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It's a Party! (DNC Chairs Not Invited)

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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.

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Remains of the Data

No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

Political Crumbs

Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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