As the Republican presidential field jockeys not only for positioning heading into the home stretch before the primary season but also attempts to pad their campaign coffers for that run, you might catch them crack a smile on Wednesdays. A Smart Politics review of the tens of millions of dollars that have flowed into the campaigns of the Republican field in 2011 finds that a plurality of money - 19.7 percent - has come in on Wednesday. That is slightly higher than Monday (18.8 percent), Tuesday (18.4 percent), Thursday (18.1 percent), and Friday (17.8 percent). Only a small fraction of campaign contributions are received on Saturday (3.8 percent) and Sunday (3.5 percent). This data excludes the last day of the quarterly fundraising cycles (March 31, June 30, September 30 etc.), in which contributions skyrocket in a last minute attempt to boost numbers. (Contributions on such days can be 10 to 20 times that of an average day).
Barack Obama has delivered an address before a joint session of Congress eight times since taking office five years ago. During his first three speeches (February 2009's inaugural address to Congress, September 2009's address on health care reform, and the 2010 State of the Union), the president's tie color of choice was red. After the GOP tsunami in November 2010, Obama has opted for a blue tie in four of his five speeches held in the Republican-controlled lower legislative chamber (for the 2011, 2013, and 2014 SOTUs and his September 2011 address on job growth). The president reverted back to his red tie only once, for the 2012 SOTU.
Tom Latham's surprise announcement last month that he would retire from the U.S. House at this end of this term was also an unusual exit in modern Hawkeye State history. Over the last 50+ years since the 1962 cycle, only six of 32 Iowa U.S. Representatives - including Latham - left the chamber via retirement, or 18 percent: Democrats Merwin Coad in 1962 and Berkley Bedell in 1986 and Republicans Charles Hoeven in 1964, Harold Gross in 1974, Cooper Evans in 1986, and Latham in 2014. Seventeen others were defeated in reelection bids, while nine ran for higher office. Five of these were defeated (Republicans Tom Tauke in 1990, Fred Grandy in 1994, Jim Lightfoot in 1996, Greg Ganske in 2002, Jim Nussle in 2006), three were victorious (John Culver in 1974, Chuck Grassley in 1980, Tom Harkin in 1984), with one yet to be determined (1st CD Democrat Bruce Braley, running for U.S. Senate this cycle).
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