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National Politics


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

You Say You Want a Revolution? Third Party Gubernatorial Candidates Thriving in 2010

Third party gubernatorial candidates rivaling 1994 for their best showing since the Great Depression

Southern U.S. Representatives Leading the Campaign Against Illegal Immigration

Nearly half of Southern U.S. House incumbents address illegal immigration on campaign websites, compared to 30 percent from the West, 23 percent in the Midwest, and 14 percent out East

GOP U.S. House Incumbents Six Times More Likely to Run Get-Tough on Illegal Immigration Campaigns than Democrats

Half of Republican incumbents are highlighting get-tough anti-illegal immigration policy solutions on campaign websites compared to just 8 percent of Democrats

Republican Party Poised to Win Most Gubernatorial Seats in 90 Years

Republicans on pace to eclipse the 24 seats won in 1928, 1966, and the Republican Revolution of 1994

The Great Divide: Birth States of U.S. Supreme Court Justices

Only 11 of 111 justices have been born in the 24 states west of the Mississippi River; just 25 percent over the last 50 years

Should Kagan's Partisan Past and Policy Work Derail Her Confirmation?

Over half of Supreme Court Justices throughout history have served in or sought partisan legislative or executive offices

Which States Have the Most Living Ex-Governors?

250 ex-governors are still living in the United States; New Jersey has five times more living former governors (10) than Connecticut and Wyoming (2)

Remembering the Historic Gubernatorial Class of 2002

25 candidates were elected governor for the first time in 2002, the largest number since WWII; record could be eclipsed in 2010

Unfamiliar Faces: 2010 Likely to Set Mark for Fewest U.S. House Incumbents on the Ballot this Decade

Seats without incumbents on the ballot are 56 percent more likely to be Republican than Democratic since 2002

History Suggests Kagan Confirmation Process Will Be Rockier than Sotomayor's

Presidents since Woodrow Wilson have faced increased Senatorial opposition in attempts to get their second Supreme Court Justice seated; only 1 such nominee out of 13 received greater support from Senate

How Competitive Are U.S. House Special Elections?

Special elections are 17.4 points more competitive than general election contests; special election seats are also 4 times more likely to switch parties

Can Pawlenty Launch a Sam's Club Presidential Campaign from a Target State?

Minnesota ranks #33 in the nation in Sam's Club & Wal-Mart stores per capita, and ranks #1 for Target

Reapportionment Winners and Losers Through the Years

Pennsylvania (-17 seats) and New York (-16 seats) have lost the largest number of seats from their peak U.S. House delegations; the Keystone State is slated to lose a seat again for a 9th consecutive census period

Has Gerrymandering Lost Its Punch?

Current redistricting period has produced the closest relationship between votes received and seats won by party across the nation's 435 U.S. House districts since the 1940s



Political Crumbs

Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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