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Collegiality in 110th Congress Enhanced by Rosie-Donald Junk News Feud

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As Democrats took control of Congress this week, a few reports have emerged of an apparent camaraderie between the outgoing Republicans and the incoming Democrats. Some of these reports deal with the trivial—such as Democrats taking a break from the new session as per outgoing new House Minority Leader John Boehner's request (Boehner, from Ohio, stressed the importance of a session delay due to Monday's Ohio State-Flordia BCS championship game). Other reports have linked the policy positions of Senate Republicans to their Democratic counterparts, speaking together in a more unified, outspoken critical fashion about George W. Bush's plan in Iraq (notably Norm Coleman (MN), Gordon Smith (OR), Olympia Snowe (ME), and, as he has for several months, Chuck Hagel (NE)). Reports even emerged (mostly on the Internet) that Senator Snowe would back the Democratic caucus to prevent a GOP takeover of the Senate, in the event SD Democratic Senator Tim Johnson could not convene with the new session and was replaced by a Republican by SD GOP Governor Tim Rounds.

Whether or not there is a new, true esprit de corps on Capitol Hill is doubtful, but the collegiality of Congress in its first week is enhanced by the fact that the news media—even the borderline 'straight' news media and prominent commentators like Bill O'Reilly—are spending at least as much air time covering the battle royale between Donald Trump and Rosie O'Donnell. The alternately inane and humorous exchanges between these headline-hungry personalities have made the opposing parties in Washington, D.C. seem like bosom buddies in comparison. Now that quasi-serious news journalist Barbara Walters has been dragged into the Rosie-Donald fight, the story likely has legs through another few news cycles. As a result, Congress is experiencing a true "Honeymoon" period. As the news media becomes more preoccupied with entertainment non-news, the amount of ink and airtime spent on the serous political debates and differences between the parties on Capitol Hill seems to take a backseat.

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Remains of the Data

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

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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