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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...

Romney Still Slow off the Blocks

While all eyes were on Wisconsin this week, Mitt Romney turned in more sluggish performances in presidential primaries held on Tuesday. Despite effectively sealing the nomination nearly two months ago, Romney failed to crack the 70 percent mark in two more states: South Dakota (66.0 percent) and Montana (68.4 percent)....

Thaddeus McCotter, Meet Bob Dornan

Michigan Republican Congressman Thaddeus McCotter's filing error, which left him hundreds of valid signatures shy to appear on the Wolverine State's U.S. House primary ballot in August, may spell the end of the five-term congressman's tenure in D.C. If McCotter fails in his recently announced write-in campaign to keep his...

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...

A Vote for No One

More than 50,000 North Carolina residents who voted in the Tuesday's Republican presidential primary opted for 'no preference' on their ballot, or 5.2 percent. That marks the second highest percentage of those who have done so in the 40 years of the modern primary era, behind the 9.8 percent who...

Deaths in the Cabinet

It has been 16 years since the last member of a presidential cabinet died in office - the sixth longest stretch in the nation's history. Overall, 15 cabinet members have died in office including three Secretaries of State, two Attorneys General, two Postmasters General, two Secretaries of the Navy, two...



Political Crumbs

Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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