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U.S. Senate


Going Home? Joe Manchin Eyes Rare Electoral Feat in 2016

In 2016, West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin may become just the sixth former governor in the last 100 years who then won a U.S. Senate seat only to return to his gubernatorial post.

A Brief History of Illinois US Reps Running for Senate

Just eight sitting or ex-U.S. House members from Illinois have run for the U.S. Senate over the last 24 elections since 1944; the last time two or more faced off in a Senate primary was 1938.

Libertarians Notch Record-Setting Cycle in 2014 US Senate Elections

Nominees from the nation's largest third party set records in 10 states last cycle for the largest support ever recorded in a U.S. Senate election.

Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

End of an Era: Grassley/Harkin Finish #3 for US Senate Delegation Service

The Iowa duo ends up with the bronze medal for serving alongside each other in the chamber for 30 years.

Home Sweet Home: How Many US Senators Serve Their Birth State?

Over the last 100 years, more U.S. Senators were born in Ohio than any other state; over 96 percent of Ohio U.S. Senators were born in the Buckeye State.

A Year in Smart Politics

A look back at some of the reports that made headlines from Smart Politics in 2014.

The Short Half-Life of a First-Term US Senator

Three fell in 2014 and more than half of all defeated U.S. Senators over the last 100 years have been in their first term; at least one first-term incumbent has lost reelection in 47 of the 51 election cycles during the direct election era.

Two Female US Senators Lose Seats in 2014 for First Time in History

Despite losses by Mary Landrieu and Kay Hagan this cycle, female U.S. Senators have been reelected to the chamber at nearly the same rate (84 percent) as males (87 percent) over the last quarter-century.

Senate Will Have Historic Number of Ex-US Reps in 114th Congress

With a Cassidy victory in Louisiana, the 114th Congress will convene with more U.S. Senators who previously served in the U.S. House than in any Congress dating back to at least 1899.

Mark Begich and Sean Parnell Join Small Group in Defeat

Over the last 50 years, just five pairs of incumbent governors and U.S. Senators from different political parties in the same state have been defeated.

Will a Freshman US Representative Win a Senate Seat in 2016?

Tom Cotton and Steve Daines became two of just 19 House freshmen to be elected to the Senate over the last century; will a new freshman risk his or her seat to do the same in two years?

Rock Bottom: Democrats Hit Multiple Low Water Marks in US Senate Elections

Ten of the 34 states with U.S. Senate races in 2014 found the Democratic Party endure one of its three worst performances in the direct election era.

Inhofe Wins Record-Setting 5th US Senate Election in Oklahoma

The oldest U.S. Senator in Oklahoma history now has the most victories from the state in races to the nation's upper legislative chamber.

Scott Brown Becomes 1st US Senate Nominee to Lose to 2 Women

Brown is just the fourth U.S. Senate candidate in history to face major party female nominees in three different cycles; he is also the first to lose in two of them.

Mark Pryor Loss Makes US Senate History

Pryor is the first of 89 U.S. Senators to lose a general election coming off a victory in which there was no major party opponent on the ballot.

Mitch McConnell Notches Another Win for US Senate Floor Leaders

Floor leaders in the U.S. Senate have won reelection 87 percent of the time since the position was created in 1920.

Will Alaskans "Throw All the Bums Out" for the First Time in History?

Alaskans have never voted both gubernatorial and U.S. Senate incumbents out of office in the same cycle; incumbents in all three statewide offices could lose Tuesday.

Senators Greg, Bruce, and Michelle? The Names They Are a-Changin'

The Senate will likely add another James, Mike, and Steve to its ranks after the 2014 election, but could also welcome new Senators with names never previously seen among its membership.

The Revolution Continues: 3rd Party and Independent US Senate Candidacies in 2 Charts

The rate of third party and independent U.S. Senate candidacies over the last two decades has increased 60+ percent compared to the first 75 years of the direct election era; 2014 may make the biggest splash yet.



Political Crumbs

Evolving?

When Scott Walker "punted" back in February after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution he added, "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other." However, it may very well be a question that is asked at one of the upcoming GOP debates this year. In South Carolina during the first GOP debate in 2012, FOX News' Juan Williams asked Tim Pawlenty, "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution as the basis for what should be taught for our nation's schools?" Pawlenty replied, "There should be room in the curriculum for study of intelligent design" but that it was up to the local school districts if it should be in a science class or comparative theory class. At the fourth Republican debate held in California, Jon Huntsman addressed the GOP becoming "anti-science" thusly: "Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science. We can't run from mainstream conservative philosophy."


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.


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