Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


'Darfur 5' in Little Jeopardy of Losing Congressional Seats

Bookmark and Share

The arrest of Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison and four other members of Congress Monday morning for crossing a police line at the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, D.C. brought front-page attention to the humanitarian crisis and atrocities occurring in the Darfur region of Sudan, but is not likely to bring any damage to the political careers of those involved.

The five Democratic members of the U.S. House arrested by the Secret Service on misdemeanor charges represent five of the safest congressional Democratic districts in the country.

In fact, Ellison, who set a Gopher State record last November for the largest margin of victory for a 1-term incumbent (48.9 points), actually had one of the closest races of the five U.S. Representatives.

Twelve-term Georgia Congressman John Lewis ran unopposed in his 12th district, as did 7-term James McGovern, who represents the 3rd CD in Massachusetts.

Two-term Maryland Representative Donna Edwards won over 85 percent of the vote in Maryland's 4th District, defeating Republican Peter James by 73.0 points in a race that also included a Libertarian candidate who received a nominal 1.1 percent of the vote. The race was a rematch for James, who had lost to Edwards in a June 2008 special election to fill the seat left by retiring Democrat Al Wynn.

Nine-term California Representative Lynn Woolsey carried the 6th District of California by a 47.4-point margin, winning 71.6 percent of the vote in her race against Republican Mike Halliwell and Libertarian Joel R. Smolen. Dating back to 1992, Woolsey has won her 9 U.S. House races by an average of margin of 36.5 points, including more than 44 points in each of the last three election cycles. Her 2008 race was the most lopsided victory in her Congressional career.

Overall, these five members of Congress have averaged over a decade of service in D.C. and enjoyed an average margin of victory of 78.6 points in last November's election.

2008 Margin of Victory for the 'Darfur 5'

District
Representative
Term
2008 MoV
GA-05
John Lewis
12
100.0
MA-03
James McGovern
7
99.5
MD-04
Donna Edwards
2
73.0
MN-05
Keith Ellison
2
48.9
CA-06
Lynn Woolsey
9
47.4
Note: Data compiled by Smart Politics.

According to an interview with Minnesota Public Radio, Ellison stated his arrest and those of his colleagues was designed to call attention to the "appalling decision of the Khartoum government in Sudan to expel 13 relief agencies that are serving over 1.1 million people in the Darfur region."

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: New Yorker's Jane Mayer to Speak on Terrorism at Humphrey Institute
Next post: Will Arlen Specter Win in 2010?

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