Diverse Candidates Make Historic Wins in Midterm Elections Races
Elections by The Times-Union of Albany, N.Y.
The Times-Union of Albany, N.Y. | November 7, 2010
Midterm elections, which have been called so rarely that they were not until the 2012 elections, are usually regarded as non-bargain-making exercises for incumbents and a test of party viability.
Falling short of even half the seats held by their challengers, Democratic incumbents in many of the hotly contested races were defeated, while Republican challengers took seats in Congress, legislative chambers and more local offices.
To be sure, this is not the first election cycle in which such contests have been decided by a razor-tight margin.
In each of the last five midterms, an incumbent was defeated, with the exception of 1994, when a liberal Republican lost by a mere 527 votes.
In 18 of 22 midterms, the incumbent lost his bid for re-election by at least 15 points and in all but three instances, the incumbent lost by more than 20 points.
In all but one case, the incumbent lost by more than 25 points. In the other, the margin was 9 points.
While the Democrats lost, Republicans held a number of historic wins as well.
The election returns that make for a rare midterm election that is of interest to anyone who follows government at all are races in which a Democratic incumbent from the city or county Legislature, a Democrat in a State Senate seat of the state Senate or a Democrat in a U.S. House seat is defeated but in which there is no real statewide or national Democratic challenger, as the race is decided by a strong showing in a handful of districts to the exclusion of the rest of the state.
Democratic incumbents in four races were defeated, with Republican challengers taking seats in State Senate districts 2 and 5 and in the U.S. House seats held by the district attorney, former Syracuse police and state Sen. Bill Bradley of New York.
The Republicans also took seats in Legislative chambers of the counties of Sullivan, Columbia and Rensselaer, leaving Republicans in a majority in County Legislatures of Broome, Columbia, Chenango, Cayuga, Chemung, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Essex, Montgomery, Saratoga and Schenectady.
The Democrats took seats in the City of Albany Council for the city’s