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Tim Pawlenty Returns to Jeopardy! After Three-Year Hiatus

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But a single pop culture moment is unlikely to launch a new political campaign for one of Minnesota's biggest Republican names any time soon

Jeopardy! just can't stop loving Minnesota politicians.

timpawlenty12.jpgMichele Bachmann has become a regular fixture on the popular game show - with her name coming up four times in the last year and a half.

And now, after a three-year hiatus, Bachmann's fellow failed 2012 Republican presidential candidate and former two-term Governor Tim Pawlenty resurfaced on Wednesday's program.

Pawlenty secured the prime $2,000 slot in the Double Jeopardy round yesterday, for the following clue in the on-the-nose category "Governors":

Seen here, he took over the governor gig from Jesse Ventura.

New Jersey law clerk and challenger Greg Haroutunian correctly rang in.

However, like every contestant who has correctly answered clues about Minnesota's controversial Congresswoman, Mr. Haroutunian won the battle, but lost the war, and ended up with just $2 after Final Jeopardy.

Other governors mentioned in the category were:

$400 This Arkansas governor is seen here before and after losing 100 pounds. (Mike Huckabee)

$800 Before becoming governor, he served for two decades as a state senator from Harlem. (David Patterson)

$1,200 In 1928, discontented rural voters helped make him Louisiana governor. (Huey Long)

$1,600 In 1982, this politician was elected Texas Treasurer - the first woman politician to win a state office in 50 years. (Ann Richards)

Wednesday's program marked the third time Pawlenty has 'appeared' on the game show.

On October 15, 2008 (show #5543), Pawlenty's name was mentioned along with governors of Ohio and New Mexico in the $800 clue in the category "The "G"-8":

2008 job title for Ted Strickland, Tim Pawlenty & Bill Richardson

Challenger Meredith Robbins, a library media specialist from New York, correctly stated, "What is governor?"

Robbins ended up winning the show with $5,700.

Then, on June 24, 2010 (show # 5949), "Tim Pawlenty" was the $1,600 clue in the category "State the State of the Governor."

Defending one-day champion Joey Genereux, a biochemist from San Diego, California, correctly asked, "What is Minnesota?"

Genereux nonetheless lost his crown and ended up in second place for the show.

Pawlenty has largely been out of the national spotlight after leaving Mitt Romney's presidential campaign in the fall of last year to become the new head of the D.C. Financial Services Roundtable lobbying group.

As one of only a few well-known statewide Republicans, Pawlenty's name was briefly mentioned (and quickly shot down) as a potential challenger to his successor Mark Dayton in the 2014 gubernatorial contest.

Republicans are still searching for a candidate.

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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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