Although he has been (famously) ignored by much of the media during the 2012 election cycle (vis-à-vis his relative standing in the GOP field), Texas congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul is polling at approximately 10 percent in the race for the GOP nomination. That represents a monumental uptick from his standing in the Republican field four years prior in mid-August 2007. At that time, Paul was averaging only about 1 percent among likely voters in a similarly crowded field, with Rasmussen and CNN surveying Paul at 0 percent, Quinnipiac at 2 percent, and Gallup at 3 percent. In polls with end dates over the last two weeks this cycle, Paul has come in at 6 percent according to a FOX News poll, 9 percent at Rasmussen, 12 percent at CNN, and 14 percent at USA Today/Gallup. It remains to be seen whether Representative Paul will see an accompanying boost in campaign fundraising in 2012 compared to the 2008 cycle, during which he raised an impressive $34.5 million.
Mark Dayton is one of just three Minnesotans ever elected to three different statewide offices. Dayton, of course, had previously served as State Auditor (1991-1995) and U.S. Senator (2001-2007) before winning the governorship in 2010. At that time, he joined Republicans Edward Thye and J.A.A. Burnquist on this very short list. Burnquist was elected lieutenant governor in 1914 but then became governor after the death of Democrat Winfield Hammond in 1915. He then won the gubernatorial elections of 1916 and 1918 and eight terms as attorney general two decades later (1939-1955). Thye was similarly first elected lieutenant governor of the Gopher State and became governor after the resignation of fellow GOPer Harold Stasson in 1943. Thye won one additional full term as governor in 1944 and then two terms to the U.S. Senate (1947-1959). Twenty Minnesotans have been elected to two different statewide offices.
With retirement announcements this year by veteran U.S. Representatives such as 30-term Democrat John Dingell of Michigan, 20-term Democrat George Miller of California, and 18-term Republican Tom Petri of Wisconsin, it is no surprise that retirees from the 113th Congress are one of the most experienced cohorts in recent decades. Overall, these 24 exiting members of the House have served an average of 11.0 terms - the second longest tenure among retirees across the last 18 cycles since 1980. Only the U.S. Representatives retiring in 2006 had more experience, averaging 11.9 terms. (In that cycle, 10 of the 11 retiring members served at least 10 terms, with GOPer Bill Jenkins of Tennessee the lone exception at just five). Even without the aforementioned Dingell, the average length of service in the chamber of the remaining 23 retirees in 2014 is 10.2 terms - which would still be the third highest since 1980 behind the 2006 and 2012 (10.5 terms) cycles.
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