U.S. Representative Todd Akin's 6.0-point victory over John Brunner in Tuesday's Republican U.S. Senate race in Missouri was the third narrowest GOP primary victory for the office in state history and the lowest percentage for a winning candidate in more than 80 years. Akin won with 36.0 percent of the vote and the last time a victorious Republican primary winner for a Missouri U.S. Senate contest received less than 40 percent was in 1928 when Roscoe Patterson won with 31.4 percent of the vote. The only other GOP winner who received less support on primary day was R.R. Brewster in 1922 with 33.4 percent. The only races decided more closely than Akin's 6-point win were Herbert Douglas's 2.3-point win in 1956 over Albert Shoenbeck and Patterson's 3.4-point win over Nathan Frank in 1928.
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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