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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

Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

Political Crumbs

Six for Thirteen

Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


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.


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