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National Politics


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.

Walter Mondale's Recommendations for Filibuster Reform

What rules could be introduced in the Senate to ensure the filibuster is no longer a 'strategy for hijacking' the chamber and 'demoralizing the country?'

More than Half of Senators in 113th Congress First Served in House

Six new faces entering the Senate in January served in the House and 51 overall; Hawaii, Virginia, and Massachusetts have the highest all-time rate of choosing Senators with House experience.

Women Reelected to US Senate at Same Rate as Men

A study of more than 325 sitting U.S. Senators on the ballot since 1990 finds women have been reelected at exactly same rate as men - 87 percent.

Record Book Near Misses in the 2012 Presidential Election

The Romney-Obama contest ranked among the Top 5 most competitive races ever in three states (AK, FL, NC) and the Top 5 least competitive in six (HI, MD, OK, UT, WV, WY).

Study: Governors Have No Pull Helping Presidential Nominees Carry Their State

States have voted more frequently for a presidential nominee of a different party than its sitting governor across 600 contests since 1968; even more so in battleground states.

Forerunners of the Fiscal Cliff

Chuck Grassley, Jeff Flake, Jim DeMint, and Kent Conrad have warned about budgetary fiscal cliffs for years.

Death of the Battlegrounds? The 2012 Election in History

The 2012 presidential election is the only cycle since the birth of the two-party system in 1828 to be decided by less than 15 points nationally and yet have less than 10 percent of its contests decided by fewer than five points.

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...



Political Crumbs

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).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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