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

Which States Have the Longest and Shortest Election Day Voting Hours?

Residents in some North Dakota towns have less than half as many hours to cast their ballots as those in New York State.

Political Crumbs

No 100-Year Curse for Roberts

Defeating his Tea Party primary challenger Milton Wolf with just 48.1 percent of the vote, Pat Roberts narrowly escaped becoming the first elected U.S. Senator from Kansas to lose a renomination bid in 100 years. The last - and so far only - elected U.S. Senator to lose a Kansas primary was one-term Republican Joseph Bristow in 1914. Bristow was defeated by former U.S. Senator Charles Curtis who went on to win three terms before becoming Herbert Hoover's running mate in 1928. Only one other U.S. Senator from the Sunflower State has lost a primary since the passage of the 17th Amendment: Sheila Frahm in 1996. Frahm was appointed to fill Bob Dole's seat earlier that year and finished 13.2 points behind Sam Brownback in the three-candidate primary field. Overall, incumbent senators from Kansas have won 29 times against two defeats in the direct vote era. (Curtis also lost a primary in 1912 to Walter Stubbs, one year before the nation moved to direct elections).


The Second Time Around

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).


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