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Smart Politics Projections: Wisconsin State Senate (2008)

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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 sixth projections in the series are State Senate races in the State of Wisconsin.

Wisconsin: State Senate.
Balance of power: Democrats (17 to 14; 2 vacancies)
2006 Results: Democrats +4
Seats up for reelection in 2008: 16 (Republican = 8; Democrat = 8)
Open seats: Republicans = 1; Democrats = 1
Incumbents on the ballot: Republicans = 7; Democrats = 7
Districts without major party opposition: Republicans = 3; Democrats = 4

Outlook: With only 16 Senate races state wide, and only 9 with both Democrats and Republicans on the ballot, there are few opportunities for pick-ups on either side of the aisle. Democrats will be defending 3 seats that were narrowly carried in 2004 (Districts 12, 22, and 30), compared to just 1 seat for the Republicans (District 32). The GOP is looking to be especially competitive in the 12th District, which is also an open seat. The Democrats hope for close battles in Republican-held Districts 10 and 32. This is the only legislative body in the Upper Midwest where there is a chance for no party turnover in any seat.

Projection: Democrats +1. Democrats retain control of Senate.

Previous post: Smart Politics Projections: Iowa State House (2008)
Next post: Smart Politics Projections: Wisconsin State Assembly (2008)

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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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