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Blue States in the Box

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Since Barack Obama's first State of the Union Address in 2010, 60 of the 83 guests sitting with the First Lady came from states carried by the President in the previous election

michelleobama10.jpgA familiar pattern continues to emerge with the list released by the White House today of the guests who will sit in the First Lady's box at the State of the Union Address this evening.

Excluding Jill Biden and Obama's Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, three-quarters of the 24 guests tonight hail from states won by the president last November.

Three are from California, with two each from Illinois, Virginia, and Wisconsin, and one from Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, and Oregon.

On the Romney state side, two are from Arizona, plus one each from Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Oklahoma.

Red states are actually slightly more represented this year than in 2012, when 17 of the 19 guests came from states the president had won in 2008.

Overall, since Obama's first official State of the Union address in 2010, 60 of the 83 guests in the First Lady's box (excluding administration or other federal officials) came from states Obama won in the previous election cycle, or 72.3 percent.

Of course, Obama carried more states than Mitt Romney (and John McCain) and the total cumulative population of such states tallied more than 60 percent of the nation overall in each cycle.

On the 'blue state' side, California has had the largest number of individuals seated in the First Lady's box with nine, followed by Virginia with six, Pennsylvania with five, Colorado and Wisconsin with four, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, and Washington, D.C. with three, Connecticut, Iowa, and Oregon with two, and Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Ohio with one. (Plus five from North Carolina in 2010-2012 and one from Indiana in 2010).

On the 'red state' side, 13 of the 23 guests came from Arizona (seven) or Texas (six). Another three hailed from Oklahoma with one each from Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, and Nebraska. (Plus one from North Carolina in 2013).

Twenty states have not been represented in the First Lady's box at the SOTU to date since Obama took office.

From the Obama state column: Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

From the GOP column: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

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Remains of the Data

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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