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National Politics


Which States Have the Most Competitive U.S. House Elections?

Wyoming, New Hampshire and Iowa lead the nation for the most competitive U.S. House races since 2002; Massachusetts, Alabama, Arkansas, and New York the least competitive

2009 Voting Record of Female Republicans in U.S. House Most Conservative in History

Analysis finds National Journal vote rankings of female GOP Representatives set record highs for conservatism in 2009

Democrats Hold Edge Over GOP for Average Years of Service in U.S. House

Despite 30 percent of its caucus elected since 2006, Democrats have served almost 1 more year per member on average than Republicans

Presidents Day Special: The Astrological Signs of the Presidents

Elected presidents most frequently born under the sign of Aquarius (1 in 5); Sarah Palin only leading contender of 2012 GOP rumored candidates to be born under this sign

Red States Hold Primaries More than Five Weeks Earlier on Average than Blue States: Which Party Benefits?

Average 'red state' primary date is June 15th, while average 'blue state' date is July 23rd. 'Purple state' average date is July 11th

Is Barack Obama Avoiding the Press?

Obama press conferences front-loaded during 'honeymoon period' of 1st term; President has held fourth fewest solo press conferences during 1st year of office since Herbert Hoover

'Professor' Obama? President's State of the Union Address Notches 4th Lowest Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Score Since FDR

Text of Obama's Address has a readability score for an average 8th grader - two grades lower than George W. Bush's Addresses and the historical average for modern presidents

A Content Analysis of President Obama's 2010 State of the Union Address

Emphasis on domestic policy and insertion of non-policy rhetoric stands in sharp contrast to George W. Bush's final State of the Union Address in 2008

All About the 39 Democrats Voting 'No' to the Affordable Health Care for America Act

Majority of Blue Dogs, Democratic Representatives in '08 pick-up districts, and Democrats in competitive districts all vote in favor of bill

Will Democrats Lose 20+ U.S. House Seats in 2010? A Counterpoint.

Two-thirds of the seats won by Democrats in 2008 (170, 66 percent) were won in landslide fashion, decided by more than 30 points over their Republican challengers

Which States Do Presidents Come From? (Not Minnesota, Yet)

Ohio leads the way with seven presidents; New York has six

Red States Have Higher Crime Rates Than Blue States

Red states across the nation have both higher violent and property crime rates than blue states, across several measures of partisanship

Is Barack Obama the World's President?

With Monday's news conference in Guadalajara, Mexico with Mexican President Felipe de Jesús Calderón Hinojosa and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, President Barack Obama continues to build on his record number of press conferences held outside of the United States. Through his first 6 months and 20 days in office,...

Republican Opposition to Sotomayor Marks Largest Supreme Court Confirmation Vote Dissent in GOP History

Last week's vote in the U.S. Senate confirming Sonia Sotomayor as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court was noteworthy foremost, of course, for Sotomayor being the first Hispanic and third woman to serve on the Court. But the Senate vote was also significant for the Republicans and what emerged...

Republican Senators Ignore 'Hispanic Effect' in Sotomayor Confirmation Vote

In the months after President Barack Obama's selection of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court, political analysts and even a few Republicans (e.g. Joe Scarborough) have characterized GOP opposition to and harsh questioning of the new Associate Justice as politically unwise. Such Republican Senators were cautioned and urged to...

How Blue Are the Blue Dog Democrats?

Congressional Quarterly's vote study for the first half of 2009 is in the books, and finds that House Democrats overall supported Barack Obama 91.1 percent of the time in which the President stated his clear policy preference on legislation that received a floor vote. But what about the Blue Dog...

Who Defected on the US House Climate Change Legislation?

The U.S. House of Representative's 219-212 vote last week in favor of the American Clean Energy and Security Act (HR 2454) passed in part due to the defection of a handful of Republicans, while more than half of the Blue Dog Democratic coalition voted in opposition to the bill. Eight...

U.S. Military Fatalities Continue at Record High Pace in Afghanistan, Record Low Pace in Iraq

As President Barack Obama approaches the 5-month mark of his administration, his political supporters, especially those on the liberal end of the ideological spectrum, are faced with reconciling the President's campaign promises on the military, national security, and the country's conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, with the policies he has...

Are Supreme Court Justices Living Longer?

Yesterday Smart Politics challenged the popular notion that Presidents have been eying younger Supreme Court nominees in recent years, presumably to deepen their impact and legacy on the Supreme Court as the judicial branch has become seen as more partisan. But an analysis of U.S. Senate confirmation data found the...

Are Supreme Court Nominees Getting Younger?

Many commentators and political analysts have speculated that Barack Obama's nomination of U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court was based not only on his agreement with her judicial philosophy, but also her gender, ethnicity (Hispanic), and youth (54 years old). In fact, political observers have...



Political Crumbs

No 100-Year Curse for Roberts

Defeating his Tea Party primary challenger Milton Wolf with just 48.1 percent of the vote, Pat Roberts narrowly escaped becoming the first elected U.S. Senator from Kansas to lose a renomination bid in 100 years. The last - and so far only - elected U.S. Senator to lose a Kansas primary was one-term Republican Joseph Bristow in 1914. Bristow was defeated by former U.S. Senator Charles Curtis who went on to win three terms before becoming Herbert Hoover's running mate in 1928. Only one other U.S. Senator from the Sunflower State has lost a primary since the passage of the 17th Amendment: Sheila Frahm in 1996. Frahm was appointed to fill Bob Dole's seat earlier that year and finished 13.2 points behind Sam Brownback in the three-candidate primary field. Overall, incumbent senators from Kansas have won 29 times against two defeats in the direct vote era. (Curtis also lost a primary in 1912 to Walter Stubbs, one year before the nation moved to direct elections).


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).


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