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U.S. Senate


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.

Advantage Walsh in Montana US Senate Race? Not So Fast

Appointed U.S. Senators who subsequently run for their seat have been elected only a shade above 50 percent of the time.

Steve Stockman's 12 Percent Solution

Only 4 of 31 Texas U.S. Senate candidacies by sitting or ex-U.S. Representatives have been successful in the direct election era.

Bob Smith and the 12-Year Itch

With a successful challenge of Jeanne Shaheen in 2014, Smith would tie Dan Coats' modern mark for the longest gap in U.S. Senate service in the direct election era.

Buyer's Remorse? Franken Loss Would Make History in Minnesota

Minnesotans have never flipped a U.S. Senate seat in back-to-back-to-back elections.

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.



Political Crumbs

Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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