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National Politics


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

Race, Not Party, Defines Charlie Rangel Censure Vote

Just 25 percent of racial minorities in the U.S. House (and only 1 black) voted for Rangel censure, compared to 92 percent of whites and 87 percent of white Democrats

Media Myth Exposed: Loss of Democratic Governorships Not Key to Obama's 2012 Battleground State Prospects

Since 1968, Democratic presidential candidates have had the same success rate in carrying states with Democratic governors as Republican governors - 33 percent

Are Democrats Becoming a Two-State Party?

Percentage of Democratic U.S. House Seats from California and New York soars to a record high of 28.1 percent after the 2010 elections

Heath Shuler Would Be Greenest (and Youngest) Floor Leader in U.S. House History

If elected, Shuler would become the first majority or minority leader with less than five terms of service in the U.S. House and the first elected below the age of 45

'No' Vote on Health Care May Have Saved Several Democratic House Seats in McCain Districts

House Democrats from McCain districts voting 'no' on health care were reelected at nearly four times the rate as those voting 'yes'

Nancy Pelosi 1 of 8 House Democrats to Win by Bigger Margin in 2010 than 2008

Only 3 percent of 230 Democratic U.S. House incumbents on the ballot increased their margin of victory in 2010 compared to 2008; Nancy Pelosi had the second largest increase

Smart Politics Projections: U.S. House of Representatives

Projected partisan shift: GOP +62

Third Party U.S. House Candidates Spike to Largest Midterm Election Mark Since 1934

With an average of more than one candidate per district, it has been over 75 years since this many independent and third party U.S. House candidates appeared on midterm general election ballots

Female Candidates to Shatter Records Across the Country on Election Day

More than a dozen women will set state records on Tuesday for female gubernatorial and U.S. Senate candidacies

Harry Reid Could Become Just Fifth Senate Party Floor Leader to Lose at the Ballot Box

Death more common than defeat in ending the reign of Senate's majority and minority leaders; over 86 percent have won reelection since 1920

Republicans Positioned to Win Nine Midwestern U.S. Senate Seats for First Time Since 1920

GOP on track to sweep all nine Class III Midwest Senate seats in the 12-state region for the first time in 90 years

Tea Party, The Movie: Panned by Critics, Loved by Audiences

Elite-public gap in evaluation of Tea Party movement as seen through the lens of Hollywood

At the Institute: Washington Update with former Congressman Vin Weber

Former six-term congressman to discuss the current political climate in Washington, the nation's pressing domestic and foreign challenges, and the upcoming midterm elections

Which States Host the Most Competitive Gubernatorial Elections?

New Mexico, Alaska, and Indiana have provided the tightest gubernatorial races in the nation since 1900; over the last three decades: Mississippi, Illinois, and Virginia

Increased Partisan Opposition in Kagan Confirmation Vote Continues Historical Trend

Six of the last seven presidents have faced increased opposition to get their second SCOTUS justice seated; Kagan receives third most 'nay' votes among successful nominees in history



Political Crumbs

Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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