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

Which States Have the Longest and Shortest Election Day Voting Hours?

Residents in some North Dakota towns have less than half as many hours to cast their ballots as those in New York State.

Political Crumbs

Mary Burke: English First?

While multiculturalism and bilingualism are increasingly en vogue in some quarters as the world seemingly becomes a smaller place, one very high profile 2014 Democratic candidate does not shy away from the fact that she only speaks one language: English. In an attempt to highlight her private sector credentials working for Trek Bicycle, Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial nominee Mary Burke boasts on her campaign bio page how she made great strides in international business dealings...while only speaking English: "Despite not speaking a single foreign language, she established sales and distribution operations in seven countries over just three years." Note: According to 2010 Census data, nearly half a million Wisconsinites over five years old speak a language other than English at home, or 8.7 percent, while 4.6 percent of Badger State residents do not speak English at all.


Does My Key Still Work?

Much has been made about Charlie Crist's political transformation from Republican to independent to Democrat en route to winning the Florida GOP and Democratic gubernatorial nominations over a span of eight years. Party-switching aside, Crist is also vying to become just the second Florida governor to serve two interrupted terms. Democrat William Bloxham was the first - serving four year terms from 1881 to 1885 and then 1897 to 1901. Florida did not permit governors serving consecutive terms for most of its 123 years prior to changes made in its 1968 constitution. Since then four have done so: Democrats Reubin Askew, Bob Graham, and Lawton Chiles and Republican Jeb Bush.


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