Monday, January 11, 2010

Special Elections

Obviously a Scott Brown victory would be about as big a political upset as there's ever been, but it wouldn't be that much more amazing than some of the special elections Democrats have won on the House side in the last six years.

In the 2004 and 2008 election cycles Democrats won four House seats in districts that ended up going for the Republican Presidential nominee by 16 points or more:

-Stephanie Herseth replaced Bill Janklow in South Dakota before her district voted 60-38 for George W. Bush in the fall.

-Ben Chandler won Ernie Fletcher's House seat in Kentucky in 2004 as well before his district supported Bush's reelection by a 58-41 margin.

-In 2008 Don Cazayoux won Richard Baker's old seat in Louisiana before losing it in the general election when his district went for John McCain by a 57-41 margin.

-And perhaps most improbably Travis Childers took Roger Wicker's old district in Mississippi both in a special and in the general election even as McCain took it 62-38.

Massachusetts voted even more Democratic in 2008 than any of those districts voted Republican, giving Barack Obama a 62-36 victory. But all of those Democratic victories are a reminder that crazy things can happen in special elections, especially when there's such a large enthusiasm gap.


Timothy said...

Wow...I'm dizzy from that spin. If Brown wins this, it'll be a tectonic shift! This is the seat held by Ted Kennedy in the bluest of the blue states! It'll be a sure sign of the apocalypse.

Anonymous said...

Big difference though

Many of those southern states still elect Democrats on state level, local level and even federal level sometimes

Mass never elects Republicans on federal level and even on state or local level its very limited ( they have won Gov mansion and have a total of less then 10 Republicans in satte legislature combined)

Anonymous said...

And if Coakley wins by double figures, will you fade off into the sunset and announce you really don't have a clue about polling?

ChuckInSeattle said...

All the more reason you should be first out there to poll Hawaii's upcoming, winner-take-all special election. I'm afraid the Democratic infighting, and the Republican enthusiasm means there could be a Republican rep from Hawaii!

PolticalJunkie2008 said... At 6:30 PM EST, the Brown campaign has passed $750,000 and has officially moved the goal to $1 million! The final debate begins at 7:00 PM and should bring even more Massachusetts attention to Brown’s outstanding day. It will give him a fantastic final argument when all the politicos in Massachusetts are watching and the people are deciding whom to throw their support behind. Scott Brown’s momentum is unquestioned right now, but let’s keep it up! We have 5 and a half hours to go!

Ben (The Tiger in Exile) said...

Well, with the new "Scott Brown [cue evil music] Republican!!" ads out, I think the Coakley campaign is taking your advice of a few days back.

Special elections are fun!

Tina Hemond said...

Coakley's attack ad is reminiscient of the ads run by Republican Kerry Healey in 06 - and the effect? Brown's online donations immediately following the ad run - went from 750,000 for the day to over 1 million - go figure - those from within the state of Masssachusetts. I would not be placing any bets on Coakley to walk away with the race.

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