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November 10, 2008


Erik Arneson

Karl: I am very much enjoying your post-election analysis. Keep it up. However, in the Pennsylvania Senate, the split is not 29-28. We have 50 Senate seats, and the current split is 29 Republican to 20 Democratic. (There is one open seat, which will be filled in a special election early next year. The late Senator James Rhoades was re-elected approximately two and a half weeks after he died following a car accident.)

Before the recent elections, the split was 29 to 21.

Karl Kurtz

Oops! Sorry about that. I got cross-eyed reading the numbers on our Statevote 2008 screen. I have corrected the original post. Thanks for setting the record straight.


>>>Was the reverse ever true, that Democrats held no congressional seats during the system of 1896? I don't have the answer to that question at my fingertips. Let me know if you have the answer.<<<

The last time a major party held no congressional seats in New England was the Democrats in 1865-1867, when the Republicans held 10/10 in Massachusetts, 4/4 in Connecticut, 2/2 in Rhode Island, 3/3 in Vermont, 2/2 in New Hampshire, and 5/5 in Maine.

Tim Storey

I was also double-checking the congressional delegations in New England. It looks like from wikipedia (not always the most reliable source) that Vermont had a Whig member, Juston Morrill, from 1855 to 1967. That gets you back to before the modern Republican party. So, I think that maybe New England has never been under one party control until now.

Jon Morgan

That's 21 of 22 if you include Delaware, which only makes sense if you do MD. WV is also all-Democratic, and VA is split.

During the Solid South era, there were virtually no Republican members of Congress from states that had belonged to the Confederacy. The few exceptions came in Appalachian areas in the shallow (?) South--KY, TN, NC.

DS: is that entire congressional delegations, or just House delegations?

Jon Morgan

New England has 22 House seats (likely 21 after the 2010 reapportionment). What's also interesting is that if you add New York into this calculus, with its 29 House seats, that's now 26 Democrats and just 3 Republicans. So this trend seems to be expanding not only throughout New England but also into formerly Republican parts of upstate New York. NY looks to lose 2 seats in the next reapportionment, but I find it truly remarkable that out of 7 contiguous states with 51 House seats, there are 48 Dems and just 3 Republicans.


>>>It looks like from wikipedia (not always the most reliable source) that Vermont had a Whig member, Juston Morrill, from 1855 to 1967.>>DS: is that entire congressional delegations, or just House delegations?<<<

Just House delegations (I haven't checked the Senate delegations for 1865-1867).


I don't know about the 'system of 1896', but after the 1896 elections, Democrats held exactly one House seat in New England — a Boston seat held by John F. Fitzgerald, grandfather (and namesake) of John F. Kennedy.


Also, you seemed to have skipped Delaware in your regional breakdown. You left both Maryland and Delaware off the Northeast breakdown, but only included Maryland in the South breakdown. Poor little Delaware is overlooked once again.

Karl Kurtz

Another oops! Although it was in the text, Delaware was indeed left off the map. How could we do that to the First State? Thanks for catching the error, Marco. It has been fixed.

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