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National Politics


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

Still thinking about running for the U.S. Senate? You're Too Late

No non-incumbent has won a U.S. Senate seat by announcing their candidacy this late in the election cycle; the average length of successful U.S. Senate campaigns since 2000 has been 447 days

Is the Democratic Party 'Overrepresented' in the U.S. House?

Democratic candidates have won 772 more U.S. House seats since 1942 than their cumulative 'proportional vote share,' or 23 seats per election cycle; +27 seats in 2008

How Do Members of Congress Use the American Flag in Their Reelection Campaigns?

Republican U.S. Representatives are 36 percent more likely to incorporate the American flag on campaign websites than Democrats



Political Crumbs

Six for Thirteen

Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


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.


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