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Nevada's 1st US House Special Election to Break 45-45 Partisan Draw Since Statehood

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Democrats and Republicans have each won 45 U.S. House races in the Silver State since 1864

katemarshall.jpgAs reported by Smart Politics last April, Nevada is the second to last state to hold a special election for the U.S. House of Representatives, with Idaho the last remaining state after Nevada's 2nd CD contest is conducted Tuesday to fill Republican Dean Heller's vacancy.

Nevada is considered one of a handful of true battleground states in the 2012 presidential election, and the Silver State has certainly flown its purple stripes (or at least toggled back and forth between red and blue) over the decades.

For example, since the Election of 1880, Nevada has voted for 16 Democratic presidential candidates and 16 Republican nominees (plus one third party candidate in 1892).

Nevadans have also elected nearly an identical number of Democratic (18) governors and Republican (16) governors since statehood (as well as four from third parties).

And coming back full circle to Tuesday's election, Nevadans have also sent to Washington, D.C. an equal number of Democratic U.S. House nominees as they have Republicans - at 45 each (plus another five third party nominees).

The special election contest, between Republican party chairman and former State Senator Mark Amodei, two-term Democratic State Treasurer Kate Marshall (pictured), Independent American Party candidate Timothy Fasano, and independent Helmuth Lehmann, seems poised to remain in the GOP column as it has for all previous 15 contests since the 2nd CD was created after the 1980 Census.

Democrats have won 13 of 15 races in the 1st CD and one of five in the 3rd CD.

Democrats were also victorious in 31 of 60 at-large contests with Republicans winning 24, and the Silver Party five in the late 19th Century.

That all adds up to a 45-45 draw between Democrats and the GOP across the 95 U.S. House elections conducted since statehood in 1864.

The closest a Democrat has come to winning the 2nd CD over the past 30 years through its three different configurations is 4.6 points after redistricting in 1992 when Barabara Vucanovich won her sixth term over Democrat Pete Sferrazza.

The only other Democrat to come within single digits of a Republican in the 2nd CD is Jill Talbot Derby in 2006 in the open seat race won by Dean Heller by 5.4 points.

Republicans have won the district by an average of 28.5 points over the last three decades including a 72.7-point victory in 1998 when the Democratic Party failed to field a candidate in the race.

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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.


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