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DFL Tries to Make History in U.S. House Races

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As pundits weigh in on their pre-Election Day predictions, a great deal of attention has turned to the Gopher State – not only for its high profile Senate race, but also due to its two competitive U.S. House races in the 3rd and 6th Districts.

The DFL plan to sweep those House races and successfully defend its five seats would give its Party its largest number of Representatives in state history. The DFL has never won 7 U.S. House seats in a general election, nor has its predecessors the Farmer-Labor and Democratic parties. The DFL has won 6 seats in Minnesota five times – from 1990 through 1998.

In fact, a 7 to 1 controlled U.S. House delegation would be the most lopsided by any party in the state since 1946, when the Republicans sent 8 Representatives to D.C., with the DFL winning just one seat (Jim Oberstar’s predecessor in the 8th District, John A. Blatnik).

From 1962 through 2008, party control has been no larger than 5 seats to 3 seats by either party in Minnesota in 18 of 23 elections (the aforementioned string of 5 straight DFL-dominated elections in the 1990s being the exception).

In short, while there may be arguments to project DFL victories in both the 3rd and 6th Congressional races, given the current national political climate, for the DFL to pull off victories in both districts would tilt the state blue in an unprecedented fashion.

For more information on U.S. House electoral history, visit the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance's Historical Election Data Archive.

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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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