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National Politics


Projections: 2012 Presidential Contest

All eyes on Virginia, Florida, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania...you know the rest...

Final Battleground Maps: 114 Electoral Votes Up for Grabs

A dozen media outlets still yield 10 different battleground state maps less than a week from Election Day, with an average of nine states and 114 electoral votes hanging in the balance.

Which State Will Host the Most Closely Decided Presidential Race in 2012?

Since 1824, Kentucky and Maryland have each hosted the closest statewide presidential contests five times; Ohio last did so in back-to-back cycles in 1944 and 1948.

On Presidents and Bayonets: A Historical Review

Ronald Reagan talked about bayonets more than twice as frequently as any other president; most presidential rhetoric casts the weapon as a symbol for tyranny and unjust force.

George McGovern's Post Presidential Election Half-Life Was 3rd Longest in History

Only Strom Thurmond (1948, 54 years) and Alf Landon (1936, 50 years) lived longer after losing a presidential election.

A Brief History of Presidential Arithmetic

The most basic branch of mathematics has been celebrated, indicted, and used as a political weapon by the presidency for nearly 150 years.

Town Hall Format Blunts Romney's Rhetoric of Argumentation by Enumeration

Romney rattles off only four of his patented series of bullet-point answers at the Hofstra debate versus 10 in Denver.

BuzzFeed Politics: 5 Is a Magic Number

The popular media outlet's political reporting is ripe with stories boasting compendiums of visuals in groupings of 5 and 10; BuzzFeed is also a fan of the numbers 6, 8, 11, and 15.

Did Bill Clinton Launch the First "Leave Big Bird Alone" Campaign?

Nixon, Reagan, Bush 41, and Obama all praised Sesame Street during their administrations, but only Clinton cited Muppets by name, rallying to Big Bird's defense during the 104th Congress.

The Eyes Have It: Obama Blinks 1,000 Times More than Romney During 1st Debate

The president blinked at a rate of 71 times per minute while speaking during Wednesday's debate - 1,000 times more frequently than Romney (53 per minute).

Romney Makes the Most of His 47 Percent (Allotted Speaking Time)

The president receives more than 4 minutes more face time than Romney during the first debate, or a 12 percent greater amount than the GOP nominee.

US Senate Twitter Rankings: McCain, Sanders, Reid, Paul, Grassley

More than 85 senators maintain official U.S. Senate Twitter accounts with John McCain touting the most followers; Marco Rubio has the most followers among senators with non-governmental Twitter accounts.

From Bowles-Simpson to Simpson-Bowles: Or, the Evolution of Co-Chair Billing

Alan Simpson has received top billing in 75 percent of media coverage of the debt commission this year after playing second banana to his fellow co-chair in 2010.

Is the Revolution Over? 3rd Party US House Candidacies Fall 22% from 2010

There are 97 fewer third party and independent candidates on the general election ballots for the nation's 435 congressional district races this cycle compared to two years ago.

Beyond Thurston Howell: Media Caricatures of Mitt Romney

The Republican presidential nominee has been linked to rich cartoon characters like Scrooge McDuck, Mr. Burns, and Richie Rich as well as wealthy, villainous silver screen icons like Gordon Gekko and Mr. Potter.

Withdrawn Anti-Obama Kansas Ballot Challenge Continues Major Party Ballot Access Streak

It has been 48 years since a major party presidential nominee failed to appear on the ballot in every state.

Michelle Obama's DNC Speech Written at 7 Grade Levels Above Ann Romney's

The First Lady's speech Tuesday was written at a 12th grade level - the highest in history among the wives of presidential nominees and far above Ann Romney's lowest mark of a 5th grade level.

Ann Romney and the Politics of Family

Only one other national convention speech by a presidential nominee's wife in history has incorporated as many family unit buzzwords as Ann Romney Tuesday evening (Hillary Clinton, 1996).

Will Paul Ryan Carry Wisconsin for the Romney Ticket?

The last eight vice-presidential nominees from the Midwest have carried their home state dating back to 1944 .

Ryan Seeks to Become 1st GOPer to Simultaneously Win VP and Congressional Seat

Only three previous individuals - all Democrats - have won the vice-presidency and were reelected to their seat on Capitol Hill on Election Day.



Political Crumbs

Final Four Has Presidential Approval

By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.


Three for the Road

A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat with likely 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Burke. Walker is seeking to win his third consecutive election after prevailing in 2012's recall contest. Eight of his predecessors accomplished this feat: Republicans Lucius Fairchild (in 1869), Jeremiah Rusk (1886), Robert La Follette (1904), Emanuel Philipp (1918), John Blaine (1924), Walter Kohler (1954), Warren Knowles (1968), and Tommy Thompson (1994). Three others Badger State governors lost on their third campaign: Democrat George Peck (1894), Progressive Philip La Follette (1938), and Republican Julius Heil (1942). One died in office before having the opportunity to win a third contest (GOPer Walter Goodland in 1947) while another resigned beforehand (Democrat Patrick Lucey in 1977 to become Ambassador to Mexico). Overall Wisconsin gubernatorial incumbents have won 35 of 47 general election contests, or 74.5 percent of the time.


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