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Al Franken Wins DFL Endorsement for U.S. Senate

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Actor, writer, and satirist Al Franken won the DFL endorsement for U.S. Senate at the party's convention this weekend in Rochester. Franken defeated college professor Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer on the first ballot.

The endorsement comes as little surprise, although Franken had been put on the defensive in recent days—particularly by women's groups—for various articles and (purportedly satirical) comments he had made during the past decade and a half as a comedian.

Still, Franken has long been touted as the DFL's best bet to defeat 1-term Republican incumbent Norm Coleman, especially since Mike Ciresi dropped out of the race earlier this year. Franken has polled within 10 points or less of Coleman in each of the last 10+ public polls, including leading Coleman by three points in Rasmussen and HHH / MPR polls back in mid-February and late January respectively. Nelson-Pallmeyer was routinely trailing Coleman by close to 30 points in most public opinion polls.

The Franken vs. Coleman matchup is one of the most high profile Senate races in a year in which several Senate seats will be contested.

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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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