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Election Profile: Wisconsin's 2nd Congressional District (2008)

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Smart Politics is running a series of election profiles of all the Upper Midwestern U.S. Senate and U.S. House races leading up to the November 4th elections. The series will culminate with Smart Politics' official projections. The tenth profile in the series is Wisconsin's 2nd Congressional District race.

Candidates:
Democrat: Tammy Baldwin (5-term incumbent)
Republican: Peter Theron

District Geography:
Wisconsin's 2nd Congressional District comprises the south central part of the state, including Dane and Green counties, along with portions of Columbia, Jefferson, Rock, and Sauk counties.

History:
Tammy Baldwin won her first congressional race in 1998, by defeating Republican Josephine W. Musser by 5.8 points, filling the open seat left by 4-term GOP congressman Scott L. Klug. Baldwin eked out a 2.8-point win in the closest U.S. House race in the Badger State in 2000. After redistricting, Baldwin has won by very comfortable margins: by 32.2 points over Ron Greer in 2002, and by 26.5 points and 25.7 points over Dave Magnum in 2004 and 2006 respectively.

Baldwin serves on the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Judiciary Committee. She is a leading advocate of universal health care in the Democratic congressional caucus.

Republican Peter Theron, a mathematics teacher and software consultant, is running a campaign on the principles of limited government and greater political and economic freedom. Theron supports drilling in ANWR, reducing taxes, and creating a small business health care pool.

Outlook:
Wisconsin's 2nd Congressional District is not the most heavily Democratic in the state (that distinction is held by the 4th), but it is a Democratic stronghold nonetheless: John Kerry won Dane County by 33 points in 2004 and Green County by 6 points. With the capitol city of Madison encompassed by the district, Baldwin is set to join her Republican congressional classmate Paul Ryan for a 6th term in Washington.

Previous post: Election Profile: Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District (2008)
Next post: Bias or Accuracy in the Star Tribune’s Minnesota Poll?

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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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