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Governorships


Barrett Support Rises in 19 Counties, Falls in 53 Others

An increase in support in Dane and Milwaukee Counties is not enough for Mayor Barrett to stave off Governor Walker's surge in central and northern Wisconsin.

Scott Walker's Victory by the Numbers

Gubernatorial candidates seeking a rematch have now lost 5 of 7 contests in Wisconsin history.

How Big will Barrett Score in Dane and Milwaukee Counties?

Holding 2010 totals constant for the state's other 70 counties, Barrett would need to carry 75.1 percent of the vote in Wisconsin's two most populated counties to beat Walker on Tuesday (up from 64.1 percent in 2010).

Wisconsin Poised to Extend Competitive Gubernatorial Election Streak

Wisconsin is expected to join Rhode Island, Iowa, and Minnesota on Tuesday for the only states currently with four or more consecutive elections decided by single digits.

Could An Independent Swing Wisconsin's Gubernatorial Recall Election?

Only two independent candidates have ever won more than 1 percent of the vote across 73 Wisconsin gubernatorial elections since 1848; both of these candidates were former Republican officeholders.

Walker's Odds: How Often Do Wisconsin Gubernatorial Incumbents Win Reelection?

Governors in the Badger State have kept their job in 34 of 46 contests since statehood, or 74 percent of the time.

Governor vs. Governor vs. Governor

The last election cycle saw five ex-governors attempt to win back their old jobs, with success stories in California (Jerry Brown), Iowa (Terry Branstad), and Oregon (John Kitzhaber). But in 1904, the State of Wisconsin saw three governors on the general election ballot: two-term Republican incumbent Robert La Follette, former...

Barrett vs. Walker II: A History of Wisconsin Gubernatorial Rematch Elections

Losing gubernatorial candidates have come back for rematches against victorious Republicans and beat them two times out of the six rematches in Wisconsin history.

Angus King Embarks On Well-Trodden Pathway to Maine US Senate Seat

Nine sitting or former governors have been elected U.S. Senator in the Pine Tree State including four during the popular vote era.

Could Heath Shuler or Brad Miller Buck History in North Carolina's Gubernatorial Race?

Only four sitting North Carolina U.S. Representatives or U.S. Senators have won a gubernatorial election in state history, and only one in the last 100 years.

Scott Walker Faces 3rd Shortest Wisconsin Gubernatorial Tenure if Recalled

Only an acting governor and a governor who died on a Civil War relief expedition will have served fewer days in office than Walker.

The Top Five Smart Politics Reports of 2011

A look back at some of the most illuminating and controversial of the 200+ Smart Politics reports published this year.

Democrats Tally Worst Showing in Mississippi Gubernatorial Race Since Reconstruction

For the second consecutive election cycle, the Democratic vote in Mississippi's gubernatorial race declines to a new post-Reconstruction low.

Williams Records 4th Worst GOP Gubernatorial Tally in Kentucky in 140 Years

David Williams now holds two of the 10 worst showings by a Republican gubernatorial, U.S. Senate, or presidential nominee in Kentucky since 1871.

Kentucky GOP Poised for 2nd Worst Gubernatorial Showing Since 1870

Only once in the last 140 years have Kentucky Republicans failed to win at least one-third of the gubernatorial vote.

Do Governors Make the "Most Successful Presidents?"

The top rated presidents in U.S. history are split 50/50 between those who had gubernatorial experience and those that did not.

Could Tommy Thompson Win Wisconsin's U.S. Senate Seat?

No ex- (non-sitting) Wisconsin governor has ever been elected to a 1st term in the U.S. Senate

Pence Seeks First Governorship by Sitting Indiana Congressman Since 1888

A sitting U.S. Representative from Indiana has not won a gubernatorial election in 123 years

Tim Kaine in 2012 and Virginia's (Sometimes Sticky) New Revolving Door from Richmond to D.C.

Kaine campaign would mean seven of the last 10 Virginia ex-governors launched U.S. Senate bids, including each of the last five

What's in a Photo? A Political Analysis of Gubernatorial Portraits

Republican governors are eight times more likely to wear flag pins on their lapels than Democrats, and three times more likely to wear red ties over blue

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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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