Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


West Virginia, Utah Eye All-GOP US House Delegations in 2014

Bookmark and Share

It has been more than 90 years since the last time Republicans had a monopoly on every U.S. House seat in the Mountain State

nickrahall10.jpgThere are currently 11 multi-member, single-party U.S. House delegations in the 113th Congress, and that number is likely to increase in 2015.

Republicans currently hold all 18 U.S. House seats in Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma (as well as at-large seats in Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming).

Democrats, meanwhile, are the lone face of all 22 seats in Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island (plus at-large seats in Delaware and Vermont).

Overall, 11 percent of the nation's lower legislative chamber is comprised of single-party delegations, or 47 of the 435 seats.

That number could rise in 2014.

When Jim Matheson announced his retirement from Utah's 4th Congressional District last December, the odds of the GOP holding all four U.S. House seats from the Beehive State increased dramatically.

Matheson has been the lone Democrat in Congress from Utah during the last 13+ years.

The last time Republicans held every House seat in the state came after the Election of 1998 - one cycle after three-term Democrat William Orton was defeated by Chris Cannon.

That pales, however, to the number of years it has been since Republicans in West Virginia controlled every House seat - a feat the GOP is certainly trying to achieve in 2014.

For starters, the GOP will need to defend the open 2nd CD seat held by Shelley Moore Capito, who is running for the U.S. Senate.

The party is also heavily targeting 19-term West Virginia U.S. Representative Nick Rahall, this time with State Senator Evan Jenkins.

In 2012, sharing the ballot with a president who is very unpopular in his state, Rahall won reelection by only eight points - his second narrowest victory to the chamber among the 19 wins he has tallied since 1976.

Rahall had only one closer shave - in 1990, before reapportionment, when he served the 4th CD and defeated Marianne Brewster by just 3.9 points.

Last cycle also marked just the fourth time Rahall had been held below 60 percent of the vote (1976, 1990, 2010, 2012) - the same number of elections in which the GOP failed to field a candidate against him (1978, 1996, 1998, 2000).

If Republicans do manage a clean sweep of the state's three U.S. House seats it will mark the first time the party has done so since the Election of 1920.

During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six U.S. Representatives in the state were controlled by the GOP.

On the Democratic side, the prospects of adding to their list of delegation monopolies are not quite as strong.

The party is looking to pick off five-term GOPer Steve Pearce's 2nd CD seat in New Mexico to sweep that state.

Democrats last did so after the 2008 cycle (knocking then three-term Rep. Pearce out of office).

The Democratic Party is also hoping for pick ups in Iowa's open (and politically moderate) 3rd CD as well as its Republican-leaning 4th CD (held by six-term GOP firebrand Steve King).

A Democratic sweep in Iowa would be unprecedented in the Democratic-Republican era; it is also unlikely given the Republican Party's strength at the top of the ticket this November with Governor Terry Branstad.

The last time Democrats controlled every U.S. House seat in Iowa was after the Election of 1850 when the party defeated Whig nominees in each of its two districts by single digits.

Depending on how things break, as many as 22 states could have single-member U.S. House delegations after the 2014 election.

To be sure, both parties will make a play for a few seats in some of these states which currently feature single-party delegations.

For example, Democrats are cautiously eying the seat opened up by the exit of Tim Griffin in Arkansas' 2nd CD.

The party hopes that a much stronger top of the ticket this cycle (Mike Ross for governor and Mark Pryor for U.S. Senate instead of the decidedly unpopular Barack Obama) will help move the needle in that race.

Democrats are also looking at the seat opened up by freshman Steve Daines running for the U.S. Senate in Montana as well as the seat narrowly carried last cycle by eight-term Rep. Lee Terry in Nebraska's 2nd CD.

Republicans, meanwhile, will make efforts to break up Democratic monopolies in Maine (the open 2nd CD seat), New Hampshire (particularly Carol Shea-Porter's NH-01 seat), Connecticut (freshman Elizabeth Esty in CT-05), and Massachusetts (John Tierney in MA-06).

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: The Rise of GOP Primary Challengers in Minnesota US House Races
Next post: Final Four Has Presidential Approval

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Which States Own the Best Track Record in Backing Eventual GOP Presidential Nominees?

Nine states (each with primaries) have an unblemished record in voting for the eventual Republican nominee since 1976 - and not all host contests on the back end of the calendar.

Political Crumbs

Evolving?

When Scott Walker "punted" back in February after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution he added, "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other." However, it may very well be a question that is asked at one of the upcoming GOP debates this year. In South Carolina during the first GOP debate in 2012, FOX News' Juan Williams asked Tim Pawlenty, "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution as the basis for what should be taught for our nation's schools?" Pawlenty replied, "There should be room in the curriculum for study of intelligent design" but that it was up to the local school districts if it should be in a science class or comparative theory class. At the fourth Republican debate held in California, Jon Huntsman addressed the GOP becoming "anti-science" thusly: "Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science. We can't run from mainstream conservative philosophy."


73 Months and Counting

January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


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