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Climbing the Ladder

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When Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley won reelection for a sixth term in November 2010 he and his fellow Iowa U.S. Senator, Democratic Tom Harkin, were 11th on the all-time list for the longest-serving delegation members serving together to the nation's upper legislative chamber. After the first 17+ months of the 112th Congress, they have already passed three pairs of senators and ascended into eighth place with 27 years, 5 months, and 18 days of service together through Wednesday. Presuming both senators continue serving until at least the end of Harkin's current term in January 2015, the duo will pass five more pairs for #3 on the all-time list, behind only South Carolinians Strom Thurmond and Ernest Hollings (36 years, 1 month, 26 days) and Mississippi Democrats James Eastland and John Stennis (31 years, 1 month, 23 days). Next on the list in seventh place: North Carolina Democrats Furnifold Simmons and Lee Overman who served from 1903 to 1930 at 27 years, 9 months, and 9 days.

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Remains of the Data

Which States Have the Longest and Shortest Election Day Voting Hours?

Residents in some North Dakota towns have less than half as many hours to cast their ballots as those in New York State.

Political Crumbs

Does My Key Still Work?

Much has been made about Charlie Crist's political transformation from Republican to independent to Democrat en route to winning the Florida GOP and Democratic gubernatorial nominations over a span of eight years. Party-switching aside, Crist is also vying to become just the second Florida governor to serve two interrupted terms. Democrat William Bloxham was the first - serving four year terms from 1881 to 1885 and then 1897 to 1901. Florida did not permit governors serving consecutive terms for most of its 123 years prior to changes made in its 1968 constitution. Since then four have done so: Democrats Reubin Askew, Bob Graham, and Lawton Chiles and Republican Jeb Bush.


No 100-Year Curse for Roberts

Defeating his Tea Party primary challenger Milton Wolf with just 48.1 percent of the vote, Pat Roberts narrowly escaped becoming the first elected U.S. Senator from Kansas to lose a renomination bid in 100 years. The last - and so far only - elected U.S. Senator to lose a Kansas primary was one-term Republican Joseph Bristow in 1914. Bristow was defeated by former U.S. Senator Charles Curtis who went on to win three terms before becoming Herbert Hoover's running mate in 1928. Only one other U.S. Senator from the Sunflower State has lost a primary since the passage of the 17th Amendment: Sheila Frahm in 1996. Frahm was appointed to fill Bob Dole's seat earlier that year and finished 13.2 points behind Sam Brownback in the three-candidate primary field. Overall, incumbent senators from Kansas have won 29 times against two defeats in the direct vote era. (Curtis also lost a primary in 1912 to Walter Stubbs, one year before the nation moved to direct elections).


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