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Sestak vs history

Published by Tim McNulty on .

Prepare to nerd out.

The University of Minnesota's Smart Politics blog notes that if Joe Sestak were to beat Pat Toomey in the 2016 US Senate race (reversing his 2010 defeat), it would be the first time in Pa politics that a major party candidate won a rematch.

As Warner Wolf said, let's go to the videotape:

Pennsylvania has held 38 U.S. Senate special and general elections since its first popular vote contest for the office in 1914.

Not once has a defeated major party candidate sought and earned a general election rematch against the victor across these last 100 years.

. . . It should be noted a handful of minor third party candidates have run in multiple elections against the same opponent, though they are not top-billed 'rematches' per se:

· In 1922 and 1928 Socialist William Van Essen ran against Republican David Reed, winning 5.6 and 0.8 percent respectively.

· In 1930 (special election) and 1932, Van Essen won 1.3 percent and 3.3 percent against Republican James Davis.

· In 1944 and 1950, Socialist Labor candidate Frank Knotek won 0.05 percent and 0.04 percent of the vote against Democrat Francis Myers (who lost his '50 reelection bid to Republican Jim Duff).

· In 1946, Knotek won 0.4 percent as a Socialist Laborite in a race won by Republican Edward Martin and then won 0.04 percent against Martin in 1952 under the Industrial Government banner.

· In 1958, Socialist Labor candidate George Taylor carried 0.3 percent of the vote as Republican Hugh Scott won his first of three terms. Taylor won 0.1 percent six years later against Scott in 1964.

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