Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Status Quo in Uncompetitive Alabama 1st CD Special

Bookmark and Share

Only one Democrat has won 40 percent of the vote in 25 Yellowhammer State 1st CD races since 1966

bradleybyrne10.jpgRepublican Bradley Byrne's ho-hum victory over Democrat Burton LeFlore Tuesday in Alabama's 1st Congressional District was the sixth special election held in 2013 - and the fifth uncompetitive race.

Byrne defeated LeFlore by approximately a 2:1 margin - an expected outcome in a district where Democrats had not even fielded a candidate in eight of the last 17 general election contests since 1980 (1980, 1986, 1990, 1998, 2000, 2008, 2010, 2012).

In fact, the last Democrat to reach the 40 percent mark in a 1st CD race came in 1984 when Frank McRight narrowly lost to Sonny Callahan with 49 percent of the vote in an open seat race.

McRight is the only 1st CD Democrat to win 40 percent of the vote over the last 25 general and special election contests since 1966.

Byrne fills the seat vacated by Jo Bonner who resigned in August to become the University of Alabama System's vice chancellor of government relations and economic development.

The special election continues a general pattern of cycle-to-cycle partisan stability in a state that, over the course of the last five decades, has nonetheless seen a nearly 180-degree flip in the partisan composition of its U.S. House delegation from 8-0 Democratic to 6-1 Republican.

Prior to the Election of 1964, Republicans had not won an Alabama U.S. House seat since the 1800s, when GOPer William Aldrich successfully contested the Election of 1898 in the 4th Congressional District.

After the passage of the Civil Rights Act in July 1964, Republicans picked off five of the eight seats held by Democrats that November (all eight seats had been elected at-large during the 1962 cycle).

During the next 24 cycles, from 1966 through Tuesday's special election, Republicans and Democrats have each won 87 contests.

Republicans have held 83 seats (82 general election, one special) and picked off four Democratic seats during this period:

· 1992 (6th CD): Spencer Bachus defeated five-term Democratic incumbent Ben Erdreich.
· 1996 (3rd CD): Bob Riley won an open seat race held by Democrat Glen Browder.
· 1996 (4th CD): Robert Aderholt won an open seat race held by Democrat Tom Bevill.
· 2010 (2nd CD): Martha Roby defeated one-term Democratic incumbent Bobby Bright.

Democrats, meanwhile, have also held 83 seats since 1966 (81 general, two special), and picked up four held by Republicans:

· 1966 (4th CD): William Nichols defeated one-term Republican incumbent A. Glenn Andrews.
· 1966 (7th CD): Tom Bevill won an open seat held by Republican James Martin.
· 1982 (6th CD): Ben Erdreich defeated one-term Republican incumbent Albert Smith.
· 2008 (2nd CD): Bobby Bright won an open seat held by Republican Terry Everett.

In short, since 1966, only one U.S. House seat has flipped that did not involve an open seat race or a freshman incumbent on the ballot.

Overall, just 17 of the 174 general and special U.S. House elections in the state since 1966 have been decided by less than 10 points:

· One race in the 1st CD: 1984
· Seven in the 2nd: 1966, 1978, 1982, 1990, 1992, 2008, 2010
· Three in the 3rd: 1996, 2002, 2008
· One in the 4th: 1996
· Two in the 5th: 1994, 2008
· Three in the 6th: 1980, 1982, 1992

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: The Final Six: Which State Will Next Elect Its 1st Woman to the US House?
Next post: Iowa to Send Historically Unseasoned US House Delegation to 114th Congress

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Is There a Presidential Drag On Gubernatorial Elections?

Only five of the 20 presidents to serve since 1900 have seen their party win a majority of gubernatorial elections during their administrations, and only one since JFK.

Political Crumbs

Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


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