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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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