This week Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry will pass former GOP Colorado Governor John Love for 50th place on the list of the longest serving governors in U.S. history. Perry has served 3,842 days (10 years, 6 months, 8 days) since taking over for George W. Bush in December 2000. Perry recently passed up former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee who ranks #52 at 3,832 days. The list excludes gubernatorial service tallied before statehood was achieved (e.g. George Clinton of New York, who served for more than 10 years before New York became a state in July 1788). With that caveat, Iowa Republican Governor Terry Branstad, now in the midst of his fifth four-year term, tops the list at 6,012 days and counting (16 years, 5 months, 17 days). If Governor Perry serves out his full term ending in January 2015 he will have risen to #12 on the list with 5,144 days served - nipping Wisconsin's Tommy Thompson by two days.
By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.
A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat with likely 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Burke. Walker is seeking to win his third consecutive election after prevailing in 2012's recall contest. Eight of his predecessors accomplished this feat: Republicans Lucius Fairchild (in 1869), Jeremiah Rusk (1886), Robert La Follette (1904), Emanuel Philipp (1918), John Blaine (1924), Walter Kohler (1954), Warren Knowles (1968), and Tommy Thompson (1994). Three others Badger State governors lost on their third campaign: Democrat George Peck (1894), Progressive Philip La Follette (1938), and Republican Julius Heil (1942). One died in office before having the opportunity to win a third contest (GOPer Walter Goodland in 1947) while another resigned beforehand (Democrat Patrick Lucey in 1977 to become Ambassador to Mexico). Overall Wisconsin gubernatorial incumbents have won 35 of 47 general election contests, or 74.5 percent of the time.
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