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National Politics


Stand By Your President: Record-Breaking Tenures in Obama's Cabinet

Three cabinet secretaries under President Obama have already recorded the longest tenures as heads of their respective departments.

Which 1-Term US Senator Will Fall in 2014?

First-term Senators account for more than half of all defeated incumbents over the last century; at least one 1-term U.S. Senator has lost reelection in all but four of the 50 election cycles in the direct election era.

Which States Are Bellwethers for Partisan Control of the US Senate?

Two states - Rhode Island and Nevada - have elected U.S. Senators into the majority party of the subsequent Congress 75+ percent of the time over the last 100 years; Virginia has done so in each of the last six elections.

West Virginia, Utah Eye All-GOP US House Delegations in 2014

It has been more than 90 years since the last time Republicans had a monopoly on every U.S. House seat in the Mountain State.

Gender Equality in the US House: A State-by State Quarter-Century Report Card (1989-2014)

A study of 5,325 congressional elections finds the number of female U.S. Representatives has more than tripled over the last 25 years, but the rate at which women are elected to the chamber still varies greatly between the states.

Will 2016 GOP Convention Boost Nominee in Host City's State?

Republican presidential nominees have averaged a 1-point decline in the convention host state's adjusted margin of victory (or loss) vis-à-vis the national vote compared to the previous election cycle since the first televised convention in 1940.

12 Retiring, Ex-, or Deceased Congressmen with Active Campaign Websites

One announced his retirement last September. Another died in October. One resigned last week. A dozen members of Congress that aren't running for reelection still have active campaign websites - that accept financial donations.

Do Losing Presidential Candidates "Step Aside?"

Mitt Romney told America this weekend that he would not run for president a third time in 2016; was his rationale persuasive?

Presidents' Day Special: Post-Administration Presidential and Veep Longevity

Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale have lived 30 percent longer than any other presidential and vice-presidential pairing since the end of their joint political service nearly 12,100 days.

Obama Backs Holder's Stand to Let Felons Vote

"It is very important for us, if somebody has served their time, for them to be able to participate in their democracy." - Barack Obama, August 15, 2011

The Vanishing Center: Exiting US Representatives

More than half of the U.S. Representatives retiring in 2014 are within 10 points of the ideological center of the chamber according to National Journal's new vote ratings, compared to just one of 14 members running for higher office.

Eric Holder at 5: Eying #3 All-Time AG Service Mark in 2014

With Holder currently in fifth place for attorney general service, by December only William Wirt and Janet Reno will have recorded longer tenures in U.S. history.

Obama's America: State References in SOTU Addresses

When searching for episodic examples to bolster his policies in SOTU addresses, the president turns to the battleground states of North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Ohio more than any other.

A State-by-State Historical Snapshot of Michelle Obama's SOTU Guest Lists

Arizona is just the 15th most populous state, but 13 of its residents have been guests of the First Lady during President Obama's first five addresses - highest in the nation.

A Brief History of Republican SOTU Responses

Cathy McMorris Rodgers is the fifth woman from the GOP to deliver a televised opposition response and the second youngest member overall in a congressional leadership position to do so.

Who Remembered MLK? (US House Edition)

Democratic U.S. Representatives honored Dr. King via press releases at more than three times the rate of Republicans over the holiday weekend

Long Live Our U.S. Senators

Two fewer U.S. Senators are dying in office per year on average over the past half-century than during the previous 60 years.

A Year in Smart Politics

A look back at which political institutions were covered the most at Smart Politics in 2013.

10 Quotes by President Obama about Nelson Mandela

The 44th president quoted or referred to the South African leader an average of once every 88 days in office before his death.

Pollsters Ignoring Rick Perry's 2016 'Campaign'

Only two of 13 GOP 2016 primary polls conducted since April have included the Texas governor's name.



Political Crumbs

Haugh to Reach New Heights

The North Carolina U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis may go down to the wire next Tuesday, but along the way Libertarian nominee Sean Haugh is poised to set a state record for a non-major party candidate. Haugh, who previously won 1.5 percent of the vote in the Tar Heel State's 2002 race, has polled at or above five percent in 10 of the last 12 polls that included his name. The current high water mark for a third party or independent candidate in a North Carolina U.S. Senate election is just 3.3 percent, recorded by Libertarian Robert Emory back in 1992. Only one other candidate has eclipsed the three percent mark - Libertarian Christopher Cole with 3.1 percent in 2008.


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).


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