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Governorships


Can Democrats Knock Out Kasich in Ohio?

The 40 percent rate at which Ohio Democrats have won the governorship with a Democrat in the White House over the last century is good for third best in the Midwest - but it hasn't happened since 1952.

Could Republicans Sweep All 9 Midwestern Gubernatorial Elections in 2014?

It has only happened one time in the last 90+ years, but the political climate just might allow the GOP to claim all nine Midwestern governorships on the ballot this November.

Illinois Gubernatorial Primary Wrap-Up

Bruce Rauner becomes the 13th plurality winner in an Illinois gubernatorial primary election in state history; five have gone on to win the general election.

One Strike and You're Out? Bill Brady's Impossible Dream

No losing Illinois gubernatorial nominee has come back to win the governor's race in state history and only two have made it back onto the general election ballot.

The Elusive Republican Majority

Republican gubernatorial nominees in one state have failed to win a majority of the vote in more than 50 years.

Democrats Flirting with Poorest Nevada Gubernatorial Showing Since the 1800s

Will Democrats eclipse even the 20 percent mark in 2014 with an unknown nominee taking on a popular GOP incumbent?

Do Democratic Hopes of Beating Kline End with a Dayton Loss?

A political party losing control of the governor's mansion has picked up a U.S. House seat in just three cycles in Minnesota history.

A Year in Smart Politics

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

Kitzhaber Launches Bid to Become 2nd Longest-Serving Governor in History

If Oregon's Democratic governor is reelected in 2014 and serves out the entirety of his fourth term, he will trail only Iowa's Terry Branstad in all-time gubernatorial service since 1789.

Can Dayton Catch Lightning in a Bottle Twice?

Minnesotans have elected a Democratic governor with a Democrat in the White House in just four of 28 cycles since statehood - with none in their second term.

Return of the King: Charlie Crist and Ex-Governor Comebacks

More than half of ex-governors have been victorious in general election bids to return to their old seats since 1945.

Marty Seifert's Political Hiatus: Not a Problem

A new study suggests Seifert's three years out of government should not decrease his chances of winning the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

Plurality Blues: Governors on the Hot Seat

Since 1900, less than half of plurality-winning governors who were eligible for another term were reelected to their seat in the next cycle.

Tim Pawlenty: The Forgotten Man?

During Jeopardy's Teacher's Tournament, three educators could not name the capital city from where Tim Pawlenty governed for eight years.

Virginia's 'National Naysayer' Streak Ends While New Jersey's Continues

For the first time in 40 years, Virginians elected a governor from the party of the sitting president; New Jersey extends its streak to seven cycles - second longest in the country.

Sarvis Notches 3rd Best Libertarian Gubernatorial Mark in US History

The Virginian has the best showing in a gubernatorial race for a Libertarian in 11 years and easily records the third best showing in party history.

Sarvis Eyes Record Book in Virginia Gubernatorial Race

The third option in Virginia's top of the ballot race next week will likely rank among the Top 3 performances by a Libertarian gubernatorial nominee in party history.

Which States Have the Highest Rates of Female Gubernatorial Nominees?

Western states dominate the top of the list, with Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, Washington, and Wyoming all in the Top 10.

Tom Foley and GOP Eye Rare Split-Ticket Upset in Connecticut

For the first time in the Democratic vs Republican era, one party could sweep Connecticut's congressional seats while the other wins the governorship.

Can Alex Sink Pull a Jeb Bush?

Only one losing Florida gubernatorial candidate has come back to win the governorship in a subsequent campaign over the last 145+ years.

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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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