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Smart Politics Projections: Wisconsin State Assembly

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Republicans look to take back control of Assembly during GOP wave in Wisconsin

Current partisan split
Democrats: 51
Republicans: 46
Independents: 1
Vacant: 1

Incumbents
Democratic incumbents: 43
Open Democratic seats: 8
Republican incumbents: 35
Open Republican seats: 11
Independent incumbents: 1

Unchallenged seats
No Democrat on the ballot: 17
No Republican on the ballot: 15

Analysis
Democratic control of the State Assembly will likely prove to be short-lived after Tuesday's elections. Republicans, who gained control of the Assembly during the Republican Revolution of 1994, had maintained power for seven consecutive election cycles before the Democrats picked up the lower legislative chamber in 2008, after solid gains in the 2006 and 2008 cycles.

The GOP will rival and perhaps best their half-century long mark of a seven seat net change from the 1982 to the 1984 elections, and could even flirt with a double-digit swing, given the enthusiasm for the Party at the top of the ticket in the Badger State's gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races.

Projection
Partisan shift: GOP +9
Partisan control: GOP takes control

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Political Crumbs

No 100-Year Curse for Roberts

Defeating his Tea Party primary challenger Milton Wolf with just 48.1 percent of the vote, Pat Roberts narrowly escaped becoming the first elected U.S. Senator from Kansas to lose a renomination bid in 100 years. The last - and so far only - elected U.S. Senator to lose a Kansas primary was one-term Republican Joseph Bristow in 1914. Bristow was defeated by former U.S. Senator Charles Curtis who went on to win three terms before becoming Herbert Hoover's running mate in 1928. Only one other U.S. Senator from the Sunflower State has lost a primary since the passage of the 17th Amendment: Sheila Frahm in 1996. Frahm was appointed to fill Bob Dole's seat earlier that year and finished 13.2 points behind Sam Brownback in the three-candidate primary field. Overall, incumbent senators from Kansas have won 29 times against two defeats in the direct vote era. (Curtis also lost a primary in 1912 to Walter Stubbs, one year before the nation moved to direct elections).


The Second Time Around

Former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez became the seventh major party or second place gubernatorial candidate in Colorado to get a second chance at the office when he narrowly won his party's nomination last month. Two of the previous six candidates were successful. Democrat Alva Adams lost his first gubernatorial bid to Benjamin Eaton in 1884, but was victorious two years later against William Meyer. Democrat Charles Johnson placed third in 1894 behind Republican Albert McIntyre and Populist incumbent Governor David Waite but returned as the Fusion (Democrat/Populist) nominee in 1898 and defeated GOPer Henry Wolcott. Gubernatorial candidates who received a second chance but lost both general elections include Democrat Thomas Patterson (1888, 1914), Progressive Edward Costigan (1912, 1914), Republican Donald Brotzman (1954, 1956), and Republican David Strickland (1978, 1986).


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