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National Politics


20 Presidential Tickets That Lost Both Home States

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are not alone in failing to carry their home states this election cycle, although theirs is the first such ticket in 40 years.

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 .



Political Crumbs

Small Club in St. Paul

Mark Dayton is one of just three Minnesotans ever elected to three different statewide offices. Dayton, of course, had previously served as State Auditor (1991-1995) and U.S. Senator (2001-2007) before winning the governorship in 2010. At that time, he joined Republicans Edward Thye and J.A.A. Burnquist on this very short list. Burnquist was elected lieutenant governor in 1914 but then became governor after the death of Democrat Winfield Hammond in 1915. He then won the gubernatorial elections of 1916 and 1918 and eight terms as attorney general two decades later (1939-1955). Thye was similarly first elected lieutenant governor of the Gopher State and became governor after the resignation of fellow GOPer Harold Stasson in 1943. Thye won one additional full term as governor in 1944 and then two terms to the U.S. Senate (1947-1959). Twenty Minnesotans have been elected to two different statewide offices.


Respect Your Elders?

With retirement announcements this year by veteran U.S. Representatives such as 30-term Democrat John Dingell of Michigan, 20-term Democrat George Miller of California, and 18-term Republican Tom Petri of Wisconsin, it is no surprise that retirees from the 113th Congress are one of the most experienced cohorts in recent decades. Overall, these 24 exiting members of the House have served an average of 11.0 terms - the second longest tenure among retirees across the last 18 cycles since 1980. Only the U.S. Representatives retiring in 2006 had more experience, averaging 11.9 terms. (In that cycle, 10 of the 11 retiring members served at least 10 terms, with GOPer Bill Jenkins of Tennessee the lone exception at just five). Even without the aforementioned Dingell, the average length of service in the chamber of the remaining 23 retirees in 2014 is 10.2 terms - which would still be the third highest since 1980 behind the 2006 and 2012 (10.5 terms) cycles.


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