Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


A State-by-State Historical Snapshot of Michelle Obama's SOTU Guest Lists

Bookmark and Share

Arizona is just the 15th most populous state, but 13 of its residents have been guests of the First Lady during President Obama's first five addresses - highest in the nation

michelleobama11.jpgIn attendance tonight at President Barack Obama's fifth State of the Union Address will be 24 non-administration guests in the balcony boxes beside the First Lady.

Residents from 13 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are represented with Arizona leading the way with five, California, D.C., Massachusetts, Michigan, and Minnesota with two, and Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, New York, Oklahoma, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Utah with one.

Overall, 115 non-administration guests of the First Lady have been in attendance during President Obama's five such addresses since 2010.

So which states have seen its residents most frequently invited to join the First Lady over the last half-decade?

Since President Obama's first such address in 2010, the nation's most heavily populated state, California, takes a close second place behind neighboring Arizona .

Arizona, which is only the 15th most populous state according to 2013 estimates, has had the most guests over the past five years with 13.

Appearing in the balcony tonight from Arizona are physician assistant Amanda Shelley (Gilbert), teenager Joey Hudy (Anthem), 'undocumented' Americans advocate Cristian Avila (Phoenix), and US Army Ranger Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg and his father Craig (Phoenix).

Professional basketball player Jason Collins (the first male player in major American team sports to come out openly as gay) and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee will be representing the Golden State - home to 12 FLOTUS guests since 2010.

North Carolina has had the third most guests with seven followed by the District of Columbia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia with six each and Colorado, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin with four.

New York, the third most populous state in the nation, has been only represented by two guests across these five years (Corning CEO Wendell Weeks of Corning, New York in 2011 and student Estiven Rodriguez of New York City this year).

Through the first five State of the Union Addresses delivered by Obama, the First Lady has not yet invited guests from 18 states.

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

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

South Carolina and Utah are represented for the first time this year for an Obama SOTU with former Air Force servicewoman and single mother Sabrina Simone Jenkins from Charleston and Nicholas & Company President and CEO Peter Mouskondis from Salt Lake City in the balcony.

Overall, 69 percent of the Michelle Obama's guests have hailed from states carried by her husband during the previous election (76 of 110, excluding administration and governmental officials and residents of U.S. territories). (Note: Obama carried states in both cycles that cumulatively exceeded 60 percent of the nation's population).

One variable that has been nearly equal however, is the selection of guests based on gender.

Since 2010, a total of 59 males and 56 females have been guests of Ms. Obama (excluding administration staff and Jill Biden).

Note: This report has been updated to reflect the late additions to the First Lady's guest list that were announced this afternoon.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Radel Resigns with 2nd Shortest US House Tenure in Florida History
Next post: From Red to Blue

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Is There a Presidential Drag On Gubernatorial Elections?

Only five of the 20 presidents to serve since 1900 have seen their party win a majority of gubernatorial elections during their administrations, and only one since JFK.

Political Crumbs

Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting