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U.S. Senate


Ageless Pressler Eyes Historical Rarity in South Dakota

If elected in 2014, the former U.S. Senator would lay claim to both the youngest and oldest candidate ever elected to the chamber from South Dakota.

Thad Cochran and the Elusive 7th Term

More than half of the six-term U.S. Senators over the last century did not run for a seventh term, were defeated at the ballot box, or died in office.

How Often Are Female Gubernatorial Nominees Victorious?

Incumbent female governors have won 83 percent of the time, while female challengers have won just six percent of gubernatorial general election contests.

Is There a Doctor in the Senate?

Elections in Georgia and Louisiana could bring the number of physicians in the Senate in 2015 to its highest level in 150+ years.

Unusual Entrances: Clergymen Turned US Senators

North Carolina's Mark Harris is trying to add his name to a list of less than two-dozen members of the clergy who have served in the Senate in U.S. history and only three who were elected to the chamber since the turn of the 19th Century.

Who's Still Covering Cruz?

The Daily Caller and POLITICO by far led the way with the most front page stories this weekend on the controversial Texas U.S. Senator.

Chuck Grassley: Keeps on Ticking

The oldest U.S. Senator in Iowa history is now eying the #1 spot for the longest-serving member of the chamber from the Hawkeye State.

The Third Wheel: States with the Most 3rd Party US Senate Candidacies

New Jersey leads a pack of Northeastern and Midwestern states with the highest rate of independent and third party candidates in U.S. Senate elections over the past century.

West Virginia 2014 US Senate Race to Feature Rare Matchup

Only 12 U.S. Senate elections have involved two major party female nominees in U.S. history and just two of these without a female incumbent.

Kurt Evans Redux: A History of 3rd Party South Dakota US Senate Candidacies

The Mount Rushmore State has placed only six third party or independent U.S. Senate candidates on the ballot since 1938 - by far the lowest in the Upper Midwest.

64 Percent of 9/11 Legislators Are Out of Congress

Only 36 percent of the 531 U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives in office on September 11, 2001 are still in Congress.

Could Scott Brown Win the Presidency?

Brown might be considering a presidential run, but very few presidents since Lincoln lost their last statewide race.

Unusual Exits: 6 Members of Congress Killed by Accidental Gunshots

Hunting moose...hunting ducks...cleaning a shotgun...a half-dozen members of Congress learned too late about the importance of firearms safety.

Alexander: 1st Tennessee GOP US Senator to Face Viable Primary Challenger

The Volunteer State's previous Republican U.S. Senate incumbents won their primary contests by an average of 91 points.

On the Hot Seat: US Senate Plurality-Vote Winners

Nearly 40 percent of plurality vote winners of U.S. Senate contests have lost their seat in the next election; three are on the ballot in 2014 (Begich, Franken, Merkley).

Minnesota Republican US Senate Primaries by the Numbers

The GOP is coming off its most competitive Senate primary since 1934; Julianne Ortman will become the 10th female GOP U.S. Senate primary candidate if she wins (or ignores) her party's endorsement.

Mark Pryor Could Face Historic Defeat in 2014

No incumbent U.S. Senator has lost a general election race coming off a victory in which he did not face a major party opponent.

It's Tough Being Beautiful: Falling Down The Hill

Six alumni of The Hill's "Most Beautiful" list lost election bids in 2012; nearly 40 percent of officeholders to make the list have been defeated, resigned in scandal, or retired from political office.

Harry Byrd's Death Leaves 167 Living Ex-Senators

Minnesota has the most living former Senators with eight while six states have only one (Hawaii, Mississippi, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming).

Michelle Nunn: A Return to Dynastic Politics in Georgia?

More than two-dozen Georgia U.S. Senators and Representatives had family members who previously served in Congress - but none since Sam Nunn in 1972.



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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