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National Politics


Out of Power But Leading the Charge: Nancy Pelosi Issues the Most Press Releases of 2011

Former Speaker Pelosi issues the most press releases of any U.S. Representative during the first three months of 2011

2012 Preview: How Often Do Female U.S. Senate Incumbents Win Reelection?

A record seven female Senators will be on the ballot in 2012; history suggests one will not return to D.C

Political Flashback: What Politicians Were Saying About Libya in 2004

Many Republicans and Democrats sang a different tune about Libya and Colonel Ghadafi just a few years ago

What's in a Photo? A Political Analysis of Gubernatorial Portraits

Republican governors are eight times more likely to wear flag pins on their lapels than Democrats, and three times more likely to wear red ties over blue

Most Popular Google Autocomplete Search Results for the Nation's 50 Governors

While most top gubernatorial Google autocomplete search results are mundane, "Nazi," "racist," "birth certificate," and "death panel" define some governors

Which States Have the Longest-Serving U.S. House Delegations?

Alaska, Massachusetts, and Michigan boast the longest average length of service; Democrats average 5+ years more experience than Republicans

Republican Women 2010 U.S. House Voting Record Most Conservative in History

Analysis of National Journal vote rankings finds record highs among female GOP Representatives for conservatism in 2010

Which States Have the Longest-Serving US Senate Delegations?

Hawaii and Iowa lead the pack with battleground states littering the Bottom 10; Daniel Inouye's 48+ years of service is equal to 33 other Senators combined

Presidents' Day Special: Will Obama's Youth Be an Asset Again in 2012?

At five consecutive cycles, the U.S. is in the midst of its longest period in presidential election history in which the younger candidate has won the popular vote

Meet the New Bellwether States: Ohio and Nevada

Ohio has the longest current streak in the nation with 12 consecutive elections voting for the winning presidential candidate; Nevada has the highest rate over the last 100 years at 96 percent (24 of 25 cycles)

Presidential Battleground States by the Numbers Since 1968

Wisconsin and Pennsylvania lead the way with nine races decided by single-digits over the last 11 presidential election cycles; Missouri and Oregon are next with eight

Selection Bias? PolitiFact Rates Republican Statements as False at 3 Times the Rate of Democrats

PolitiFact assigns "Pants on Fire" or "False" ratings to 39 percent of Republican statements compared to just 12 percent of Democrats since January 2010

How High Is Too High? Unemployment and the 2012 Presidential Race

Ronald Reagan got reelected in a landslide in 1984 with an unemployment rate of 7.2 percent, while George H.W. Bush was defeated in 1992 with a nearly identical 7.4 percent rate

Experienced 'Outsiders': Do Ex-Elected Officials Make the Strongest Presidential Challengers?

Incumbent presidents have won only 50 percent of elections against former elected officeholders over the last 220 years, compared to 76 percent against sitting elected officials and those never elected to political office

Obama's SOTU: Uniting the Country...through Pronouns?

Obama's 2011 State of the Union incorporated the 2nd largest percentage of first-person plural pronouns since FDR

Keeping It Simple: Obama Records 2nd Lowest Flesch-Kincaid SOTU Grade Level Score Since FDR

President's 2011 SOTU speech was written at more than a half a grade level lower than 2010's score, which was the 4th lowest in 75+ years

Obama's Episodic Stories in SOTU All Rooted in 2012 Battleground States

Each of the personal anecdotes relayed by Obama in his 2011 Address featured individuals living in battleground states won by the President in 2008

A Content Analysis of Barack Obama's 2011 State of the Union Address

Obama's statements on education and technology rose compared to his 2010 Address, while statements on the economy and health care declined

George Allen Attempts Historical Rarity in 2012 U.S. Senate Bid

Only 11 U.S. Senators have been elected to two interrupted full terms over the last 100 years, and just 5 did so after losing a reelection bid in between

Which States Produce the Most U.S. Senators?

Over the last 100 years Ohio, New York, and Missouri have given birth to the most Senators, while Ohio, Vermont and Mississippi boast the largest percentage of home-born Senators



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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