Former Democratic National Committee Chair Tim Kaine hopes the result of his 2012 Virginia U.S. Senate campaign turns out differently than how past DNC chairs performed nearly a century ago in the Election of 1916. In Indiana, former DNC Chair Thomas Taggart (1904-1908) ran in a special election for a seat caused by the death of Democrat Benjamin Shively. Taggart had been appointed to the seat in March but lost by less than 10,000 votes to Republican James Watson that November. Taggart lost again to Watson in 1920's rematch by more than 160,000 votes. In New York, DNC Chair William McCombs (1912-1916) was trounced by 15 points in his U.S. Senate race against Republican William Calder. But the 1916 cycle actually saw the state of Indiana run two former party chairs in U.S. Senate contests. An election was also held that November for the Hoosier State's Class I Senate seat featuring former RNC Chair Harry New (1907-1908). However, New bucked the trend of his DNC colleagues and narrowly defeated Democratic incumbent John Kern by less than 12,000 votes.
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.
Budget and taxes
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Race and ethnicity