Republicans were expected to retain their majority in the House of Representatives by the slimmest of margins with Democrats gaining one or more seats, according to ABCNEWS projections.
Like the presidential race, the House races have been competitive, with the contests driven more by issues than strict partisanship. The fight for control of the House was played out in about three dozens races.
Republicans currently hold power in the House: 222 Republican seats compared to 209 Democrats and two independents (with two vacancies). That’s the slimmest majority since the Congress under President Dwight Eisenhower’s first term in 1953. Democrats would need seven seats to win back a majority.
Today, that did not look likely.
ABCNEWS projected Democrats to have won 211 seats with the Republicans at 220; two other seats of the total 435 were expected to go to third parties and the other two, in New Jersey’s 12th District and Florida’s 22nd District, were too close to call.
Republicans captured open Democratic seats in Pennsylvania, Missouri, Virginia and Michigan, while vulnerable incumbents pulled out wins in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Indiana and North Carolina.
Democrats defeated incumbent California Republican James Rogan, a House prosecutor at President Clinton’s impeachment trial. In Arkansas, Democratic challenger Mike Ross beat incumbent Republican Jay Dickey and in Utah, the Republican open seat was won by Democrat Jim Matheson.
With such results, it might be the first time since the 1920s that Republicans held power in the House and the Senate for four consecutive congressional sessions, and if Texas Gov. George W. Bush wins the presidency, it would be the first time since 1953-55 that they would control the White House, Senate and House.
Some of the key races:
Closest House Races
Connecticut 5th District (D) Incumbent: Rep. Jim Maloney (D) Challenger: State Sen. Mark Neilsen (R)
In what was one of the ugliest campaigns in the Northeast, U.S. Rep. Jim Maloney (D) has come out on top in a rematch against his challenger, state Sen. Mark Neilsen (R), according to Voter News Service, with 94 percent of the precincts reporting. Democrats hoped that Sen. Joseph Lieberman’s coattails would ensure victory for Maloney, who barely pulled out a win against Neilsen in 1998, taking the seat by 50 percent to 48 percent. Rep. Maloney won the seat 54 percent to 44 percent.
New Jersey 7th District (R-Open) Candidates: Mike Ferguson (R) vs. Maryanne Connelly (D)
With all precincts reporting, Republican nominee Mike Ferguson, a 30-year-old former Bronx high school teacher, who lost a bid for the state’s 6th Congressional District in 1998, appears to have eked out a win in a district that covers some of New Jersey’s wealthier suburbs as well as working class and rural areas. With 100 percent of the vote in, Ferguson takes the race with 50 percent of the vote over his opponent, Maryanne Connelly with 47 percent.
New Jersey 12th District (D) Incumbent: Rep. Rush Holt (D) Challenger: Dick Zimmer (R)
Officials say Republican Dick Zimmer has squeaked by in a close race to steal a seat from freshman Rep. Rush Holt (D). With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Zimmer won by a razor-thin margin: 156 votes, according to totals compiled by county clerks in the 12th Congressional District. Zimmer refused to accept victory, and Holt did not concede. Both men promised to doublecheck the votes. Republicans were gunning for the seat because of Holt’s upset victory over one of their members in 1998. But Zimmer, who gave up this central New Jersey, Princeton-based seat in 1996 to make an unsuccessful bid for Bill Bradley’s open Senate seat, elevated this race to marquee status.
Pennsylvania 4th District (D-Open) Candidates: State Rep. Terry Van Horne (D) vs. State Sen. Melissa Hart (R)
In a race deemed by Republicans to be the most important in the country for determining whether the GOP keeps control of the House, state Sen. Melissa Hart (R) has won over challenger state Rep. Terry Van Horne (D), according to Voter News Service. With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Hart had 59 percent of the vote to Van Horne’s 41 percent. Van Horne got a lot of bad press after his primary victory for a long-ago reference to a black fellow legislator as a “nigger.” The district leans Democratic but Hart knows it well and also raised serious money.
Pennsylvania 10th District (R) Incumbent: Rep. Don Sherwood (R) Challenger: Pat Casey (D)
Freshman Rep. Don Sherwood (R) once again has beaten Democrat Pat Casey, son of the late governor, Robert Casey, according to Voter News Service, with 100 percent of the precincts reporting. In the second consecutive close race between the pair, Rep. Sherwood held 53 percent to Casey’s 47 percent.
Pennsylvania 13th District (D) Incumbent: Rep. Joe Hoeffel (D) Challenger: State Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R) In the state’s most famous swing district, freshman Democratic Rep. Joe Hoeffel held onto his seat, thwarting a challenge from Republican state Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, according to Voter News Service with 100 percent of the precincts reporting. Hoeffel, who was leading with 53 percent to Greenleaf’s 46 percent, is trying to become the first Democrat in decades to win re-election in the district.
West Virginia 2nd District (D-Open) Candidates: Jim Humphreys(D) vs. State Rep. Shelly Moore Capito (R)
Republican state Rep. Shelly Moore Capito has won this seat, getting 48 percent of the vote over Democratic candidate Jim Humphreys, who came in with 46 percent. Humphreys, a multi-millionaire attorney poured several million dollars into his own campaign.
Alabama 4th District (R) Incumbent: Rep. Robert Aderholt (R) Challenger: Marsha Folsom (D)
Incumbent Rep. Robert Aderholt (R), a local school board member, has retained his seat by a large margin against challenger Marsha Folsom (D), wife of former Gov. Jim Folsom (D). According to Voter News Service, with 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Aderholt was ahead of Folsom, 61 percent to 38 percent. The AFL-CIO worked hard to get out the vote for Folsom. Aderholt enjoys the backing of the NRA and has sponsored a bill giving states the authority to post the Ten Commandments in government buildings.
Arkansas 4th District (R) Incumbent: Rep. Jay Dickey (R) Challenger: State Sen. Mike Ross (D)
The southern third of the state, stretching from Pine Bluff and Little Rock’s southern suburbs on down to the border, supported Clinton by such wide margins in 1992 and 1996 that Democrats are convinced it remains their turf. And yet, Republican Jay Dickey managed to win here in 1992 and to hang onto this seat through three subsequent elections. Democrats argued that Dickey had weak challengers in 1996 and 1998, and that they finally have a strong opponent in state Sen. Mike Ross (D).
With 97 percent of precincts reporting, challenger Ross has defeated the incumbent Dickey winning 51 percent of the vote to Dickey’s 49 percent.
Dickey has called Ross, 39, a “stealth liberal,” and recently condemned the 10-year state senator for taking a contribution from U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., because Frank is an openly gay member of Congress.
Florida 3rd District (D) Incumbent: Rep. Corrine Brown (D) Challenger: Jennifer Carroll (R)
Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown, who has held this district seat since 1992, retained her seat in a win against retired Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Carroll, who, like Brown, is black, according to Voter News Service, with 100 percent of the precincts reporting. During the campaign, the congresswoman’s alleged ethical lapses (allowing her daughter to accept a gift of a $50,000 Lexus from aides to African businessman Foutanga Sissoko, for example) were thought to be a possible roadblock to her re-election bid. Brown won 58 percent of the vote to Carroll’s 42 percent.
Florida 8th District (R-Open) Candidates: Ric Keller (R) vs. Linda Chapin (D) Republican lawyer Ric Keller helped retain an open seat for the Republicans in this Orlando-based district by winning a close race over Democrat Linda Chapin, Orange County’s court clerk and former chairwoman, according to Voter News Service, with 99 percent of the precincts reporting. Keller, who was ahead 51 percent to Chapin’s 49 percent, will replace Rep. Bill McCollum, who lost a bid tonight for the U.S. Senate. Both Chapin and Keller have signed pledges to leave office after eight years.
Florida 12th District (R-Open) Candidates: State Rep. Adam Putnam (R) vs. Mike Stedem (D)
Republican Adam Putnam has won this seat in the rural-suburban Tampa district in a close race against Democrat Mike Stedem. With 100 percent of the vote in, Putnam has 57 percent to Stedem’s 43 percent. The seat is being vacated by retiring Rep. Charles Canady (R) and seemed a certain keeper for the party at the hands of rising GOP star Putnam, a 26-year-old state representative and the son of a long line of cattle and citrus farmers.
Florida 22nd District (R) Incumbent: Rep. Clay Shaw (R) Challenger: State Rep. Elaine Bloom (D)
Democrats have spent this past decade trying to oust longtime Rep. Clay Shaw (R), whose carefully cultivated record on Social Security has helped him hang onto this beachfront (that’s Palm Beach, Juno Beach, Miami Beach) district. This time around, even President Clinton, who beat Bob Dole here by 18 points in 1996, has stopped in to help former state legislator Elaine Bloom (D) raise money. The results of this race remain too close to call.
Kentucky 1st District (R) Incumbent: Ed Whitfield (R) Challenger: Brian Roy (D)
Incumbent Republican Ed Whitfield has retained his seat in this largely rural, western Kentucky district that voted for President Clinton twice, but narrowly elected Whitfield to the House three times since 1994. According to Voter News Service, with 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Whitfield won 58 percent to 42 percent. Whitfield faced his strongest challenge this year in the Democratic candidate Brian Roy, a former U.S. marshal and sheriff. But Whitfield had a huge cash advantage over Roy and some union support, and seems to have adequately defended himself against Roy’s issue-based attacks on health care and prescription drug coverage.
Kentucky 3rd District (R) Incumbent: Anne Northup (R) Challenger: State Rep. Eleanor Jordan (D)
Despite being a Clinton stronghold in 1992 and 1996, greater Louisville nevertheless has elected Republican Anne Northup to the House in her fourth election, according to Voter News Service, with 100 percent of the precincts reporting. Northup was ahead 53 percent to 44 percent in a race against her challenger, state Rep. Eleanor Jordan (D), a former unwed teenage mother.
Kentucky 6th District (R) Incumbent: Rep. Ernie Fletcher (R) Challengers: Scott Baesler (D); Gatewood Galbraith (Reform)
In one of the most expensive House races in Kentucky history, Ernie Fletcher, a Republican and a doctor, appears to be winning. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Fletcher had 53 percent of the vote to Democratic Rep. Scott Baesler’s 35 percent. The two candidates had raised $2.7 million by midsummer. Health care and prescription-drug reform dominated their contest. Gatewood Galbraith, the Reform Party House candidate, had 12 percent.
Mississippi 4th District (D) Incumbent: Ronnie Shows (D) Challenger: Dunn Lampton (R)
Freshman Democrat Ronnie Shows has retained his seat in a challenge by a popular Republican prosecutor from southwest Mississippi, Dunn Lampton, according to Voter News Service. With 99 percent of the precincts reporting, Shows has 58 percent to Lampton’s 40 percent of the vote. Lampton tried to gain points by emphasizing that voters should have a say on the future of the state flag, which includes the Confederate emblem in one corner.
North Carolina 8th District (R) Incumbent: Rep. Robin Hayes (R) Challenger: Mike Taylor (D)
Incumbent Robin Hayes, an heir to the Cannon Mills fortune, has won this tough rematch with attorney Mike Taylor, who only narrowly lost to Hayes in 1998 despite being outspent 3-to-1. With 97 percent of the precincts reporting, Hayes won 55 percent to 44 percent. The primary issues in this textile-dependent, partly rural district have been prescription drug benefits for seniors, protecting Social Security, and repealing the estate tax. The AFL-CIO has attacked Hayes on the first two issues and the Sierra Club has targeted Hayes for his allegedly weak environmental record. But Hayes has also won the support of heavyweight politicians, like Sen. John McCain, and of National Rifle Association President Charlton Heston.
North Carolina 11th District (R) Incumbent: Charles Taylor (R) Challenger: Sam Neill (D)
Five-term incumbent Charles Taylor (R) was engaged in a tough campaign with Sam Neill (D), a real-estate lawyer and former chairman of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Taylor held on to his seat capturing 55 percent of the vote while Neill had 42 percent.
Taylor won his previous races by wide margins, but those margins have been attributed more to weak Democratic challengers than to any real GOP tilt to this western North Carolina mountain district. Revelations that Taylor failed to pay property taxes for more than a decade, and about bad loans made by his bank and his business interests in Russia, have weakened him.
Oklahoma 2nd District (R-Open) Candidates: Andy Ewing (R) vs. Brad Carson (D)
Democrat Brad Carson has won a seat for the Democrats in a win over Republican Andy Ewing for the seat vacated by retiring Republican Rep. Tom Coburn, according to Voter News Service, with 100 percent of the precincts reporting. Coburn retired because he had pledged when first elected in 1994 to serve only three terms. In this marginal seat based in rural Muskogee County, 72 percent of registered voters are Democrats — but many of those Democrats are conservative who have pulled the GOP lever in the polling booth. Carson earned 55 percent of the vote to Ewing’s 42 percent.
Virginia 2nd District (D-Open) Candidates: Jody Wagner (D) vs. Ed Schrock (R)
Republican state Sen. Ed Schrock wins in this conservative district over Democrat Jody Wagner, an attorney, retaining the seat left open by retiring conservative Democratic Rep. Owen Pickett, according to Voter News Service. The Norfolk and Virginia Beach-based district is home to a lot of military personnel and veterans. The race was close with a final vote of 52 percent to 48 percent.
Illinois 10th District (R-Open) Candidates: Mark Kirk (R) vs. Lauren Beth Gash (D)
Challenger Mark Kirk (R), aide to the district’s retiring Rep. Jon Porter (R), has defeated Democratic state Rep. Lauren Beth Gash. With 99 percent of the precincts reporting, Kirk had 51 percent of the vote and Gash had 49 percent. This upscale district located north of Chicago typifies the competitiveness of the city’s suburbs, which have grown less Republican and conservative in recent years.
Illinois 17th District (D) Incumbent: Rep. Lane Evans (D) Challenger: Mark Baker (R)
Democratic incumbent Rep. Lane Evans has won a battle to retain his seat against former Quincy TV anchor Mark Baker (R) for the third straight cycle, according to Voter News Service. Evans only won by 6,000 votes in 1998, and Baker has worked hard to chip away at his support in this part-rural, western Illinois district. Evans prevailed with 55 to 45 percent of the vote.
Indiana 2nd District (R-Open) Candidates: Mike Pence (R) vs. Robert Rock (D) vs. Bill Frazier (Independent)
Conservative talk show host Mike Pence has won in a three way race with Democrat Robert Rock and Independent Bill Frazier, according to Voter News Service. With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Pence was ahead with 51 percent to Rock’s 39 percent. Frazier had captured 9 percent of the vote.
Indiana 8th District (R) Incumbent: Rep. John Hostettler (R) Challenger: Paul Perry (D)
In this district known as “the Bloody Eighth,” because of the frequency with which it has changed partisan hands over the last two decades, Republican Rep. John Hostettler appears to have retained his seat, according to the Voter News Service with 100 percent of the precincts reporting. The congressman was challenged by Paul Perry (D), an orthopedic surgeon who is anti-abortion rights and pro-gun rights. Hostettler came out on top 53 to 45 percent.
Kansas 3rd District (D) Incumbent: Rep. Dennis Moore (D) Challenger: Phill Kline (R)
Incumbent Rep. Dennis Moore has hung on to his seat with a win against Republican Phill Kline in this district in the Kansas City suburbs, with 100 percent of the precincts reporting. This seat was held securely for years by moderate Republican Jan Meyers, who retired in 1996. Rep. Moore had 50 percent to Kline’s 47 percent.
Kline has tried to counter Moore’s moderate image by touting how often he has voted with Democrats in the Kansas state Legislature.
Michigan 8th District (D-Open) Candidates: Dianne Byrum (D) vs. Mike Rogers (R) Republican nominee Mike Rogers has defeated Michigan state Sen. Dianne Byrum, with all precincts reporting, according to Voter News Service. Rogers and Byrum each had 49 percent of the vote, but Rogers won by a margin of 524 votes. Rogers will step into the House seat given up by Democrat Debbie Stabenow.
Minnesota 4th District (D-Open) Candidates: Betty McCollum (D) vs. Linda Runbeck (R) vs. Tom Foley (Independent)
Democrat Betty McCollum has retained this seat for the Democrats over Republican challenger Linda Runbeck and Independent Tom Foley, with all precincts reporting. McCollum, with 48 percent of the vote, replaces Rep. Bruce Vento (D), who died in early October. Runbeck had 31 percent, Foley 21 percent.
Minnesota 6th District (D) Incumbent: Rep. Bill Luther (D) Challenger: John Kline (R)
Incumbent Bill Luther (D), a three-term congressman, has apparently retained his seat with a narrow win over retired Marine Corps officer John Kline (R), whom he defeated by only four percentage points in 1998. With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Luther, a centrist who served for 20 years in the Minnesota legislature, took 50 percent of the vote to Kline’s 48 percent. Luther has a record of supporting mainstream Democratic efforts in public education, Social Security and Medicare and is a strong advocate for campaign finance reform.
Missouri 2nd District (R-Open) Candidates: Todd Akin (R) vs. Ted House (D)
Republican state Rep. Todd Akin won the lead in the race for this open seat left vacant by Rep. Jim Talent, who is running for governor, with all precincts reporting, according to Voter News Service. Akin had 55 percent to his challenger, Democratic state Sen. Ted House’s 43 percent.
Missouri 6th District (D-Open) Candidates: Steve Danner (D) vs. Sam Graves (R) Republican state Sen. Sam Graves, a well-known farmer, has won the seat held by his challenger’s mother, four-term Congresswoman Pat Danner, who stepped aside to battle breast cancer. With all precincts reporting, Graves had 51 percent of the votes to 47 percent picked up by Steve Danner, a former state legislator.
Ohio 12th District (R-Open) Candidates: Pat Tiberi (R) vs. Maryellen O’Shaughnessy (D)
Republican nominee Pat Tiberi, the majority leader of the Ohio House, has taken the seat from his opponent, Columbus city council member Maryellen O’Shaughnessy (D), with 100 percent of the precincts reporting. The only competitive federal election in Ohio this fall, aside from the presidential contest, was the race to replace this seat left open by retiring Rep. John Kasich (R). Tiberi held 53 percent to O’Shaughnessy’s 44 percent.
California 15th District (R-Open) Candidates: Jim Cunneen (R) vs. Mike Honda (D)
This open-seat contest in Silicon Valley has been widely billed as a race between a “New Economy Republican” and an “Old Economy Democrat,” with the Democrat triumphing. Honda had 54 percent of the vote to Cunneen’s 42 percent., with all precincts reporting.
Democrats argue that moderate, pro-abortion rights Tom Campbell (R), giving up this seat to make his long-shot Senate bid, was the only Republican capable of winning this district. Republicans argued state Assemblyman Jim Cunneen (R), a former high-tech executive whose positions on social issues mimic Campbell’s, can keep this seat in the GOP fold. Cunneen faced fellow Assemblyman Mike Honda, a Japanese-American former teacher who takes traditionally liberal stances on issues.
California 20th District (D) Incumbents: Rep. Cal Dooley (D) Challenger: Rich Rodriguez (R)
Republicans have for years sought to take out Rep. Cal Dooley (D) in this largely rural, not-so-Democratic, Fresno-area district. But, they were unsuccessful in their bid. With all precincts reporting, Rodriguez had 45 percent of the vote, losing to Dooley who grabbed 53 percent.
Republicans have touted Hispanic nominee Rich Rodriguez, a former Fresno TV anchorman who has strong name recognition, ever since Rodriguez took 45 percent to Dooley’s 52 percent in the district’s open primary without really spending a cent.
California 27th District (R) Incumbent: Rep. Jim Rogan (R) Challenger: Adam Schiff (D)
The reasons for Rep. Jim Rogan’s vulnerability have changed since December 1998, when Democrats predicted his political demise because of his role as a House manager during President Clinton’s impeachment. Since then, this role has faded as an issue for most voters, even though Rogan himself has brought it up in his advertising, and conservatives around the country continue to pad his campaign coffers because of it.
But, all that did not help Rogan, who has lost the seat to challenger Schiff, according to Voter News Service. Ninety-four percent of the precincts reported, giving Schiff 53 percent of the vote to Rogan’s 44 percent.
California 36th District (R) Incumbent: Rep. Steve Kuykendall (R) Challenger: Jane Harman (D)
In one of three instances of former members seeking to regain their old seats, former Rep. Jane Harman (D) challenged freshman incumbent Steve Kuykendall (R) for “their” Los Angeles beachfront district, which Kuykendall won in 1998 after Harman vacated it to run for governor.
With all precincts reporting, Harman — who had 48 percent of the vote to Kuykendall’s 47 percent — has been declared the winner by a margin of approximately 3800 votes.
Kuykendall, a moderate Republican who supports abortion rights, would have been a good fit for this district, but Harman is just as well known and has benefitted from presidential coattails.
California 49th District (R) Incumbent: Rep. Brian Bilbray (R) Challenger: Susan Davis (D)
Perpetually on Democrats’ target lists because of the competitiveness of his San Diego-based district, Rep. Brian Bilbray nevertheless has managed to win re-election twice here. His vocal support for the president’s impeachment failed to cost him his seat back in 1998 and has faded as an issue. His opponent this year, state Assemblywoman Susan Davis (D), is viable and has raised plenty of money.
It seems that her efforts have payed off. With all precincts reporting, Davis has won the seat getting 50 percent of the vote while incumbent Bilbray had 46 percent.
Montana At-large (R-Open) Candidates: Dennis Rehberg (R) vs. Nancy Keenan (D)
The retirement of gaffe-prone Republican Rep. Rick Hill (R), who might have lost had he sought re-election, opened up the state’s vast, at-large House seat. Running for it were former Lt. Gov. Dennis Rehberg (R) and state Superintendent of Public Instruction Nancy Keenan (D). Both are well-known from previous runs for statewide office.
But, it will be Nancy Keenan who will replace Rep. Hill in the House. With 98 percent of the precincts reporting, Keenan won 52 percent of the vote to Rehberg’s 46 percent.
New Mexico 1st District (R) Incumbent: Rep. Heather Wilson (R) Challenger: John Kelly (D)
Rep. Heather Wilson (R) represents a marginal seat, having won this Albuquerque-based district in a 1998 special election. After that runoff, Democrats fielded the same candidate again in the following general election, and he became a two-time loser. The party is hoping for better luck against Wilson at the hands of former U.S. Attorney John Kelly (D), but Wilson clearly understands the challenges posed by her district and seems well-funded and well-prepared.
Utah 2nd District (R-Open) Candidates: Derek Smith (R) vs. Jim Matheson (D)
This Salt Lake City-based district has been treated to two scandal-plagued Republican members of Congress in a row: first, Enid Greene, and most recently, Merrill Cook. Prior to their elections, the district actually sent a Democrat to Congress in 1992, and now, after this bad spell, it seems inclined to do so again. Businessman Jim Matheson (D), son of Utah’s late Gov. Scott Matheson, has defeated high-tech entrepreneur Derek Smith (R), who knocked off Cook in the primary. Matheson held 56 percent of the vote while Smith managed to get 41 percent, with 100 percent of precincts reporting.
Washington 1st District (D) Incumbent: Rep. Jay Inslee (D) Challenger: Dan McDonald (R)
Democratic Rep. Jay Inslee, who seems to have put down roots in this fickle district, easily won over challenger state Senate Majority Leader Dan McDonald (R), getting 55 percent of the vote to McDonald’s 42 percent. Home to Microsoft, and a lot of high-tech, socially moderate but fiscally conservative voters, this district has sent three different people to Congress since 1992.
Washington 2nd District (R-Open) Candidates: John Koster (R) vs. Rick Larsen (D)
Republican state Rep. John Koster lost this hotly contested House seat in a marginal, scenically stunning district that includes the San Juan Islands and Whidbey Island, with 99 percent of the precincts reporting, according to Voter News Service. Rick Larsen (D), a well-financed challenger Snohomish County council member won the seat, getting 50 percent of the vote, while Koster got 46 percent. Retiring Rep. Jack Metcalf (R), fulfilling a pledge to depart after three terms, had constant trouble hanging onto this seat, which tends to be one of the last seats called on Election Night.
Washington 5th District (R) Incumbent: Rep. George Nethercutt (R) Challenger: Tom Keefe (D)
Democrat Tom Keefe could not take the seat away from incumbent Rep. George Nethercutt (R), with 100 percent of the precincts reporting. In the end, Nethercutt got 57 percent of the vote to Keefe’s 39 percent. Rep. Nethercutt defeated House Speaker Tom Foley (D) in 1994 by running partly on a pledge to serve only three terms in the House. Were it not for the “X” factor of the broken pledge, with all the ads and posters ridiculing Nethercutt and all the outside money pouring in, Nethercutt would have been be relatively safe in this eastern Washington district, having never had trouble getting re-elected before.