You can't win if you don't play

This morning’s WBUR story ("Mass. GOP Looks to Unenrolled Voters to Help Snap U.S. House Losing Streak") features our analysis (and a chart) digging into why Republicans have failed to win a Congressional seat in Massachusetts since 1994. Following Steve's interview for the piece, we created two more charts which add a compelling piece of the story.

Another major reason for the Republican losing streak was a long period during which they did not field candidates for most Congressional Elections. After the last two Republicans in the delegation lost in 1996, the number of elections featuring a Republican candidate plummeted. Throughout the 2000s, just 40 percent of Congressional Elections in Massachusetts featured any Republican candidate.

UntitledIt was not until 2010 that the majority of Congressional elections were contested by both a Democrat and a Republican. In 2010, all but Congressman Capuano faced a Republican challenger, and in 2012, the two major parties squared off in 6 of the 9 Congressional races.

count of elections

Of course, the Republicans did not win any of those more recent races, but they at least fielded a candidate. Woody Allen once said, 80 percent of success is showing up. The Massachusetts GOP has started showing up for Congressional elections again. It will be interesting to see how many Congressional candidates the Republicans field in 2014, and whether any of them can breaking the party's U.S. House losing streak.