeremiah Rusk (1886), Robert La Follette (1904), Emanuel Philipp (1918), John Blaine (1924), Walter Kohler (1954), Warren Knowles (1968), and Tommy Thompson (1994). Three others Badger State governors lost on their third campaign: Democrat George Peck (1894), Progressive Philip La Follette (1938), and Republican Julius Heil (1942). One died in office before having the opportunity to win a third contest (GOPer Walter Goodland in 1947) while another resigned beforehand (Democrat Patrick Lucey in 1977 to become Ambassador to Mexico). Overall Wisconsin gubernatorial incumbents have won 35 of 47 general election contests, or 74.5 percent of the time.


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