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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

Six for Thirteen

Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


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