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National Politics


Obama Has Mentioned Terrorism Nearly 1,500 Times as President

Although accused by some of being too gun-shy in using the term, the president has mentioned terrorism (and terror-derived words) an average of one time per day while in office.

When Will Obama Stop Using the Term "Illegal Immigrant?"

The Associated Press has now officially dropped the term, but the President has mentioned "illegal immigrants" 28 times since taking office, including as recently as two months ago.

Who's #1 (Part II)? The Media's 2016 Democratic Field

Hillary and Joe are ranked 1-2 in eight of 11 outlets under analysis with Andrew Cuomo solidly in third.

Who's #1? The Media's 2016 Republican Field

Twenty-three GOPers have been listed as 2016 contenders across a dozen media outlets; only two candidates appear on all 12 lists (Rubio and Christie).

And the Most Notable First Lady Is...Laura Bush?

Laura Bush receives a 29 percent longer write-up than any other First Lady on the White House website's official bio pages.

Clockwatchers: Capitol Hill Republicans Showcase 'Debt Clocks' on Websites

Twenty percent of Republicans on the Hill incorporate "debt clocks" on their official congressional websites, compared to just one Democrat; GOPers also feature clocks related to the Keystone Pipeline, gas prices, and Raúl Castro.

Will Obama Become the Next William Howard Taft?

Did the president hint at his potential career ambition of becoming a Supreme Court justice during a recent news conference?

Republican Women in US House Record Lowest Conservative Voting Scores Since 2005

The two-dozen female House GOPers in 2012 tally an average conservative composite score of 72.5 in National Journal's annual rankings, falling two years in a row after peaking in 2010.

Mounting US Senate Retirements: Tired of DC or Just Plain Tired?

The five U.S. Senators who have announced their retirement during the 113th Congress are 10 years older on average than any 'retiring class' from the chamber over the last five decades.

The Death of Presidents: Beware of June and July

More than one-third of deceased U.S. presidents died in June or July; none passed away in May.

19 Candidates Definitely Running for President in 2016

Fifteen men and four women have already filed their Statement of Candidacy with the FEC - some 3 years, 8 months, and 25 days out from Election Day.

'Get It Done': Slogans Drop Obama's SOTU Address to 9th Grade Reading Level

All four of the president's State of the Union addresses rank in the Bottom 10 in presidential history for Flesch-Kincaid grade level readability scores.

The 6 Times President Obama Mentioned the Pope

What do Dave Brubeck, Lech Walesa, the Queen of England and Nelson Mandela have in common?

America Held Hostage: The Political Rhetoric of Barack Obama

Immigration. Unemployment benefits. Health care. Taxes. Obama has dusted off and stretched the 'hostage metaphor' to advance his policy agenda more than any president in history.

Duckworth, Castro Lead House Freshman Class in Early Media Buzz

While most new U.S. Representatives have lain low during their first month in office, a half-dozen freshmen have received more than half the media coverage of their entire class.

Western Women: Regional Gender Disparities in Congressional Representation

Women have been elected to the U.S. House from western states at 2.5 times the rate as the rest of the country over the last century, with the region electing nearly 1/3 of all female-held seats with just 1/7 of all House seats.

The Birth States of U.S. Representatives (113th Congress)

Eight U.S. House delegations boast an all homegrown membership, led by Iowa and Mississippi; five delegations come in at 25 percent or less including Virginia and Minnesota.

FOX Still Shunned at Obama Press Conferences

The favorite news outlet of conservatives ranks just ninth in presser questions in Obama's first term, getting to ask questions at only half the rate of the Big 3 broadcast networks.

The Literary Namesakes of US Congressmen

One of your ancestors might have been represented by James Joyce, John Milton, Thomas Eliot, or John Dryden on Capitol Hill.

The Top Five Smart Politics Reports of 2012

A look back at a few of the most illuminating, odd, and controversial reports published by Smart Politics this year.



Political Crumbs

Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


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