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Election Profile: Wisconsin's 2nd Congressional District

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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 eighth profile in the series is Wisconsin's 2nd Congressional District.

Candidates:
Democrat: Tammy Baldwin (6-term incumbent)
Republican: Chad Lee

District Geography:
Wisconsin's 2nd Congressional District comprises the south central part of the state, including Dane and Green counties, along with portions of Columbia, Jefferson, Rock, and Sauk counties.

History:
Tammy Baldwin won her first congressional race in 1998, by defeating Republican Josephine W. Musser by 5.8 points, filling the open seat left by 4-term GOP congressman Scott L. Klug. Baldwin eked out a 2.8-point win in the closest U.S. House race in the Badger State in 2000.

After redistricting, Baldwin has won by very comfortable margins: by 32.2 points over Ron Greer in 2002, by 26.5 points and 25.7 points over Dave Magnum in 2004 and 2006 respectively, and by 38.8 points in 2008 over Peter Theron.

Despite these gaudy victory margins, the district's 30.8 average margin of victory actually ranks in the Top 40 percent most competitive U.S. House seats this decade.

Baldwin serves on the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Judiciary Committee.

In 2010, Baldwin will square off against Republican businessman Chad Lee from Mt. Horeb.

Outlook:
Wisconsin's 2nd Congressional District has the second largest Democratic tilt in the state, with a +15 Democratic Partisan Voting Index. Overall, Baldwin's district is the 71st most Democratic in the nation. Barack Obama carried it by 39 points in 2008 while John Kerry won it by 25 points in 2004.

Aided by the capitol city of Madison being encompassed by the district, Baldwin is set to join her Republican congressional classmate Paul Ryan for a 7th term in Washington, no matter how strong the GOP wave in 2010.

Previous post: Election Profile: Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District
Next post: Election Profile: Wisconsin's 3rd Congressional District

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Remains of the Data

Gender Equality in the US House: A State-by State Quarter-Century Report Card (1989-2014)

A study of 5,325 congressional elections finds the number of female U.S. Representatives has more than tripled over the last 25 years, but the rate at which women are elected to the chamber still varies greatly between the states.

Political Crumbs

Final Four Has Presidential Approval

By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.


Three for the Road

A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat with likely 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Burke. Walker is seeking to win his third consecutive election after prevailing in 2012's recall contest. Eight of his predecessors accomplished this feat: Republicans Lucius Fairchild (in 1869), Jeremiah Rusk (1886), Robert La Follette (1904), Emanuel Philipp (1918), John Blaine (1924), Walter Kohler (1954), Warren Knowles (1968), and Tommy Thompson (1994). Three others Badger State governors lost on their third campaign: Democrat George Peck (1894), Progressive Philip La Follette (1938), and Republican Julius Heil (1942). One died in office before having the opportunity to win a third contest (GOPer Walter Goodland in 1947) while another resigned beforehand (Democrat Patrick Lucey in 1977 to become Ambassador to Mexico). Overall Wisconsin gubernatorial incumbents have won 35 of 47 general election contests, or 74.5 percent of the time.


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