Massachusetts Republican US House Losing Streak Tops 100
It has been 20 years since the last time Republicans won a U.S. House race in the Bay State; the GOP losing streak has now reached a nation-worst 101 in a row
Massachusetts Republicans recorded a big win Tuesday in the state’s gubernatorial race, with Charlie Baker defeating Martha Coakley by 1.9 points.
However, down the ballot in the state’s nine races for the U.S. House of Representatives, it was another fruitless cycle for the GOP.
Democrats swept all nine U.S. House races in Massachusetts for the 10th consecutive cycle, pushing the Republican losing streak into triple digits.
A Smart Politics review of Massachusetts election data finds that Republicans have now lost 101 elections in a row to the U.S. House of Representatives and have picked off just two of 303 Democratic-held seats in the Bay State since 1944.
The Democratic Massachusetts U.S. House victory streak began with their sweep of the state’s 10 congressional districts in 1996 – picking up the 3rd and 6th CDs that the party had lost in 1992 – and holding the other eight seats.
Democrats also swept each of the 88 districts across the next nine general election cycles through 2012, plus won special elections in the 9th CD (2001) and 5th CD (2007, 2013) to run their current U.S House winning streak to 101 straight victories.
In 2014, Republicans failed to field a candidate in six of the nine districts enabling Richard Neal, Jim McGovern, Joe Kennedy III, Katherine Clark, Mike Capuano, and Stephen Lynch to coast to reelection this cycle.
In the state’s remaining three districts Niki Tsongas routed Roseanne Wofford by 26 points, Seth Moulton beat Richard Tisei by 13.7 points, and Bill Keating defeated John Chapman by 10 points.
The Massachusetts GOP 101-election losing streak is the longest current drought by either party in any state across the nation.
Republicans have also lost 22 in a row in Rhode Island and a record 20 in a row in Connecticut.
The GOP did end an 18 election losing streak in Maine on Tuesday with Bruce Poliquin capturing the state’s open 2nd CD race.
Democrats, meanwhile, have lost 22 consecutive U.S. House elections in Alaska and 20 in a row in Wyoming but ended a 30-election drought in Nebraska with Brad Ashford defeating incumbent Lee Terry.
The current Democratic 101-race U.S. House victory streak is also the longest by any political party in the history of Massachusetts.
Democrats have been on an incredible run in holding their own districts in the state dating back to the close of World War II.
Since 1944, Massachusetts Democrats have held 301 of 303 U.S. House seats in general and special elections, or 99.4 percent of all contests.
In other words, Republicans have picked off Democratic House seats in Massachusetts at a rate of just 0.6 percent over the last 70 years.
By contrast, Democrats have picked off Republican seats in the Bay State at a rate of more than 12 times that amount at 9.0 percent, taking 11 of 122 GOP-controlled U.S. House seats during this span.
Massachusetts Republicans have seen their 10-seat delegation from 1944 erode to its current level of zero with Democrats picking up seats in 1946, 1948, 1954, 1958, 1972, 1974, 1982, and 1996.
Aside from the loss of the two seats in 1992, the only other instance of a Democratic-held districts changing partisan control occurred in 1962 – although it comes with an asterisk.
In that cycle, Massachusetts lost two seats due to reapportionment (from 14 to 12) – one Democratic and one Republican. The 12th CD Democratic incumbent John McCormack ran and won in the new 9th CD while the 9th CD Republican incumbent Keith Hastings ran and won in the new 12th CD. In short, it was an equal swap for the two parties as districts were renumbered.
(As a result of redistricting in 1962 there was also a dual-incumbent matchup in the 5th CD between Republican Brad Morse (from the 5th) and Democrat Thomas Lane (of the old 7th CD) with Morse holding the seat).
As such, the only true black marks on the Democratic resumé in defending its home turf over the last 70 years came in 1992 when incumbent Joseph Early was defeated in the 3rd CD by GOPer Peter Blute and incumbent Nicholas Mavroules lost in the 6th CD to Republican Peter Torkildsen.
Through 2014, Massachusetts Democrats have won these last 101 U.S. House races by an average victory margin of 59.6 points.
The GOP has come within single digits just six times: 1996 (1st, 3rd, and 6th CDs), 2007 (5th CD special), 2010 (10th CD), and 2012 (6th CD).
Worse still, Republicans failed to field a candidate in 42.6 percent of these contests – 43 of 101 races.
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