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National Politics


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

Waiting in the Wings: A Historical Survey of Living Ex-Presidents

Barack Obama is the first Democrat since James Buchanan with two living Democratic ex-presidents to advise him

Location of Democratic National Convention Unlikely to Boost 2012 Vote in Host State

Since 1832, Democratic presidential nominees have suffered a 2.4-point average decline in host state's adjusted margin of victory (or loss) vis-à-vis the national vote compared to the previous election cycle



Political Crumbs

The Second Time Around

Former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez became the seventh major party or second place gubernatorial candidate in Colorado to get a second chance at the office when he narrowly won his party's nomination last month. Two of the previous six candidates were successful. Democrat Alva Adams lost his first gubernatorial bid to Benjamin Eaton in 1884, but was victorious two years later against William Meyer. Democrat Charles Johnson placed third in 1894 behind Republican Albert McIntyre and Populist incumbent Governor David Waite but returned as the Fusion (Democrat/Populist) nominee in 1898 and defeated GOPer Henry Wolcott. Gubernatorial candidates who received a second chance but lost both general elections include Democrat Thomas Patterson (1888, 1914), Progressive Edward Costigan (1912, 1914), Republican Donald Brotzman (1954, 1956), and Republican David Strickland (1978, 1986).


How Are the Plurality Winners Doing?

Nearly 40 percent of plurality winners of U.S. Senate elections lose their seat in the next election cycle. Will that happen to any of the three such incumbents on the ballot in 2014? Recent polling suggests Democrats Al Franken of Minnesota, Mark Begich of Alaska, and Jeff Merkley of Oregon all currently have an advantage over their nominated/frontrunning GOP opponents, but each is flirting with plurality support once again. Franken led endorsed GOPer Mike McFadden 48 to 42 percent in a new SurveyUSA poll while the polling group showed Merkley with a 50 to 32 percent advantage over Monica Wehby. Begich led each of the three major GOP candidates in last month's PPP survey: 42 to 37 percent over Daniel Sullivan, 41 to 33 percent over Mead Treadwell, and 43 to 27 percent over Joe Miller.


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