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Wisconsin Assembly Poised to Flip to Democratic Control

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The filing deadline for candidacy papers closed last week in Madison and Democrats, who took control of the state Senate in 2006, appear poised to do the same in the Assembly in 2008.

Republicans will face an uphill battle holding onto their current 5-seat majority in the lower legislative chamber (52 to 47). Republicans have controlled the Assembly since the election of 1994, and their advantage grew with every election cycle from 1994 (3 seats), to 1996 (5 seats), to 1998 (11 seats), to 2000 (13 seats), to 2002 (17 seats), to 2004 (21 seats). In 2006, however, that advantage fell to just 5 seats after the Democrats gained 8 seats (Smart Politics projected a 7-seat gain for the minority party).

Assuming, for the moment, that all incumbents facing primary challenges in September will be victorious, Republicans will have 46 incumbents on the ballot, compared to 42 for the Democrats. Republicans, however, will need to defend twice as many seats that were competitive in 2006 (16 districts) than will the Democrats (8 districts). (Competitive races are defined as those decided by 10 points or less in the previous election cycle).

Secondly, Republicans will have to defend one more open seat (6) than the Democrats (5) and three of these open seats are located in competitive districts (#47, 57, and 92). None of the open Democratic seats were competitive districts in 2006.

Thirdly, Democrats will also run more than one-quarter of their incumbents (11) without a challenger from the GOP. Republicans, meanwhile, will only run 3 of their 46 incumbents free from the challenge of a Democratic candidate.

If the Democrats net just 3 seats in November, and maintain their advantage in the state Senate, they will control both the legislative and executive branches of government for the first time in Wisconsin since the 1984 election cycle.

Previous post: Obama Maintains Double-Digit Lead in Wisconsin
Next post: Rasmussen Poll: Obama Up Big in MN, IA, Competitive in the Dakotas

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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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