Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Republicans Fail to Pick up Democratic Seat in 200th Consecutive California U.S. House Race

Bookmark and Share

The California GOP has not picked up a Democratic held U.S. House seat in general or special elections since 1998

janicehahn.jpgDemocrat Janice Hahn's special election victory over Craig Huey in California's 36th Congressional District Tuesday evening continues a more than decade long string of futility on the part of California Republicans in their attempt to pick up a Democratic held U.S. House seat.

A Smart Politics historical review of California election returns finds that Democrats have now successfully held 200 consecutive seats in general and special elections conducted after the Election of 1998.

Although Hahn was criticized by some for running a traditional campaign in a non-traditional election year and matchup, she was able to notch a 9.1-point victory over the conservative businessman who surprised many by eking out a second place finish in May in the heavily Democratic district.

The 36th CD has been vacant since late February when nine-term Democrat Jane Harman resigned to head the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Democrats have now held their California U.S. House seats in 192 consecutive general election races over the last the last six cycles plus eight seats in special election races they have had to defend since 1999.

But while the Republicans are currently suffering through a 0-200 stretch in pick up attempts, Democrats have won seven GOP-held seats in the Golden State out of 125 general and special election matchups during this 13-year period, or a 6 percent pick-up rate.

Democrats won five Republican seats in 2000 (CA-15, 27, 31, 36, and 49), one in 2002 (CA-39) and one in 2006 (CA-11).

Californians are now making up a larger and larger percentage of the Democratic caucus in Congress - currently resting at 18 percent (34 of 193 members), which marks the largest percentage in the history of the state.

Last November, a Smart Politics report of the last 81 election cycles dating back to 1850 found the Democratic Party was also comprised of a larger percentage of Californians and New Yorkers in the U.S. House than at any point since California joined the Union, at more than 28 percent.

The last time California Republicans won a Democratic-held House seat was when they picked off the 3rd and 36th CDs in November 1998.

In that year's 3rd CD race, GOPer Doug Ose won an open seat race previous held by Democrat Vic Fazio, while Republican Steven Kuykendall narrowly defeated Janice Hahn by less than 5,000 votes in the 36th CD after Jane Harman retired from Congress the first time after three terms.

Harman then defeated Kuykendall by less than 5,000 votes in 2000 to win back her seat en route to six consecutive victories.

Aside from the two GOP victories in 1998, the only other Republican pick-up in a California U.S. House race since the 1994 Republican Revolution was a 1995 special election victory in the state's 15th CD by Tom Campbell after the resignation of Norman Mineta.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: All-Star Special: Will Baseball Fans Be Obama's Secret Weapon in 2012?
Next post: Will Any Century-Long Streaks End in 2012 U.S. Senate Races?

2 Comments


  • Mentioning Steve Kuykendall as a Republican is technically true, but misleading. When Jane Harman didn't run to keep her seat in the 1998 election cycle because she ran for Governor, SHE called Kuykendall and asked him to run. That is in spite of the fact Janice Hahn was running and had been Harman's Chief of Staff! Kuykendall was just about as liberal as Harman is. His votes made little difference on legislation when compared to Harman's votes.

    I planned to run in 1998 before Harman decided to pull out and run for Governor. Out of 5 Republicans who came out of the woodwork when Harman pulled out, Kuykendall, the most liberal of the 5, won. I ran again in 2000 against Kuykendall in the Republican primary. I had little money. It was sickening to see people who claimed to be conservative support Kuykendall. Republicans are different now, even in the 36th district of California. The fact that Craig Huey, the most conservative of the Republicans running, received the most votes of all Republicans in the gang pseudo-primary shows how different things are now, After re-districting he has a good chance to win next year.

  • Ron Nehring, CA GOP chair, and every county GOP Chair that's lost a seat, should resign in disgrace. Politics is war; fight to win!We need fighters. The GOP is way too timid and nice. the GOP needs aggressive, witty, leaders and spokespersons.

  • 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