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.
Former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez became the seventh major party or second place gubernatorial candidate in Colorado to get a second chance at the office when he narrowly won his party's nomination last month. Two of the previous six candidates were successful. Democrat Alva Adams lost his first gubernatorial bid to Benjamin Eaton in 1884, but was victorious two years later against William Meyer. Democrat Charles Johnson placed third in 1894 behind Republican Albert McIntyre and Populist incumbent Governor David Waite but returned as the Fusion (Democrat/Populist) nominee in 1898 and defeated GOPer Henry Wolcott. Gubernatorial candidates who received a second chance but lost both general elections include Democrat Thomas Patterson (1888, 1914), Progressive Edward Costigan (1912, 1914), Republican Donald Brotzman (1954, 1956), and Republican David Strickland (1978, 1986).
Nearly 40 percent of plurality winners of U.S. Senate elections lose their seat in the next election cycle. Will that happen to any of the three such incumbents on the ballot in 2014? Recent polling suggests Democrats Al Franken of Minnesota, Mark Begich of Alaska, and Jeff Merkley of Oregon all currently have an advantage over their nominated/frontrunning GOP opponents, but each is flirting with plurality support once again. Franken led endorsed GOPer Mike McFadden 48 to 42 percent in a new SurveyUSA poll while the polling group showed Merkley with a 50 to 32 percent advantage over Monica Wehby. Begich led each of the three major GOP candidates in last month's PPP survey: 42 to 37 percent over Daniel Sullivan, 41 to 33 percent over Mead Treadwell, and 43 to 27 percent over Joe Miller.
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