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U.S. Senate


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.

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.



Political Crumbs

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.


Two Dakotas, One Voice?

For each of the last 24 presidential elections since 1920, North and South Dakota have voted in unison - casting their ballots for the same nominee. For 21 of these cycles (including each of the last 12 since 1968) Republicans carried the Dakotas with just three cycles going to the Democrats (1932, 1936, and 1964). This streak stands in contrast to the first few decades after statehood when North and South Dakota supported different nominees in four of the first seven cycles. North Dakota narrowly backed Populist James Weaver in 1892 while South Dakota voted for incumbent Republican Benjamin Harrison. In 1896, it was North Dakota backing GOPer William McKinley while South Dakota supported Democrat William Jennings Bryan by less than 200 votes. North Dakota voted Democratic in 1912 and 1916 supporting Woodrow Wilson while South Dakota cast its Electoral College votes for Progressive Teddy Roosevelt and Republican Charles Hughes respectively.


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