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Smart Politics Projections: Federal Races in Wisconsin

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Through November 3rd, Smart Politics will be running a series of electoral projections for Upper Midwestern federal and state governmental contests. The third projections in the series are federal races in the State of Wisconsin.

Wisconsin: President.
John McCain has not led in a non-partisan public poll in Wisconsin since May. Wisconsinites have been breaking big for Obama during the past month, and so for just the third time since 1940, and for only the fifth time since statehood, a Democratic presidential nominee has a chance to win the Badger State by a double-digit margin. Smart Politics Projection: Democratic Hold (from 2004).

Wisconsin: U.S. House-01.
Paul Ryan, who has recently criticized the McCain campaign, is a popular Republican figure in the 1st District who receives a significant crossover vote from Democrats. Ryan has not faced a competitive re-election campaign to date, and will return to D.C. for a sixth term. Smart Politics Projection: Republican Hold.

Wisconsin: U.S. House-02.
Wisconsin’s 2nd Congressional District is one of the most heavily Democratic in the state, which will help propel Tammy Baldwin to a large double-digit victory. Smart Politics Projection: Democratic Hold.

Wisconsin: U.S. House-03.
Elections in the 3rd Congressional District have been decided by less than 10 points just one time since 1982. That historical trend will not change in 2008 for 6-term Democratic incumbent Ron Kind. Smart Politics Projection: Democratic Hold.

Wisconsin: U.S. House-04.
Even if Democrat Gwen Moore was not the only major party candidate on the ballot, Republican candidates have only come within single-digits of beating a Democrat in the 4th District just one time since 1948. Smart Politics Projection: Democratic Hold.

Wisconsin: U.S. House-05.
Unchallenged by a major party candidate, stalwart conservative Jim Sensenbrenner will have yet another restful election night en route to his 16th term in Congress. Smart Politics Projection: Republican Hold.

Wisconsin: U.S. House-06.
All nine counties that are entirely contained within the 6th Congressional voted for George W. Bush in 2004 – and six of them by double-digit margins. Republican Tom Petri’s moderate Republican credentials in this conservative stronghold of the state will serve him well in today’s Democratic-friendly political environment. Smart Politics Projection: Republican Hold.

Wisconsin: U.S. House-07.
Obey is the elder statesman of Wisconsin politics and holds very prominent committee assignments in the U.S. House, which (along with 40 years building his name recognition) always makes him an attractive candidate to retain his seat – despite the fact that his district is not overwhelmingly Democratic. As a result, Obey will land another very large double-digit victory in 2008. Smart Politics Projection: Democratic Hold.

Wisconsin: U.S. House-08.
Steven Kagen’s seat is considered by D.C. pundits to be in the Top 10 to 15 most vulernable Democratic House seats this year. Though the 8th District is the easy favorite to be the most closely decided U.S. House contest in the Badger State, the 2008 edition of Gard vs. Kagen will not be as competitive as 2006. Smart Politics Projection: Democratic Hold.

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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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