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

Is There a Presidential Drag On Gubernatorial Elections?

Only five of the 20 presidents to serve since 1900 have seen their party win a majority of gubernatorial elections during their administrations, and only one since JFK.

Political Crumbs

Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


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