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Longshots At-Large

In addition to facing an electorate prone to split-ticket voting, Montana Republican U.S. Representative Denny Rehberg faced another historical hurdle in his attempt to unseat Democratic U.S. Senator Jon Tester earlier this month. With Rehberg's loss, just 3 of 18 at-large U.S. House members have ousted incumbents in U.S. Senate...

Dear Bret and Karl

During the marathon election night coverage a statement qualifying Barack Obama's reelection victory was repeatedly mentioned on FOX News. Anchor Bret Baier characterized Obama as the "First president ever to be reelected with fewer electoral votes than the first time." FOX contributor Karl Rove later added: "This is the first...

Could Democrats Gain US Senate Seats with Obama Loss?

Is it possible for Democrats to lose the White House and still gain seats in the U.S. Senate? Possible, but not likely. In the 15 cycles in which the incumbent party has lost the White House since 1860, on only three occasions was that party able to make gains in...

To Flip or Not to Flip?

Since 1832, at least one state with 10+ electoral votes has flipped from the previous cycle in 43 of 45 presidential elections, and at least one state with 20 or more votes has switched in 35 cycles. Indiana (and its 11 electoral votes) seems assured to flip this November, while...

Close Shaves in MN-06

A new SurveyUSA poll finds Michele Bachmann leading by single digits among likely voters against political novice and hotelier Jim Graves, 50 to 41 percent. Should Bachmann prevail by a similar margin on Election Day, it will continue a tradition for the three-term U.S. Representative. In 2008, Bachmann had the...

With Friends Like These...

Despite dozens of interruptions and multiple smirks and laughs, Joe Biden made a careful point to frequently refer to his vice-presidential debate opponent Paul Ryan as his 'friend.' The former Democratic U.S. Senator called Congressman Ryan his friend 14 times Thursday evening - frequently in the midst of or directly...

Red Ties vs Blue Ties

Wednesday evening's presidential debate was just the second debate this cycle in which Mitt Romney wore a red tie for the proceedings. The former Massachusetts governor wore blue ties for 18 of the 19 Republican presidential primary debates in which he participated. The only other time Romney wore a red...

Gary Johnson's Deepest Fundraising Puddles

Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson finds his campaign struggling not simply to reach the 15 percent threshold in public opinion polls required for him to participate in the televised debates, but even getting listed as a candidate in many of these surveys. Residents in a few states, however, are doing...

David Brooks' About-Face on Mitt Romney

With a New York Times op-ed entitled, "Thurston Howell Romney," David Brooks takes the Republican presidential nominee to task by casting him as the affable, out of touch millionaire character from 1960s Americana. But that is not the tune Brooks was singing coming out of the Republican National Convention. On...

Ann Romney Sets the Mark

At 2,330 words, Ann Romney's speech Tuesday evening was the longest of the 10 prepared remarks delivered by wives of presidential nominees in DNC and RNC history (longest in written form - putting aside delivery/laughter/applause etc.). That eclipses Laura Bush's 2004 speech to the RNC which came in at 2,262...

Vote R & R in 2012?

With the selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate, Mitt Romney's presidential ticket is now just the third in U.S. history in which the last name of a major party's presidential and vice-presidential nominees begins with the same letter. The only other two instances are the Democratic Party tickets...

Rick Nolan, Meet Ernest Lundeen

Rick Nolan's plurality victory in the Minnesota's 8th CD DFL U.S. House primary on Tuesday brings him one step closer to a return to Congress after a 32-year absence. If he wins his general election matchup against one-term incumbent GOP Chip Cravaack, his return would come after a gap in...

Akin Skates with Lowest Vote Tally Since 1928

U.S. Representative Todd Akin's 6.0-point victory over John Brunner in Tuesday's Republican U.S. Senate race in Missouri was the third narrowest GOP primary victory for the office in state history and the lowest percentage for a winning candidate in more than 80 years. Akin won with 36.0 percent of the...

Bachmann July Haul Shy of Q3 2010 Pace

Michele Bachmann made headlines Tuesday by issuing a press release on her campaign site that she raised more than a $1 million from July 1-25 - a period during which she was at the center of a controversy regarding letters she sent to various department heads asking for an investigation...

All Eyes at the Top

A recent SurveyUSA poll of likely Minnesota voters unsurprisingly found a single-digit race on the top of November's ballot (Obama up six points over Romney) and a blow-out just below (Amy Klobchuar up 24 on GOP challenger Kurt Bills). Such has often been the result over the 17 previous election...

The GOP's High Water Mark?

Upper Midwestern Democrats are hoping the large deficits they currently face in state legislatures around the five-state region (IA, MN, ND, SD, WI) do not grow in November's elections. After the 2010 cycle, Republicans enjoyed a 144-88 advantage in state senates across these states (62.1 percent) - their best showing...

Safety First

Although freshman Republican U.S. Representatives Sean Duffy (WI-07) and Reid Ribble (WI-08) are considered vulnerable by many D.C. prognosticators this November, redistricting has not spelled trouble for congressional incumbents in the Badger State over the last six decades. Since 1952, only one of 52 incumbents went down in the general...

Splitting the Electorate

With new polls released this week showing uncertainty at the top of the leader board in the Wisconsin GOP U.S. Senate race, the four-candidate field of Tommy Thompson, Eric Hovde, Mark Neumann, and Jeff Fitzgerald is likely to produce not only a plurality winner next month, but possibly all four...

Climbing the Ladder

When Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley won reelection for a sixth term in November 2010 he and his fellow Iowa U.S. Senator, Democratic Tom Harkin, were 11th on the all-time list for the longest-serving delegation members serving together to the nation's upper legislative chamber. After the first 17+ months of the...

Choices, Choices, Choices

In 2010, a total of 29 candidates ran across Minnesota's eight congressional districts - good for the seventh highest per district average in the history of the state (at 3.63 candidates) across the 78 general cycles dating back to 1857. That number appears to have declined significantly with just 18...



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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