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U.S. Senate


Will the Number of Female US Senators Drop After 2014?

The number of women in the chamber has remained stable or increased in every cycle since the late 1970s.

North Carolina GOP Eyes 2nd Ever US Senate Primary Runoff

A record number of GOP U.S. Senate candidates could drag Thom Tillis into the party's second runoff in history; the last five North Carolina Democratic and GOP run-off victors lost the general election.

Crowded 2014 South Dakota US Senate Field Ties State Records

This cycle finds the Mount Rushmore State equaling historical marks for the most U.S. Senate candidates qualifying for the ballot as well as the most Republicans (or candidates from any party) in a primary race.

Choices, Choices: South Dakota Voters Get Rare Options in 2014 US Senate Race

It has been more than 80 years since South Dakotans had so many candidates from which to choose in a U.S. Senate election.

Which 1-Term US Senator Will Fall in 2014?

First-term Senators account for more than half of all defeated incumbents over the last century; at least one 1-term U.S. Senator has lost reelection in all but four of the 50 election cycles in the direct election era.

Will Kathleen Sebelius Seek a Rare Political Trifecta?

Sebelius could become the first woman to serve as governor, U.S. Senator, and cabinet head, and just the ninth individual to do so during the last 100+ years.

Will Montana Split Its Congressional Ballot Again in 2014?

Only two of 27 states have split their vote for U.S. Senate and at-large U.S. House seats in a majority of elections over the last century: Montana (78 percent of the time) and South Dakota (60 percent).

Which States Are Bellwethers for Partisan Control of the US Senate?

Two states - Rhode Island and Nevada - have elected U.S. Senators into the majority party of the subsequent Congress 75+ percent of the time over the last 100 years; Virginia has done so in each of the last six elections.

Cornyn Records Weakest Ever Primary Win for Texas GOP US Senator

He may have cruised to a 40-point win, but the two-term Republican incumbent was still less than 10 points from a runoff while recording the worst ever primary performance by a Texas Republican Senator.

Do Montanans Care Where Their Senators Are Born?

Democrats are stirring the pot after statements by 2014 hopeful Steve Daines raise questions about the depth of his connections to the Treasure State.

Georgia's Republican US Senate Primary: A Race for the Ages?

The 2014 field has a record number of GOP U.S. Senate candidates in the Peach State; one out of four Georgia U.S. Senate races have resulted in run-offs since 1968.

A Brief History of Republican SOTU Responses

Cathy McMorris Rodgers is the fifth woman from the GOP to deliver a televised opposition response and the second youngest member overall in a congressional leadership position to do so.

David Vitter Launches Historic Gubernatorial Bid in Louisiana

No U.S. Senator from Louisiana has appeared on a gubernatorial primary or general election ballot over the last 110 years.

How Often Do Special Elections Flip US Senate Seats?

The partisan hold of nearly one-third of U.S. Senate seats have flipped in special elections over the last 100 years.

Meet the 4 Senators Who Don't Use a Home State Address in FEC Filings

While four Senators file from addresses inside the beltway, one Midwesterner files from his hometown, population 373.

Landslides Ahead: Major Parties Still Lack 2014 US Senate Candidates in 8 States

It has been 96 years since the last time a major party did not field a candidate in eight or more U.S. Senate races.

Mitch McConnell: Not So Easy Target?

Only one of 14 U.S. Senate Minority Leaders in history have been defeated at the ballot box while no Senate party floor leader has ever lost when his party has netted seats in the chamber.

Long Live Our U.S. Senators

Two fewer U.S. Senators are dying in office per year on average over the past half-century than during the previous 60 years.

A Year in Smart Politics

A look back at which political institutions were covered the most at Smart Politics in 2013.

Pressler's In: Can the Political Rip Van Winkle Win?

A Pressler victory in 2014 would give him the record for the longest gap in U.S. Senate service in the direct election era.



Political Crumbs

No 100-Year Curse for Roberts

Defeating his Tea Party primary challenger Milton Wolf with just 48.1 percent of the vote, Pat Roberts narrowly escaped becoming the first elected U.S. Senator from Kansas to lose a renomination bid in 100 years. The last - and so far only - elected U.S. Senator to lose a Kansas primary was one-term Republican Joseph Bristow in 1914. Bristow was defeated by former U.S. Senator Charles Curtis who went on to win three terms before becoming Herbert Hoover's running mate in 1928. Only one other U.S. Senator from the Sunflower State has lost a primary since the passage of the 17th Amendment: Sheila Frahm in 1996. Frahm was appointed to fill Bob Dole's seat earlier that year and finished 13.2 points behind Sam Brownback in the three-candidate primary field. Overall, incumbent senators from Kansas have won 29 times against two defeats in the direct vote era. (Curtis also lost a primary in 1912 to Walter Stubbs, one year before the nation moved to direct elections).


The Second Time Around

Former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez became the seventh major party or second place gubernatorial candidate in Colorado to get a second chance at the office when he narrowly won his party's nomination last month. Two of the previous six candidates were successful. Democrat Alva Adams lost his first gubernatorial bid to Benjamin Eaton in 1884, but was victorious two years later against William Meyer. Democrat Charles Johnson placed third in 1894 behind Republican Albert McIntyre and Populist incumbent Governor David Waite but returned as the Fusion (Democrat/Populist) nominee in 1898 and defeated GOPer Henry Wolcott. Gubernatorial candidates who received a second chance but lost both general elections include Democrat Thomas Patterson (1888, 1914), Progressive Edward Costigan (1912, 1914), Republican Donald Brotzman (1954, 1956), and Republican David Strickland (1978, 1986).


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