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Scott Walker's Victory by the Numbers

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Gubernatorial candidates seeking a rematch have now lost 5 of 7 contests in Wisconsin history

scottwalker10.JPGRepublican Governor Scott Walker's win over Democratic challenger Tom Barrett in the Wisconsin recall election Tuesday continues several trends in Badger State gubernatorial elections.

The contest marked the seventh major party gubernatorial rematch in Wisconsin history with the winner of the first contest successfully fending off the challenger five times against just two losses.

Walker defeated Barrett by a 53.2 to 46.3 percent margin.

The last time a candidate sought such a rematch and won was in 1942 when Progressive Orland Loomis defeated one-term Republican incumbent Julius Heil after loing to the GOPer two years prior. (Loomis never took office, dying shortly after Election Day).

With Walker's victory, incumbent governors have now been reelected at a rate of 74.5 percent in Wisconsin - winning 35 contests and losing just 12 times over the last 160+ years since statehood.

The 6.9-point decision Tuesday means Wisconsin now joins Rhode Island (five), Minnesota (four), and Iowa (four) as the only states with at least four consecutive gubernatorial races decided by single digits.

Wisconsin's inaugural Barrett vs. Walker matchup in 2010 was decided by 5.8 points after Democrat Jim Doyle won his two terms by 3.7 points in 2002 and 7.4 points in 2006.

Walker won 60 counties en route to his victory on Tuesday - up one from 59 in his 2010 win.

The third candidate on the ballot, independent Hari Trivedi, was a non-factor in the race - failing to eclipse one percent of the vote.

Only two independent candidates for governor in Badger State history have ever won more than 1 percent - and both were former major party officeholders.

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Remains of the Data

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

Seeing Red

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.


Home Field Advantage?

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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