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National Politics


Did Obama Mislead Americans on Trends in U.S. Troop Fatalities?

U.S. troop fatalities in Iraq are on pace for a 16 percent increase from 2010; American deaths in Afghanistan over the last three months are up 7 percent from the same period in 2010.

The Myth of the Convention State Boost, Part II: The Republicans

Republican presidential nominees have averaged a 1-point decline in convention host state's adjusted margin of victory (or loss) vis-à-vis the national vote compared to the previous election cycle since the first televised convention in 1940.

Michele Bachmann Debuts on Jeopardy!

The Minnesota Congresswoman was nearly the most valuable answer (that is, question) to an $800 clue in an "All Politics Is Local" category last week on the popular game show.

Bachmann 153rd Candidate to File 2012 Presidential Paperwork and 1 of 4 This Week

FEC documents show 156 individuals from more than 35 states have filed to run for the presidency in 2012; more than 1/3 have run for president before.

Obama Under Fire: Who Launched the Most Attacks at the President during the New Hampshire Debate?

Mitt Romney landed the most jabs at Obama among the seven candidates; Herman Cain and Ron Paul, meanwhile, pulled the most punches.

Face Time: Which Republican Candidate Won the Battle for the Camera Lens?

Romney spoke for 11 minutes and 21 seconds with five other candidates clocking in at less than 9 minutes and 40 seconds; Pawlenty came in second with 10:51.

Remember When? Bachmann Once Led the Cheers for Ron Paul 2012 Candidacy

Less than two years ago, Bachmann was Paul's opening act and applauded his prospective 2012 candidacy; on Monday the two U.S. Representatives share the New Hampshire stage as equals.

Obama the Most Veto-Shy President Since James Garfield

Obama has issued just one veto every 435 days; the presidential average since 1881 is once every 20 days.

Rick Santorum, Catholicism, and the 2012 Republican Ticket

Republicans have nominated a Catholic just once on the presidential ballot in 152 years, compared to seven times for the Democrats since 1928.

Bachmann vs. Pawlenty: How do Same-State Same Party Presidential Rivals Fare?

More than two-dozen pairs of candidates from the same state have sought the same major party nomination in the post-Civil War era; 15 have won the nomination and nine the presidency.

Gillibrand Scores Biggest Fundraising Surge Among 2012 U.S. Senate Incumbents

New York junior Senator jumps from #17 to #5 for cash on hand among 2012 U.S. Senate incumbents last quarter.

Reading the Tweet Leaves: Sarah Palin's Vanishing Act

Palin tweeting 64 percent less frequently in 2011 compared to 2010

Gingrich Launches First Presidential Bid by House Speaker Since 1940

Gingrich becomes just the 4th sitting or ex-House Speaker to run for president since 1900 and the first since World War II

A House Divided: A Content Analysis of Congressional Press Releases on the bin Laden Killing

Less than 25 percent of Republican U.S. House members give credit to Obama in press releases on the bin Laden kill; less than 3 percent of Democrats acknowledge Bush

How Many U.S. Secretaries of Defense Have Served in the Military?

3 in 10 defense secretaries never served in the nation's Armed Forces

Ron Paul to Become 3rd Oldest Major Party Presidential Candidate in U.S. History

Only Minnesota's Harold Stassen and Alaska's Mike Gravel would have made older presidents if elected

House Republican Committee Chairs Enjoy Huge Spike in Fundraising

Collective contributions to 21 GOP House Committee chairs up 93 percent in Q1 2011 from same period in 2009

Extra! Hollywood Casting Call for "Budget Battles" (House Republicans Edition)

Who would Hollywood cast to play the key House Republicans as D.C. sorts out its accounting mess?

Will 2nd Time Be a Charm for Mitt Romney as He Attempts to Buck History in 2012?

Only five candidates have been elected to the White House on their second attempt

2012 U.S. Senate Incumbent Cash on Hand Rankings

Most "safe" incumbents lagging behind the pack in cash on hand through 2010



Political Crumbs

Small Club in St. Paul

Mark Dayton is one of just three Minnesotans ever elected to three different statewide offices. Dayton, of course, had previously served as State Auditor (1991-1995) and U.S. Senator (2001-2007) before winning the governorship in 2010. At that time, he joined Republicans Edward Thye and J.A.A. Burnquist on this very short list. Burnquist was elected governor in 1914 but then became governor after the death of Democrat Winfield Hammond in 1915. He then won the gubernatorial elections of 1916 and 1918 and eight terms as attorney general two decades later (1939-1955). Thye was similarly first elected lieutenant governor of the Gopher State and became governor after the resignation of fellow GOPer Harold Stasson in 1943. Thye won one additional full term as governor in 1944 and then two terms to the U.S. Senate (1947-1959). Twenty Minnesotans have been elected to two different statewide offices.


Respect Your Elders?

With retirement announcements this year by veteran U.S. Representatives such as 30-term Democrat John Dingell of Michigan, 20-term Democrat George Miller of California, and 18-term Republican Tom Petri of Wisconsin, it is no surprise that retirees from the 113th Congress are one of the most experienced cohorts in recent decades. Overall, these 24 exiting members of the House have served an average of 11.0 terms - the second longest tenure among retirees across the last 18 cycles since 1980. Only the U.S. Representatives retiring in 2006 had more experience, averaging 11.9 terms. (In that cycle, 10 of the 11 retiring members served at least 10 terms, with GOPer Bill Jenkins of Tennessee the lone exception at just five). Even without the aforementioned Dingell, the average length of service in the chamber of the remaining 23 retirees in 2014 is 10.2 terms - which would still be the third highest since 1980 behind the 2006 and 2012 (10.5 terms) cycles.


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