Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Governor Doyle Would Make History By Winning 3rd Term

Bookmark and Share

Just like Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty would make history in the Gopher State if he won a third term (making him the longest ever serving Governor in the state), Governor Jim Doyle would also make history in Wisconsin if he should run and win a third term. A successful reelection bid in 2010 would make Doyle the first 3-term Democratic Governor in the state's 160+ year history.

Six Democratic Governors have served two terms, although only Patrick J. Lucey (in 1970 and 1974) and Doyle (in 2002 and 2006) have been elected to two 4-year terms. The other two-term Democratic Governors in Badger State history are:

· Nelson Dewy (1848, 1849)
· William Augustus Barstow (1853, 1855)
· George Wilbur Peck (1890, 1892)
· Gaylord Anton Nelson (1958, 1960)

Republicans have historically dominated gubernatorial elections in Wisconsin, winning 51 of 71 contests (71.8 percent). Democrats have won 16 elections (22.5 percent), with Progressives (1934, 1936, 1942) and Whigs (1851) winning the other four contests.

Success has not come easily for Democratic governors, as 9 of the 16 winning Democratic candidates have been elected by less than 10 points, with an average margin of victory of 8.5 points across all 16 victories:

Margin of Victory of Successful Wisconsin Democratic Gubernatorial Candidacies, 1848-2006

Year
Democratic Victor
MoV
Term
2006
Jim Doyle
7.4
4
2002
Jim Doyle
3.7
4
1982
Anthony Earl
14.9
4
1974
Patrick J. Lucey
11.1
4
1970
Patrick J. Lucey
9.3
4
1962
John W. Reynolds
1.0
2
1960
Gaylord Nelson
3.2
2
1958
Gaylord Nelson
7.3
2
1932
Albert G. Schmedeman
10.6
2
1892
George Wilbur Peck
2.0
2
1890
George Wilbur Peck
9.2
2
1873
William R. Taylor
10.4
2
1855
William A. Barstow
0.2
2
1853
William A. Barstow
15.3
2
1849
Nelson Dewy
16.8
2
1848
Nelson Dewy
14.8
1

Republicans have won their 51 gubernatorial elections by an average margin of victory of 13.7 points. Many Republican governors have won two terms and eight have won three or more:

· Lucius Fairchild (1865, 1867, 1869)
· Jeremiah McLain Rusk (1881, 1884, 1886)
· Robert M. La Follette (1900, 1902, 1904)
· Emanuel Lorenz Philipp (1914, 1916, 1918)
· John James Blaine (1920, 1922, 1924)
· Walter S. Goodland (1944, 1946, 1948)
· Warren P. Knowles (1964, 1966, 1968)
· Tommy G. Thompson (1986, 1990, 1994, 1998)

Overall, elections for the office of Wisconsin's chief executive have been fairly competitive, with nearly half of its contests being decided by less than 10 points (35 of 71 races).

Previous post: Democrats in Stronger Position Than GOP to Make Gains in US House in 2010
Next post: Why DFLers Can Stop Agonizing Over Losing to Paulsen and Bachmann

1 Comment


  • Has Governor Pawlenty ever reached the mythical 50% of the popular vote in MN?
    It would appear that due to the Independent Party's effect of diluting the vote as we saw in the last election for Governor, that it would take a strong candidate to reach the 50% benchmark

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

    Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

    Political Crumbs

    Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

    Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


    An Idaho Six Pack

    Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


    more POLITICAL CRUMBS

    Humphrey School Sites
    CSPG
    Humphrey New Media Hub

    Issues />

<div id=
    Abortion
    Afghanistan
    Budget and taxes
    Campaign finances
    Crime and punishment
    Economy and jobs
    Education
    Energy
    Environment
    Foreign affairs
    Gender
    Health
    Housing
    Ideology
    Immigration
    Iraq
    Media
    Military
    Partisanship
    Race and ethnicity
    Reapportionment
    Redistricting
    Religion
    Sexuality
    Sports
    Terrorism
    Third parties
    Transportation
    Voting