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Election Profile: Wisconsin's 4th 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 tenth profile in the series is Wisconsin's 4th Congressional District.

Candidates:
Democrat: Gwen Moore (3-term incumbent)
Republican: Dan Sebring
Coalition On Government Reform: Eddie Ahmad Ayyash

District Geography:
Wisconsin's 4th Congressional District comprises the bulk of Milwaukee County including the cities of Cudahay, Milwaukee, St. Francis, South Milwaukee, West Allis, and West Milwaukee.

History:
In 2004, Moore won her inaugural U.S. House race by 41.4 points to fill the seat vacated by 11-term Democratic congressman Gerald Kleczka. Moore won by 42.9 points in 2006 and by 76.7 points in 2008 - against only an independent challenger - in this urban, Democratic stronghold.

Wisconsin's 4th CD has voted for the Democratic Party in every U.S. House election since 1948, with an average margin of victory of approximately 50 points since 1960. Republicans have carried the district just two times since 1932 (in 1938 and 1946).

Republicans have failed to even field a candidate in one-third of the 4th CD contests since 1976 (6 of 18).

Republicans do have a candidate in 2010, however, in Dan Sebring, who ran a late write-in campaign in 2008. If Sebring, a Navy veteran and small business owner, eclipses the 30 percent mark, he will have accomplished what no other non-Democrat has achieved in the 4th CD since redistricting in 2002.

A third candidate, Eddie Ahmad Ayyash, will appear on the ballot running under the Coalition On Government Reform banner.

Congresswoman Moore sits on the House Budget and Financial Services Committees.

Outlook:
A Republican candidate has come within single-digits of beating a Democrat in the 4th District just one time since 1948 (Tom Reynolds, losing by 8.9 points during the Republican Revolution of 1994).

Since redistricting in 2002, the 4th CD has been the 75th least competitive district in the nation, owing in part to the sporadic appearance of GOPers on the ballot. With a Partisan Voting Index of +22 Democratic, the 4th CD is the 44th most Democratic congressional district in the nation. Barack Obama carried it by a whopping 52 points in 2008, while John Kerry won it by 40 points in 2004.

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Previous post: Election Profile: Wisconsin's 3rd Congressional District
Next post: Election Profile: Wisconsin's 5th Congressional District

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Remains of the Data

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

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.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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