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National Politics


Presidential Nominees Likely To Be Determined By <br>'The Unknown'

As politicians officially and unofficially begin their campaigns for the presidency in 2008, speculation about the strengths and weaknesses of each potential candidate will naturally be thoroughly debated in the media. Frequent questions already being posed by pundits include: Will Mitt Romney's Mormon faith alienate religious fundamentalists? Are John...

Upper Midwestern Republican Senators Weigh in on Bush Iraq Plan

Two more Upper Midwestern U.S. Senators—both Republicans—have released statements in response to President Bush's new plan outlined in a national address earlier this week. South Dakota junior senator John Thune acknowledged the need for change in Iraq, stated winning in Iraq is the "right thing to do for America's security,"...

Collegiality in 110th Congress Enhanced by Rosie-Donald Junk News Feud

As Democrats took control of Congress this week, a few reports have emerged of an apparent camaraderie between the outgoing Republicans and the incoming Democrats. Some of these reports deal with the trivial—such as Democrats taking a break from the new session as per outgoing new House Minority Leader John...

Will 2008 Republican National Convention Have An Impact On MN Presidential Vote?

When the Republican National Committee announced in September 2006 that its Site Selection Committee had voted to recommend the Twin Cities to host the 2008 Republican National Convention, it continued an interesting trend in GOP party politics. For the fourth consecutive convention, the Republicans will convene on a state which...

Ford Ran Successful Upper Midwest Presidential Campaign in 1976

The passing of our 38th President Gerald Ford prompted Smart Politics to take a look at his 1976 presidential campaign in the Upper Midwest—and the close races he faced with Jimmy Carter that year. Richard Nixon—who had nearly swept the nation's electoral votes in 1972—made a clean sweep of the...

John Edwards Officially Enters 2008 Presidential Race

Former Democratic North Carolina Senator and 2004 Vice-Presidential nominee John Edwards officially launched his 2008 presidential campaign Thursday. Edwards' announcement speech picked up on his 2004 stump speech in which he restated his fight for the less fortunate and his quest for America to achieve economic justice. The backdrop for...

When Words Become Reality: The Media Creation of Barack Obama

Just minutes after the Illinois State Senator's keynote address at the Democratic National Convention on July 27, 2004, media commentators and journalists began to write history by casting Barack Obama in the role of superstar, Democratic leader, and future president of the United States. Perhaps the media did not...

Upper Midwest Representatives Receive New US House Committee Assignments

Earlier this week House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced new Committee assignments for Freshmen members, plus added existing members to new Committees as Democrats increased their membership on Committees with their 30 seat gain in November's election. Starting his 6th term, Ron Kind (WI-03) was assigned to the influential Ways and...

Ethics and Corruption: A Shaky Start for the Democrats

Democrats have not yet officially ascended to power in D.C., but the early headlines coming out of Washington are not flattering to a party whose national campaign this fall included ethics and corruption as one of its central features. To begin with, House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi stumbled out of the...

Many Familiar Faces To Depart Capitol Hill After '06 Election

The anti-GOP wave that struck D.C. two weeks ago resulted in 22 Republican U.S. House incumbents being given their 2-month notice. This turnover, while quite high by historical standards, is perhaps not as remarkable as the fact that most of these incumbents had served their districts for a decade or...

GOP Struggling to Find Opportunities for Pickups in U.S. House Races

Yesterday's blog entry detailed how the Democratic Party has become increasingly competitive on a number of dimensions in challenging GOP-held U.S. House districts from 2002 to 2006. Today Smart Politics examines how Republicans have fared along these same measures—is the GOP becoming more or less competitive in Democratic-held districts? Overall,...

Seeds for Democratic Gains In U.S. House Actually Planted in 2004

Even though Democrats lost seats in the U.S. House in 2004, there are several indicators in that election that suggest their Party was making inroads to be more competitive with Republicans—inroads that paid off in a big way in 2006. Trends in several measures of party competitiveness were already working...

U.S. House: GOP Losses Could Have Been Far Worse

The headline in the battle for the U.S. House on Wednesday morning was how the Democrats not only took control from Republicans, but also gained an impressive 29 seats (up to a half-dozen races across the country are still classified as too close to call). But what has been overlooked...

Cable Television News Election Forecasts

To whom are you turning to get your Election 2006 news? On cable television, the horserace coverage that dominated the summer season (e.g. the U.S. Senate races in Virginia and Connecticut) has, in recent weeks, been replaced by more generalized, sweeping coverage in which many hosts and pundits are making...

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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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