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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

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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