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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

Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

Political Crumbs

Six for Thirteen

Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


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.


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