Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Election Profile: Wisconsin's 6th 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 twelfth profile in the series is Wisconsin's 6th Congressional District.

Candidates:
Republican: Tom Petri (16-term incumbent)
Democrat: Joseph Kallas

District Geography:
Wisconsin's 6th Congressional District comprises the east-central counties of the state: Calumet, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Manitowoc, Marquette, Sheboygan, Waushara, Winnebago, and parts of Adams and Jefferson counties.

History:
Petri won a special election by just 0.8 points over Democrat Gary R. Goyke in 1979 to fill the vacancy due to the death of seven-term Republican Representative William A. Steiger.

Petri won the rematch with Goyke in 1980 by 18.7 points and then won the next 14 elections by an average of 61.1 points - including six elections without major party opposition (all midterm election years: 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, and 2006).

Petri has only faced one competitive re-election contest in his career - a 5.8-point win over Democratic nominee Peggy A. Lautenschlager in 1992 (the closest U.S. House race in the Badger State that year).

The 70 year-old Congressman serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the House Education and Labor Committee.

He is also one of two Upper Midwestern House members (along with Minnesota Representative Erik Paulsen (MN-03) to belong to the center-right Republican Main Street Partnership. (The Partnership, with 43 Representatives, four Senators, and two governors, bills itself as a coalition building force to promote policies that are supportive of conservation and preservation of our natural resources, accountability in the education system, maintaining a strong national defense, increasing economic growth, encouraging renewable energy resources, reforming Social Security, creating more affordable health care, creating transparency and accountability in Congress, and creating American competitiveness through free and fair trade).

Democrats, with nominee Joseph Kallas, are fielding a candidate against Petri in back-to-back election cycles for the first time since the 1982 and 1984 cycles.

Outlook:
Petri's moderate Republican credentials have served him well in this right-leaning district and will continue to do so in 2010. Wisconsin's 6th CD only has a +4 GOP Partisan Voting Index tilt, making it just the 190th most Republican district in the nation. Barack Obama carried the district by one point in 2008 while George W. Bush won it by 14 points in 2004.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Election Profile: Wisconsin's 5th Congressional District
Next post: Election Profile: Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Strange Bedfellows: A Historical Review of Divided US Senate Delegations

Over the last century, states have been twice as likely to be represented by a single political party in the U.S. Senate than have a split delegation; only Delaware, Iowa, and Illinois have been divided more than half the time.

Political Crumbs

Haugh to Reach New Heights

The North Carolina U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis may go down to the wire next Tuesday, but along the way Libertarian nominee Sean Haugh is poised to set a state record for a non-major party candidate. Haugh, who previously won 1.5 percent of the vote in the Tar Heel State's 2002 race, has polled at or above five percent in 10 of the last 12 polls that included his name. The current high water mark for a third party or independent candidate in a North Carolina U.S. Senate election is just 3.3 percent, recorded by Libertarian Robert Emory back in 1992. Only one other candidate has eclipsed the three percent mark - Libertarian Christopher Cole with 3.1 percent in 2008.


Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


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