Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Election Profile: Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District

Bookmark and Share

Smart Politics is running a series of election profiles of Upper Midwestern congressional races leading up to the November 2nd elections. The series will culminate with Smart Politics' official projections. The seventh profile in the series is Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District.

Candidates:
Republican: Paul D. Ryan (6-term incumbent)
Democrat: John Heckenlively
Libertarian: Jospeh Kexel

District Geography:
Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District comprises the southeast corner of the state, including Kenosha, Racine, and Walworth counties, along with parts of Milwaukee, Rock, and Waukesha counties.

History:
Prior to 1994, the 1st District had been in Democratic hands since 1970, when Les Aspin ousted 2-term Republican incumbent Henry C. Schadeberg. Aspin held the seat through the 1992 election, with the Democratic Party also winning a special election in 1993 (Peter W. Barca) when Aspin resigned to become President Clinton's Secretary of Defense.

Paul Ryan was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1998, winning the open seat previously filled by two-term Republican congressman Mark Neumann. Ryan won that race by 14.4 points over Democratic nominee Lydia Carol Spottswood. Ryan followed that election with four consecutive blowout victories over Democrat Jeffrey Chapman Thomas: by 33.3 points in 2000, 36.6 points in 2002, 32.2 points in 2004, and 25.4 points in 2006.

In 2008, Ryan was untouched by the second consecutive Democratic wave and carried the 1st CD by 29.3 points over Democrat Marge Krupp.

Ryan is a member of the House Committee on the Budget, where he is the Ranking Member, and the Committee on Ways and Means.

Ryan's 2010 Democratic opponent is John Heckenlively from Racine. A successful evening for Heckenlively woud be to reach the 40 percent mark - something no Democratic challenger has done against Ryan since 1998, and is unlikely to do in 2010.

The race will also feature Libertarian candidate Joseph Kexel, who also ran for the seat in 2008, garnering 1.3 percent of the vote. Libertarian candidates have also appeared on the ballot in the 1st District in 2004 (0.8 percent), 2002 (2.1 percent), 1994 (1.8 percent), 1993 (0.3 percent), 1982 (0.9 percent), and 1980 (1.0 percent).

Outlook:
Ryan is a popular political figure among both conservatives and moderates in Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District, and has become one of the most recognizable faces of the GOP on Capitol Hill. While his district is fairly moderate, ranked just the 218th most Republican district in the country with a +2 GOP Partisan Voting Index tilt, Ryan's vote total on Election Day will reflect an advantage of at least 10 times that amount.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Election Profile: South Dakota's At-Large Congressional Seat
Next post: Election Profile: Wisconsin's 2nd Congressional District

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