Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Election Profile: Wisconsin's 3rd 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 ninth profile in the series is Wisconsin's 3rd Congressional District.

Candidates:
Democrat: Ron Kind (7-term incumbent)
Republican: Dan Kapanke
Independent Citizen for Constitutional Government: Michael Krsiean

District Geography:
Wisconsin's 3rd Congressional District follows the Mississippi and St. Croix River counties from the southern border of the state almost to Lake Superior. It encompasses the counties of: Buffalo, Crawford, Dunn, Eau Claire, Grant, Iowa, Jackson, Juneau, La Crosse, Lafayette, Monroe, Pepin, Pierce, Richland, St. Croix, Trempealeau, Vernon and parts of Clark and Sauk counties.

History:
Kind was elected to represent the 3rd District in 1996 filling the open seat left by eight-term GOP congressman Steven Gunderson. Kind beat his GOP counterpart in that election, James E. Harsdorf, by 4.2 points.

Since then, Kind has capitalized on his incumbency advantage - winning by 43.1 points over Troy A. Brechler in 1998, 27.8 points over Susan Tully in 2000, 29.3 points over Bill Arndt in 2002, 12.9 points over Dale W. Schultz in 2004, 29.7 points over Paul R. Nelson in 2006, and 28.7 points over Paul Stark in 2008.

Kind serves on the House Ways and Means and Natural Resources Committees and, if reelected, would have the most seniority among the state's Democratic delegation, with the retirement of David Obey.

Congressman Kind will face Republican State Senator Dan Kapanke from the Badger State's 32nd Senate District. Kapanka, like Kind, hails from LaCrosse and only narrowly won his 2008 legislative race, defeating Democrat Tara Johnson by just 2.9 points. Kapanke won his Senate seat by 5.1 points in 2004 after a failed 2000 bid.

The race will also include a third party candidate, Michael Krsiean, who is running under the Independent Citizen for Constitutional Government banner. Non major-party candidates have a high watermark of 3.2 percent in the 3rd CD over the last several decades (Libertarian Jeff Zastrow in 2002).

Outlook:
Although Barack Obama carried Wisconsin's 3rd CD by 17 points in 2008, John Kerry won it by just 4 points in 2004, for an overall +4 Partisan Voting Index tilt towards the Democratic Party, making it the 157th most Democratic U.S. House District in the nation. While Ron Kind cannot expect to enjoy the kind of victory margins he's had over the last few cycles during the Democratic waves, if the Party loses his seat on election day they will likely be experiencing losses in the 70+ range.

Previous post: Election Profile: Wisconsin's 2nd Congressional District
Next post: Election Profile: Wisconsin's 4th 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