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Presidency


'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.

Blue States in the Box

Since Barack Obama's first State of the Union Address in 2010, 60 of the 83 guests sitting with the First Lady came from states carried by the President in the previous election.

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.

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 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.

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.

Ohio: The Nation's Battleground Since 1828

Ohio has been the most politically divided state in the country in presidential elections for the last 184 years - boasting the lowest average victory margin and the largest number and percentage of races decided by less than five points.

Ohio: Gerrymandering 1, Obama Coattails 0

With only four Democratic U.S. Representatives elected from Ohio in 2012, the Buckeye State is sending the smallest number and percentage of allies of a newly-elected president to D.C. in state history.

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.

Minnesota Becomes 1st State Outside South to Vote Democratic in 10 Straight Presidential Elections

Minnesota joins Virginia as the only states with 10+ consecutive cycle stretches backing Democratic and Republican presidential nominees in state history.

Romney Suffers 2nd Worst Home State Loss in Presidential Election History

Only John Frémont in 1856 lost his home state by a larger margin than Romney out of 100+ major party presidential nominees on the ballot since the formation of the Democratic Party in 1828.

Projections: 2012 Presidential Contest

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

Will Obama or Romney Break Any Records Tuesday?

Obama set the all-time Democratic presidential statewide victory margin marks in Delaware and Vermont (and D.C.) four years ago.

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.

Less than 1% of Voting Eligible Population Polled in Battleground States This Cycle

After more than 640 polls, 531,000 individuals have been surveyed this cycle about the Romney-Obama horserace across the 57.3 million voting eligible population of the 10 main battleground states.

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.



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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