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Smart Politics Projections: Wisconsin U.S. House

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Republicans eye first two-seat U.S. House pick up in Badger State since 1966 GOP wave

Current delegation partisan split
Democrats: 5
Republicans: 3

Incumbents
Democratic incumbents: 4
Open Democratic seats: 1 (WI-07)
Republican incumbents: 3
Open Republican seats: 0

Analysis
Republican momentum at the top of the ticket in the Badger State will tighten all five of Wisconsin's U.S. House districts currently held by the Democratic Party, although only three of which will be 'in play.'

Democrat Steve Kagen (WI-08) is in the most danger, as the two-term incumbent faced extremely competitive races in this GOP-leaning district during the Democratic waves of 2006 and 2008.

If Kagen's challenger Reid Ribble prevails, and Republican Sean Duffy wins David Obey's open seat (WI-07), Republicans will have their first net two-seat gain in Wisconsin since 1966, when Democrats Henry Schadeberg and John Race were defeated during that year's GOP landslide (and when the Wisconsin delegation was comprised of 10 members).

However, because it is unlikely the GOP will be commanding majorities of a Tommy Thompson-like percentage at the top of the ticket, seven-term incumbent Ron Kind (WI-03) should be in the clear.

Projections
WI-01. Paul Ryan (GOP hold)
WI-02. Tammy Baldwin (Democratic hold)
WI-03. Ron Kind (Democratic hold)
WI-04. Gwen Moore (Democratic hold)
WI-05. Jim Sensenbrenner (GOP hold)
WI-06. Tom Petri (GOP hold)
WI-07. Sean Duffy (GOP pick-up)
WI-08. Reid Ribble (GOP pick-up)

Partisan shift: GOP +2

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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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