Feingold's Loss of 2010 Looks Alot Like Fighting Bob's Loss in 1890 | Wis.Community

Feingold's Loss of 2010 Looks Alot Like Fighting Bob's Loss in 1890

Back in 1890, Fighting Bob La Follette was running for his fourth term to the U.S. House in Wisconsin's Third Congressional District, which consisted of Dane, Green, Lafayette, Iowa and Grant Counties.

La Follette lost to a guy named Allen Bushnell, mustering only 46% of the vote that year.  La Follette won Green and Lafayette counties, but lost Dane, Grant and Iowa counties. 

The election of 1890 was a huge "tidal wave" year for Democrats and all but one of Wisconsin's House Republicans lost.  Before the election, La Follette's party had controlled the House and Senate and just two years earlier Wisconsin had voted overwhealmingly for Republican president Benjamin Harrison.

Like Feingold's opponent, Bushnell was not from Wisconsin.  Bushnell, was born, raised and educated in Ohio and came to Wisconsin after he graduated from college. Prior to elected to the U.S. House, Bushnell had been Lancaster's first mayor, a state Assemblyman for eight years and had been serving as the Western Wisconsin U.S. Attorney since 1876.  Bushnell only served one term and did not run for re-election.

La Follette, of course, would spend the next ten years as a voice of progressive reform and made a comeback to electoral politics when he was elected Wisconsin governor in 1900.

I'm sure Feingold will take a similar path and come back stronger than ever.

Published

November 4, 2010 - 2:43pm

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