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Race and ethnicity


Will Obama Stop Referring to Washington as the "Redskins?"

A monumental trademark decision Wednesday may put pressure on the president to stop using the "disparaging" name as he has in the past.

Who Remembered MLK? (US House Edition)

Democratic U.S. Representatives honored Dr. King via press releases at more than three times the rate of Republicans over the holiday weekend

African-American US Representatives by the Numbers

Maryland has elected blacks to the U.S. House at the highest rate in the nation since 1870; 25 states have yet to elect any African-Americans to the chamber.

Harry Truman, Presidential Press Corps Used 'Wetback' Slur in 1950s

When Don Young was 18 years old, President Truman used the term "wetbacks" in a written message to Congress.

African Americans Notch Record Number of U.S. House Seats in 2010 Election

However, decade-by-decade rate of growth of number of blacks in the U.S. House has stalled to its lowest level since the 1920s

African-Americans Still Dreaming of Equal Representation in Congress

Black Americans have been elected to the U.S. House in less than half the states throughout history and to the U.S. Senate in just three

Numerology Alert: Will 1/11/11 Be a Notable Day in U.S. History?

Over the last century, U.S. history has only provided a few examples of notable events taking place on eyebrow-raising dates on the calendar.

Race, Not Party, Defines Charlie Rangel Censure Vote

Just 25 percent of racial minorities in the U.S. House (and only 1 black) voted for Rangel censure, compared to 92 percent of whites and 87 percent of white Democrats

Pathway to the Governor's Mansion in Minnesota, Part III: Ethnic Heritage

Or, the end of Scandinavian dominance

Republican Senators Ignore 'Hispanic Effect' in Sotomayor Confirmation Vote

In the months after President Barack Obama's selection of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court, political analysts and even a few Republicans (e.g. Joe Scarborough) have characterized GOP opposition to and harsh questioning of the new Associate Justice as politically unwise. Such Republican Senators were cautioned and urged to...

Minnesota Legislature Ranks Near Bottom in Proportional Representation of African-Americans

Although Minnesota has the 4th highest percentage of women serving in state legislatures nationwide, the Gopher State only ranks 40th in the country in terms of proportional representation of African-Americans in St. Paul. Out of the 201 legislators in the State House and Senate, only 2 members are black -...

Eric Holder Fallout: How Do Minnesotans Feel About Race Relations in America?

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s provocative commentary and characterization about the state of race relations in America on Wednesday night before his Department of Justice employees has drawn both great fire and praise from across the political spectrum. Holder’s comments, however – a mixture of prose that challenged America to...

Stance of Ellison and McCollum On Israeli-Gaza Resolution Shines a Light on Liberal Voting Records

The "present" votes registered by Keith Ellison and Betty McCollum a week ago Friday on the U.S. House resolution to recognize "Israel's right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza, reaffirming the United States' strong support for Israel, and supporting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, stirred up a bit of controversy...

How to Save Minnesota's U.S. House Seat: More Teenage Mothers?

Last month Smart Politics examined the political impact on the state of Minnesota should it lose one U.S. House seat as projected by many analysts, including a recent report issued by Election Data Services. Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new data detailing the teenage...

Commentary: Race and the 2008 Presidential Election

‘Entitlement politics’ appears to be the theme of the 2008 presidential campaign on the Democratic side of the ballot. It began when Hillary Clinton got pegged with the label, running for President out of the gate with a swagger that made her seem like she was the ‘inevitable’ Democratic...

The Race Issue In Wisconsin

The University of Wisconsin's latest Badger Poll (conducted June 8-10 of 506 likely voters) provides an illuminating snapshot about its residents' views on race in America—or at least what they are willing to tell a pollster in a telephone interview. The poll revealed, firstly, that the Badger State is currently...

Beware the Race Card (It Should Already Have Been Played)

As Barack Obama continues to labor under the cloud of controversy stirred up by his longtime friend, pastor, and ostensibly mentor Jeremiah Wright, the consequence of Wright's recent high profile speaking engagements will no doubt result in an abandonment of some voters, many of whom will be white, from Obama's...



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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