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National Politics


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

More Likely 2012 US Senate Scenario: Connecticut to the GOP or North Dakota to the Dems?

Connecticut has never voted for a Republican U.S. Senator and a Democratic presidential nominee in the same cycle

African Americans Notch Record Number of U.S. House Seats in 2010 Election

However, decade-by-decade rate of growth of number of blacks in the U.S. House has stalled to its lowest level since the 1920s

African-Americans Still Dreaming of Equal Representation in Congress

Black Americans have been elected to the U.S. House in less than half the states throughout history and to the U.S. Senate in just three

Michael Steele Era on Par with Historical Tenure of RNC Chairmen

Over 75 percent of RNC Chairmen throughout history have served less than two full terms; 61 percent have served two years or less

Numerology Alert: Will 1/11/11 Be a Notable Day in U.S. History?

Over the last century, U.S. history has only provided a few examples of notable events taking place on eyebrow-raising dates on the calendar.

Republican Female U.S. Representatives Lead Commentary on Giffords Shooting

Nearly 40 percent of female GOP U.S. House members issued early press releases on House websites after the shooting in Arizona, compared to 25 percent of female Democrats, male Republicans, and male Democrats

Bachmann's Potential Presidential Pathway Not Well-Trodden

Only one sitting member of the U.S. House has been elected president in history (Garfield); only three presidents have been elected with U.S. Representative as the highest elected office attained on their resume

What's in a Name? From Abraham to Zell, 100 Years of U.S. Senators

John, William, and James are the most common of the 313 different first names used by the more than 875 Senators elected or appointed during the last 100 years; trending: Mark and Mike

Which U.S. Senate Seats Have Had the Most Partisan Turnover?

Six seats up for election in 2012 rank in the top 10 for the most frequent change in party control since the introduction of popular vote elections, including Sherrod Brown's (OH), Claire McCaskill's (MO), and Joe Lieberman's (CT)

Michael Steele Seeks to Buck RNC History with Appeal for Second Term

Over 75 percent of RNC Chairmen throughout history have served less than two full terms; 60 percent have served two years or less



Political Crumbs

Mary Burke: English First?

While multiculturalism and bilingualism are increasingly en vogue in some quarters as the world seemingly becomes a smaller place, one very high profile 2014 Democratic candidate does not shy away from the fact that she only speaks one language: English. In an attempt to highlight her private sector credentials working for Trek Bicycle, Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial nominee Mary Burke boasts on her campaign bio page how she made great strides in international business dealings...while only speaking English: "Despite not speaking a single foreign language, she established sales and distribution operations in seven countries over just three years." Note: According to 2010 Census data, nearly half a million Wisconsinites over five years old speak a language other than English at home, or 8.7 percent, while 4.6 percent of Badger State residents do not speak English at all.


Does My Key Still Work?

Much has been made about Charlie Crist's political transformation from Republican to independent to Democrat en route to winning the Florida GOP and Democratic gubernatorial nominations over a span of eight years. Party-switching aside, Crist is also vying to become just the second Florida governor to serve two interrupted terms. Democrat William Bloxham was the first - serving four year terms from 1881 to 1885 and then 1897 to 1901. Florida did not permit governors serving consecutive terms for most of its 123 years prior to changes made in its 1968 constitution. Since then four have done so: Democrats Reubin Askew, Bob Graham, and Lawton Chiles and Republican Jeb Bush.


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