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U.S. Senate


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.

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.



Political Crumbs

Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


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