Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Meet the 'Other Bachmann'

Bookmark and Share

All about Michele's long forgotten namesake in the U.S. House

carlbachmann02.jpgWhile some might say they broke the mold when they made Michele Bachmann, the conservative congresswoman and 2012 presidential hopeful from Minnesota is not the first Republican named Bachmann to be elected to the U.S. House.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Carl Bachmann.

Born in Wheeling, West Virginia in 1890, Carl Bachmann was a four-term Republican U.S. Representative from the Mountain State who served its 1st Congressional District during the mid-1920s and early 1930s.

Carl, like Michele, had a background in law, and was elected prosecuting attorney for Ohio County and served in that position for four years through 1924.

Carl Bachmann then ran as a Republican for the U.S. House in 1924 when two-term GOPer Benjamin Rosenbloom decided to run for U.S. Senate (and failed).

Eighty-two years later, in an almost identical fashion, Michele ran for an open House seat when three-term Republican Mark Kennedy decided to leave his 6th CD seat for a U.S. Senate run in the Gopher State (which Kennedy also lost).

In the 1924 general election, Carl Bachmann defeated his Democratic opponent George Oldham by 10.4 points, while Michele won her 2006 race against Patty Wetterling by a similar 8.0 points.

Carl Bachamann won his second term in 1926 by a much closer margin in a rematch against Oldham - seeing his 1924 margin sliced by more than half to 4.5 points.

Meanwhile, Michele also won her second term in 2008 by less than half of her 2006 spread, defeating DFLer Elwin Tinklenberg by 3.0 points.

Carl and Michele then each won their third terms by four times the margin of their sophomore reelection victories: Carl by 21.3 points over Democrat Paul Wellman in 1928 and Michele by 12.7 points over Tarryl Clark in 2010.

But after three terms in the House, neither Bachmann could lay claim as the author of any significant legislation that eventually became law.

But that is where the similarities seem to end between the two Bachmanns.

In 1930, Carl was elected to a fourth term when he defeated Democrat Robert Ramsey by 12.2 points.

He then joined the party leadership by becoming the Republican Minority Whip for the 72nd Congress after Indiana's Albert Vestal, GOP whip since 1923, died in April of 1931.

Michele Bachmann, by contrast, has been famously at odds with today's Republican House leadership as her star has risen over the last few years.

Carl Bachmann's tenure as whip in the House is the highest leadership post a West Virginian has held in the chamber in state history.

However, his stint in the caucus leadership would be short, as the Democratic landslide of 1932 found the congressman losing the general election to his 1930 opponent Robert Ramsey by 2.7 points, and then falling short again in 1934 by 7.4 points as the challenger.

Michele, meanwhile, has suspended fundraising for what would be her fourth term in the U.S. House in order to focus on her 2012 presidential quest.

Carl Bachmann also dabbled in presidential politics - except from behind the scenes, as the campaign manager for Idaho Republican U.S. Senator William Borah in 1936.

Borah won a handful of primaries, but ended up a very distant second in convention balloting for the nomination that went to Kansas Governor Alf Landon in a landslide.

Carl Bachmann then returned to West Virginia and served on the Wheeling City Council from 1939 to 1941, lost his bid for West Virginia's GOP U.S. Senate nomination in 1940, and was later elected mayor of his home town in 1947.

The elder Bachmann lived out his days in Wheeling where he died in 1980.

Carl and Michele are the only two Bachmanns to serve in the U.S. House over the institution's 222-year history, although there was one "Bachman" (Reuben Bachman, a Democrat from Pennsylvania who was elected to the 46th Congress).

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Keeping Up with the Smiths: Surnames in the U.S. House
Next post: Wu Is First Oregon U.S. Representative to Resign Under Scandal

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

Political Crumbs

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).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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