While everyone is talking about the race for the Senate seat in my (adopted) home state, no one is talking about the race in Bruce’s (adopted) home state. Well, maybe they should. Even though all latest polls have incumbent Richard Burr’s margin in the double digits, if history is any guide, he won’t be returning to the Senate come January.
You see, not since Sam Ervin’s reelection in 1968 had an incumbent won election for that seat. When Ervin retired, Robert Morgan succeeded him in 1974, only to be defeated by John East in 1980. Republican Jim Broyhill tapped to replace East (when he took his own life) lost the seat in 1986 to Terry Sanford who, six years later, was ousted by Lauch Faircloth. In 1998, John Edwards edged him out. Six years later, Edwards chose to run for president rather than seek re-election. Tapped as his party’s vice presidential nominee, Edwards lost the state as did his party’s Senate nominee, former (Bill) Clinton Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles. Richard Burr was the man who beat him.
Every election since the Democratic year of 1974, this Senate seat has switched parties. Maybe the 2010 cycle will break that “curse.”