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

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.


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