Former Democratic National Committee Chair Tim Kaine hopes the result of his 2012 Virginia U.S. Senate campaign turns out differently than how past DNC chairs performed nearly a century ago in the Election of 1916. In Indiana, former DNC Chair Thomas Taggart (1904-1908) ran in a special election for a seat caused by the death of Democrat Benjamin Shively. Taggart had been appointed to the seat in March but lost by less than 10,000 votes to Republican James Watson that November. Taggart lost again to Watson in 1920's rematch by more than 160,000 votes. In New York, DNC Chair William McCombs (1912-1916) was trounced by 15 points in his U.S. Senate race against Republican William Calder. But the 1916 cycle actually saw the state of Indiana run two former party chairs in U.S. Senate contests. An election was also held that November for the Hoosier State's Class I Senate seat featuring former RNC Chair Harry New (1907-1908). However, New bucked the trend of his DNC colleagues and narrowly defeated Democratic incumbent John Kern by less than 12,000 votes.
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.
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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