Two factors working against Congressman Kagen

Steve Kagen
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Incumbent Wisconsin Democratic Rep. Steve Kagen is fighting for his political survival in a seat viewed by Republicans as a must-win on Election Day.

In a year when polls consistently demonstrate a general frustration with entrenched Washington politicians, Kagen has to contend with a potential GOP wave election, as well as the history of his district.
The longtime allergist is running for his third term in a GOP-leaning district, facing tough odds: No Democrat has ever held the Wisconsin 8th congressional district more than two consecutive terms.

According to political science Professor Dave Wegge of Wisconsin’s St. Norbert College, who has written of the challenges that Democrats faced historically in Wisconsin’s 8th, Kagen has an uphill climb against GOP challenger and political neophyte Reid Ribble.

“I think that it’s a real difficult task for Steve Kagen to overcome the overall context of the election, with economic conditions the way they are, the level of Barack Obama’s popularity, and then do all of that in the context of [Kagen’s] running in a Republican district,” Wegge told The Hill in an interview.

Republicans feel confident that Ribble, a longtime roofer, will win the seat. The GOP needs to win at least 39 additional seats to regain control of the House.

Nonpartisan political handicapper Charlie Cook ranks Kagen’s race as “Leans Republican” — a change made a little over a week ago from the previous ranking of “Democratic toss-up.” (Source: The Hill)

Congressman Kagen is definitely facing an uphill battle as he has tried running as an outsider since starting his re-election campaign.  Every ad he runs refers to him as “Dr.” instead of “Congressman.”  It’s also a likely factor playing into not even attempting to run on the issues choosing the path of misdirection and misleading attacks where he refers to his opponent, the true outsider, as “politician”.

Ultimately voters will decide on November 2nd if it’s time for Congressman Kagen to return to private practice.

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