The last election cycle saw five ex-governors attempt to win back their old jobs, with success stories in California (Jerry Brown), Iowa (Terry Branstad), and Oregon (John Kitzhaber). But in 1904, the State of Wisconsin saw three governors on the general election ballot: two-term Republican incumbent Robert La Follette, former two-term Democratic Governor William Peck (elected in 1890 and 1892), and former two-term Republican Governor Edward Scofield (elected in 1896 and 1898). La Follette - with Teddy Roosevelt at the top of the ticket winning the presidency - cruised to an 11.3-point victory over Peck with 50.5 percent of the vote. Scofield ran a distant fourth on the National Republican ticket with just 2.7 percent - also losing to Social Democrat William Arnold who received 5.5 percent, but beating Prohibition and Socialist Labor candidates.
Former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez became the seventh major party or second place gubernatorial candidate in Colorado to get a second chance at the office when he narrowly won his party's nomination last month. Two of the previous six candidates were successful. Democrat Alva Adams lost his first gubernatorial bid to Benjamin Eaton in 1884, but was victorious two years later against William Meyer. Democrat Charles Johnson placed third in 1894 behind Republican Albert McIntyre and Populist incumbent Governor David Waite but returned as the Fusion (Democrat/Populist) nominee in 1898 and defeated GOPer Henry Wolcott. Gubernatorial candidates who received a second chance but lost both general elections include Democrat Thomas Patterson (1888, 1914), Progressive Edward Costigan (1912, 1914), Republican Donald Brotzman (1954, 1956), and Republican David Strickland (1978, 1986).
Nearly 40 percent of plurality winners of U.S. Senate elections lose their seat in the next election cycle. Will that happen to any of the three such incumbents on the ballot in 2014? Recent polling suggests Democrats Al Franken of Minnesota, Mark Begich of Alaska, and Jeff Merkley of Oregon all currently have an advantage over their nominated/frontrunning GOP opponents, but each is flirting with plurality support once again. Franken led endorsed GOPer Mike McFadden 48 to 42 percent in a new SurveyUSA poll while the polling group showed Merkley with a 50 to 32 percent advantage over Monica Wehby. Begich led each of the three major GOP candidates in last month's PPP survey: 42 to 37 percent over Daniel Sullivan, 41 to 33 percent over Mead Treadwell, and 43 to 27 percent over Joe Miller.
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