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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...

Obama's Home State Muscle

As electoral map gurus put forth their latest projections, here is one tidbit to consider: the major party nominee from the most populous home state has won nearly twice as many presidential elections in U.S. history (32) as the nominee with the smaller home state population (17). (On four occasions...

Now That's a Long Roll Call

With many congressional retirements already announced and more incumbents likely to be unseated this fall, get ready to scratch several dozen new names onto the list of individuals to have served as U.S. Representatives next January. More than 10,700 individuals have served as representatives since 1789, with two states tallying...

Romney Strongest in McCain Country in Wisconsin

Exit polls found Mitt Romney winning over several key demographic groups in his defeat of Rick Santorum in the Wisconsin primary Tuesday, and they can perhaps best be summed up as follows: he dominated in the state's biggest Republican strongholds. John McCain carried 13 of Wisconsin's 72 counties in the...

Will Obama Again Play It Safe with His 2012 Basketball Bracket Picks?

While Barack Obama may be pulling for a Rick Santorum long-shot bid on the Republican side of the presidential ticket, it is unlikely any underdogs will make it on the president's Final Four bracket in the men's college basketball tournament. Obama has played it safe through his first three brackets...

Better to Have Votes Than Friends?

Although he served on Capitol Hill for four years in the U.S. House and 12 years in the U.S. Senate through 2006, Rick Santorum - like his former colleague Newt Gingrich - isn't exactly having a difficult time keeping track of his endorsements from current members of Congress. As of...

Friendly Faces?

In addition to his wife and a few governmental officials, an additional 19 non-governmental guests sat in the First Lady's box during the president's State of the Union address Tuesday evening. Interestingly, 17 of these 19 individuals - some of which were referenced in the president's address - come from...

Romney Support Spikes in Each New Hampshire County from 2008

Mitt Romney's strongest three counties in the 2012 GOP New Hampshire primary were his three strongest in 2008: Rockingham (#1 in both cycles), Carroll (#3 in '08, #2 in '12), and Hillsborough (#2 in '08 and #3 in '12). Rockingham and Hillsborough (both bordering Massachusetts on the south), were the...

Rick Perry Still Making English Teachers Roll Their Eyes

Although he has somewhat slowed down the use of his favorite verbal tics from 10 per debate to four, Texas Governor Rick Perry is still far and away the clubhouse leader in the GOP presidential debates when it comes to using clich├ęs. Through the nine debates since Perry first took...

The Return of the 11th Commandment?

While there certainly have been memorable moments in the last two Republican presidential debates, those who have followed the eight GOP candidates in their nationally televised performances over the last few months may have noticed something was missing: there were only three candidate-on-candidate attacks launched in both the Michigan and...

No Appointment Necessary (in AZ, MD, UT, WI)

Over the last 100 years there have been 189 appointments made to the U.S. Senate to fill vacancies created for a variety of reasons such as retirement, death, or resignations to become president or vice-president. Kentucky leads the way with the most such appointments since the introduction of direct elections...

Wednesday's Pay Day

As the Republican presidential field jockeys not only for positioning heading into the home stretch before the primary season but also attempts to pad their campaign coffers for that run, you might catch them crack a smile on Wednesdays. A Smart Politics review of the tens of millions of dollars...

Any Day But Sunday

As the political world holds its breath waiting for a final, final answer from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on his 2012 plans, one thing is for certain: if he is going to announce his candidacy in the coming week, he won't do it on a Sunday. Of the 10...

Failed McCotter Presidential Bid Unlikely to Jeopardize US House Seat

U.S. Representative Thaddeus McCotter's decision to run for president - and then end his campaign less than three months later - ought not to derail his ability to win a sixth term from Michigan's 11th Congressional District in 2012 if history is any indication. Of the two dozen U.S. Representatives...



Political Crumbs

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.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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