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National Politics


Which States Own the Best Track Record in Backing Eventual GOP Presidential Nominees?

Nine states (each with primaries) have an unblemished record in voting for the eventual Republican nominee since 1976 - and not all host contests on the back end of the calendar.

50 US Senators Who Ran for President Since 1972

Sitting or former U.S. Senators from 31 states ran for president more than 60 times from 1972 to 2012 with only one winning the White House; more than a half-dozen are gearing up to run in 2016.

Which Elector-Rich States Will Flip in 2016's Presidential Race?

Since 1832, at least one state with 10+ Electoral College votes has flipped from the previous cycle in 44 of 46 elections; an average of 5.5 such elector-rich states have flipped per cycle.

A Brief History of Presidential Airports

There are over two-dozen airports named for 15 different U.S. presidents totaling more than 250,000 miles of runway.

Slam Dunk: Will 36 Record Presidential Winning Streaks Continue in 2016?

Three-dozen states are currently in the midst of their longest Democratic or Republican presidential winning streaks.

Presidents' Day Special: It's A Good Time to Be An Ex-President

The nation has had four living ex-presidents for the last six-plus years for just the second time in history; the current gap of eight-plus years in presidential deaths is the ninth longest on record.

Which States Are Likely to Split Their Presidential-US Senate Vote in 2016?

States have split their ballot only 29 percent of the time in presidential and U.S. Senate elections over the last century; 6% in NC, 11% in WI and 16% in IL (key 2016 battlegrounds).

Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

Mitt Romney's Rocky Historical Pathway to the Presidency

Only a handful of failed presidential nominees ran again and won the presidency - all in their second bid.

Home Sweet Home: How Many US Senators Serve Their Birth State?

Over the last 100 years, more U.S. Senators were born in Ohio than any other state; over 96 percent of Ohio U.S. Senators were born in the Buckeye State.

A Year in Smart Politics

A look back at some of the reports that made headlines from Smart Politics in 2014.

The Short Half-Life of a First-Term US Senator

Three fell in 2014 and more than half of all defeated U.S. Senators over the last 100 years have been in their first term; at least one first-term incumbent has lost reelection in 47 of the 51 election cycles during the direct election era.

Did Jeb Bush Wait Too Long to Run for President?

It has been 150+ years since the last time there was a 14-year gap between a presidential candidate's last legislative or executive office electoral victory and a successful White House campaign.

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.

Two Female US Senators Lose Seats in 2014 for First Time in History

Despite losses by Mary Landrieu and Kay Hagan this cycle, female U.S. Senators have been reelected to the chamber at nearly the same rate (84 percent) as males (87 percent) over the last quarter-century.

Senate Will Have Historic Number of Ex-US Reps in 114th Congress

With a Cassidy victory in Louisiana, the 114th Congress will convene with more U.S. Senators who previously served in the U.S. House than in any Congress dating back to at least 1899.

The Day After: How the Dow Jones 'Reacts' to Election Day Results

Gains in the stock market last Wednesday after the GOP wave were only slightly above the historical average; the biggest day-after drops in the market have occurred after the election of Democratic presidents.

Rock Bottom: Democrats Hit Multiple Low Water Marks in US Senate Elections

Ten of the 34 states with U.S. Senate races in 2014 found the Democratic Party endure one of its three worst performances in the direct election era.

Senators Greg, Bruce, and Michelle? The Names They Are a-Changin'

The Senate will likely add another James, Mike, and Steve to its ranks after the 2014 election, but could also welcome new Senators with names never previously seen among its membership.

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.

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Political Crumbs

73 Months and Counting

January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


Two Dakotas, One Voice?

For each of the last 24 presidential elections since 1920, North and South Dakota have voted in unison - casting their ballots for the same nominee. For 21 of these cycles (including each of the last 12 since 1968) Republicans carried the Dakotas with just three cycles going to the Democrats (1932, 1936, and 1964). This streak stands in contrast to the first few decades after statehood when North and South Dakota supported different nominees in four of the first seven cycles. North Dakota narrowly backed Populist James Weaver in 1892 while South Dakota voted for incumbent Republican Benjamin Harrison. In 1896, it was North Dakota backing GOPer William McKinley while South Dakota supported Democrat William Jennings Bryan by less than 200 votes. North Dakota voted Democratic in 1912 and 1916 supporting Woodrow Wilson while South Dakota cast its Electoral College votes for Progressive Teddy Roosevelt and Republican Charles Hughes respectively.


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