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National Politics


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.

Generation Gap: Romney-Ryan Ticket 7th Largest Age Difference in History

At 23 years, the 2012 Republican presidential ticket is tied for the seventh largest age differential in U.S. history out of the nearly 125 pairings who have received Electoral College votes.

Chick-fil-A: By the Numbers

States carried by John McCain in 2008 host the fast food chain at a rate of nearly three times as many stores per resident as those won by Barack Obama.

Will the 113th Congress Have a Record Number of Female Senators?

Two are retiring and at least one incumbent is vulnerable, but several strong female candidates may help offset these losses for a record of 19+ women in the U.S. Senate in January 2013.

The Western Front: Gary Johnson's Libertarian Stronghold

The Top 12 states with the largest average Libertarian vote totals in presidential elections are all located in the western region of the country, led by Alaska, Arizona, and Wyoming.



Political Crumbs

73 Months and Counting

January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


Two Dakotas, One Voice?

For each of the last 24 presidential elections since 1920, North and South Dakota have voted in unison - casting their ballots for the same nominee. For 21 of these cycles (including each of the last 12 since 1968) Republicans carried the Dakotas with just three cycles going to the Democrats (1932, 1936, and 1964). This streak stands in contrast to the first few decades after statehood when North and South Dakota supported different nominees in four of the first seven cycles. North Dakota narrowly backed Populist James Weaver in 1892 while South Dakota voted for incumbent Republican Benjamin Harrison. In 1896, it was North Dakota backing GOPer William McKinley while South Dakota supported Democrat William Jennings Bryan by less than 200 votes. North Dakota voted Democratic in 1912 and 1916 supporting Woodrow Wilson while South Dakota cast its Electoral College votes for Progressive Teddy Roosevelt and Republican Charles Hughes respectively.


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