Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Strickland Out in 2014 Following 2nd Biggest Incumbent Tumble in Ohio History

Bookmark and Share

Only one other governor has suffered a bigger decline in support in a reelection bid than Strickland in 2010 out of 40 such gubernatorial incumbents since the birth of the two-party system 180+ years ago

tedstrickland10.jpgFormer Ohio Governor Ted Strickland's early-in-the-cycle announcement Tuesday that he would not challenge Republican John Kasich to win back his old job next year clears the path for other Democratic candidates to enter the 2014 gubernatorial field.

Strickland, who won the state's highest elected office in 2006 after a five-term run in Congress from Ohio's 6th CD, was expected to be a strong candidate against Kasich if he had chosen to run after losing by just 2.0 points in the last electoral cycle.

Despite that narrow loss, Strickland's 2010 reelection campaign nonetheless remains one of the poorest showings among gubernatorial incumbents in Ohio history.

A Smart Politics analysis of Ohio election results finds that Ted Strickland endured the second biggest decline in support out of 40 gubernatorial incumbents running for reelection since the birth of the modern two-party system in 1828.

Strickland won 60.5 percent of the vote in his victorious 2006 campaign against then Secretary of State Ken Blackwell - taking advantage of both a general Democratic wave sweeping the nation as well as statewide concerns for the GOP after scandal-plagued Governor Bob Taft was convicted of multiple misdemeanors for failing to disclose gifts from lobbyists.

Four years later, the general election battle between two former members of Congress saw Strickland's statewide support drop by 13.5 points to just 47.0 percent for the second biggest tumble in Ohio history.

The only bigger plummet in a gubernatorial reelection campaign over the last 180+ years came in 1962 when Democrat Michael DiSalle faced Jim Rhodes.

Four years prior, DiSalle had defeated Republican incumbent William O'Neill with 56.9 percent of the vote - in what was a rematch of the 1956 gubernatorial election that O'Neill had won with a nearly identical 56.0 percent.

In 1962, only 41.1 percent of Ohio voters backed DiSalle in his matchup against Rhodes, for a drop of 15.8 points.

Strickland's 47.0 percent of the vote in 2010 is also the eighth lowest percentage won by an Ohio governor in a reelection campaign during the two-party era.

The 41.1 percent won by DiSalle in 1962 remains the low-water mark.

It is not unusual for Ohio gubernatorial incumbents to lose support on their second (or third) go-around with 22 of 40 seeing their vote percentage decrease.

Of the 15 governors who lost reelection, 14 saw a decline in support from their previous victorious campaign, with only Democrat James Cox seeing an uptick in support from 41.7 percent in 1912 (with a significant vote for Progressive Party nominee Arthur Garford depressing his tally) and 43.7 percent in his 1914 loss to Republican Frank Willis.

Of the 25 governors who won a second (or third or fourth) consecutive term, seven saw a decline in voter support.

Strickland was the first Ohio governor since 1974 to fail to win in his reelection bid, when Democrat John Gilligan managed to lose to former GOP Governor Jim Rhodes during the massive Democratic wave following Watergate.

Note: Governor Allen Trimble also saw a substantial decline in support in his (victorious) reelection contest in 1828, but this analysis excludes that race from the data above as his previous 1826 victory (against three Democratic-Republican candidates) took place before the birth of the traditional two-party system.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Army 9, Navy 7?
Next post: The Literary Namesakes of US Congressmen

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

Political Crumbs

Six for Thirteen

Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


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.


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