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Kansas's at-large congressional district

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kansas's at-large congressional district for the United States House of Representatives in the state of Kansas is a defunct congressional district. It existed from statehood January 29, 1861 to March 4, 1907.

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Most people have heard of the Electoral College during presidential election years. But what exactly is the Electoral College? Simply said, it is a group of people appointed by each state who formally elect the President and Vice President of the United States. To understand how this process began and how it continues today, we can look at the Constitution of the United States: article two, section one, clause two of the constitution. It specifies how many electors each state is entitled to have. Since 1964, there have been 538 electors in each presidential election. How do they decide on the number 538? Well, the number of electors is equal to the total voting membership of the United States Congress. 435 representatives, plus 100 senators, and 3 electors from the District of Columbia. Essentially, the Democratic candidate and Republican candidate are each trying to add up the electors in every state so that they surpass 270 electoral votes, or just over half the 538 votes, and win the presidency. So how do states even get electoral votes? Each state receives a particular number of electors based on population size. The census is conducted every 10 years, so every time the census happens, states might gain or lose a few electoral votes. Let's say you're a voter in California, a state with 55 electoral votes. If your candidate wins in California, they get all 55 of the state's electoral votes. If your candidate loses, they get none. This is why many presidential candidates want to win states like Texas, Florida, and New York. If you currently add up the electoral votes of those three states, you would have 96 electoral votes. Even if a candidate won North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Vermont, New Hampshire. Connecticut and West Virginia, they would only gain 31 electoral votes total from those eight states. Here is where it can get a little tricky. On a rare occasion, like in the year 2000, someone can win the popular vote but fail to gain 270 electoral votes. This means that the winner may have won and collected their electoral votes by small margins, winning just enough states with just enough electoral votes, but the losing candidate may have captured large voter margins in the remaining states. If this is the case, the very large margins secured by the losing candidate in the other states would add up to over 50% of the ballots cast nationally. Therefore, the losing candidate may have gained more than 50% of the ballots cast by voters, but failed to gain 270 of the electoral votes. Some critics of the electoral college argue the system gives an unfair advantage to states with large numbers of electoral votes. Think of it this way. It is possible for a candidate to not get a single person's vote -- not one vote -- in 39 states, or the District of Columbia, yet be elected president by winning the popular vote in just 11 of these 12 states: California, New York, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Georgia or Virginia. This is why both parties pay attention to these states. However, others argue that the electoral college protects small states such as Rhode Island, Vermont and New Hampshire, and even geographically large states with small populations like Alaska, Wyoming and the Dakotas. That's because a candidate can't completely ignore small states, because in a close election, every electoral vote counts. There are certain states that have a long history of voting for a particular party. These are known as "safe states." For the past four election cycles -- in 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008 -- Democrats could count on states like Oregon, Maryland, Michigan and Massachusetts, whereas the Republicans could count on states like Mississippi, Alabama, Kansas and Idaho. States that are teetering between between parties are called "swing states." In the past four election cycles, Ohio and Florida have been swing states, twice providing electoral votes for a Democratic candidate, and twice providing electoral votes for a Republican candidate. Think about it. Do you live in a safe state? If so, is it a Democratic or Republican safe state? Do you live in a swing state? Are your neighboring states swing or safe? Is the population in your state increasing or decreasing? And do not forget, when you are watching the electoral returns on election night every four years and the big map of the United States is on the screen, know that the magic number is 270 and start adding.

List of members representing the district

Years Cong
Seat A Seat B Seat C Seat D
Representative Party Electoral history Representative Party Electoral history Representative Party Electoral history Representative Party Electoral history
January 29, 1861 –
March 3, 1863
Martin F. Conway (Kansas Congressman).jpg

Martin F. Conway
Republican Elected December 1, 1859, in advance of statehood.
Continued in office without re-election in 1861.
March 4, 1863 –
March 3, 1865
Abel Carter Wilder (Kansas Congressman).jpg

A. Carter Wilder
Republican Elected in 1862.
March 4, 1865 –
March 3, 1871
Hon. Sidney Clarke, Capt. of Kansas Volunteers - NARA - 525590.jpg

Sidney Clarke
Republican Elected in 1864.
Re-elected in 1866.
Re-elected in 1868.
Lost re-election.
March 4, 1871 –
March 3, 1873
David Perley Lowe - Brady-Handy.jpg

David P. Lowe
Republican Elected in 1870.
Re-elected in 1872.
March 4, 1873 –
March 3, 1875

Stephen A. Cobb
Republican Elected in 1872.
Redistricted to the 1st district and lost re-election.
William Addison Phillips (Kansas Congressman).jpg

William A. Phillips
Republican Elected in 1872.
Redistricted to the 1st district.
March 4, 1875 -
March 3, 1883
Seat eliminated Seat eliminated Seat eliminated
March 4, 1883 –
March 3, 1885
Lewis Hanback (Kansas Congressman).jpg

Lewis Hanback
Republican Elected in 1882.
Redistricted to the 6th district.

Edmund N. Morrill
Republican Elected in 1882.
Re-elected in the 1st district.
Bishop Perkins.jpg

Bishop W. Perkins
Republican Elected in 1882.
Re-elected in the 3rd district.
Samuel Ritter Peters.jpg

Samuel R. Peters
Republican Elected in 1882.
Redistricted to the 7th district.
March 4, 1885 -
March 3, 1893
Seat eliminated Seat eliminated Seat eliminated Seat eliminated
March 4, 1893 –
March 3, 1895
Senator William A. Harris as a Member of the 55th US Congress.jpeg

William A. Harris
Populist Elected in 1892.
Lost re-election.
March 4, 1895 –
March 3, 1897
Richard W. Blue.jpeg

Richard W. Blue
Republican Elected in 1894.
Lost re-election.
March 4, 1897 –
March 3, 1899
J.D. Botkin.jpg

Jeremiah D. Botkin
Populist Elected in 1896.
Lost re-election.
March 4, 1899 –
March 3, 1901

Willis J. Bailey
Republican Elected in 1898.
March 4, 1901 –
March 3, 1907
Charles F. Scott (Kansas Congressman).jpg

Charles F. Scott
Republican Elected in 1900.
Re-elected in 1902.
Re-elected in 1904.
Redistricted to the 2nd district.
Seat eliminated


  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1982). The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
  • Congressional Biographical Directory of the United States 1774–present

This page was last edited on 7 May 2021, at 14:55
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