If Republican Ted Stevens loses he’ll become the fifth incumbent U.S. Senator to lose re-election in a year when a home state candidate is on the national ticket. It happened twice in 1916, and again in 1964 and 1980.
Despite Gov. Sarah Palin’s presence on the GOP ticket in Alaska, Stevens — convicted on federal corruption charges last month — trails Democrat Mark Begich by 814 votes, with 35,000 ballots still to be counted —
The first time that happened was in 1916, when Democrat Woodrow Wilson was re-elected to a second term as President. But in Wilson’s home state of New Jersey, Republican Joseph Frelinghuysen, a cousin of U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, ousted Democratic U.S. Sen. James Martine by a 56%-39% margin. And in Indiana, the home state of Wilson’s vice president, Thomas Marshall, Republican Harry New unseated incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. John Kern by a 48%-46% margin.
With New Yorker William E. Miller as the Republican vice presidential candidate in 1964, Democrat Robert F. Kennedy beat incumbent Kenneth Keating in the race for U.S. Senator, 54%-43%.
In 1980, President Jimmy Carter carried his home state of Georgia in his unsuccessful re-election bid, fellow Democrat Herman Talmadge, a four-term incumbent with ethics problems, was ousted, 51%-49%, by Republican Mack Mattingly.