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Jayne Witty retorts not enough to unseat a House incumbent

first_imgMichael Delavar had a snappy retort.Commenting on the fact that Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, has a huge fundraising advantage over her opponents for this year’s election, Delavar quipped: “But, of course, on our side we have (Herrera Beutler’s) voting record. That’s the best tool I have.”It’s a good line. It’s funny and it’s pointed and it focuses the conversation in the direction Delavar wants voters to look. But, given the reality of politics, it will take more than witty quotes to unseat the representative from Washington’s 3rd Congressional District. It will take more than fast talk to unseat any incumbent representative.“Are you sitting down? At the worst, 90 percent of incumbents will win,” said Jim Moore, a political science professor at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore. “At best, 98 percent will win.”At best? Best for whom?“Best for them,” Moore said with a laugh. “That percentage has been pretty steady in most of the country for the past 40 years. It’s very difficult, barring any scandals or barring a huge change in the electorate” to unseat a member of Congress.Of course, there are exceptions. The 1994 midterm elections swept Republicans into power in the House of Representatives, and voters in northeastern Washington even tossed out the sitting speaker of the House — Tom Foley — the only time that has happened in the history of the republic.last_img

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