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Governorships


Will Kathleen Sebelius Seek a Rare Political Trifecta?

Sebelius could become the first woman to serve as governor, U.S. Senator, and cabinet head, and just the ninth individual to do so during the last 100+ years.

Can Democrats Knock Out Kasich in Ohio?

The 40 percent rate at which Ohio Democrats have won the governorship with a Democrat in the White House over the last century is good for third best in the Midwest - but it hasn't happened since 1952.

Could Republicans Sweep All 9 Midwestern Gubernatorial Elections in 2014?

It has only happened one time in the last 90+ years, but the political climate just might allow the GOP to claim all nine Midwestern governorships on the ballot this November.

Illinois Gubernatorial Primary Wrap-Up

Bruce Rauner becomes the 13th plurality winner in an Illinois gubernatorial primary election in state history; five have gone on to win the general election.

One Strike and You're Out? Bill Brady's Impossible Dream

No losing Illinois gubernatorial nominee has come back to win the governor's race in state history and only two have made it back onto the general election ballot.

The Elusive Republican Majority

Republican gubernatorial nominees in one state have failed to win a majority of the vote in more than 50 years.

Democrats Flirting with Poorest Nevada Gubernatorial Showing Since the 1800s

Will Democrats eclipse even the 20 percent mark in 2014 with an unknown nominee taking on a popular GOP incumbent?

Do Democratic Hopes of Beating Kline End with a Dayton Loss?

A political party losing control of the governor's mansion has picked up a U.S. House seat in just three cycles in Minnesota history.

A Year in Smart Politics

A look back at which political institutions were covered the most at Smart Politics in 2013.

Kitzhaber Launches Bid to Become 2nd Longest-Serving Governor in History

If Oregon's Democratic governor is reelected in 2014 and serves out the entirety of his fourth term, he will trail only Iowa's Terry Branstad in all-time gubernatorial service since 1789.

Can Dayton Catch Lightning in a Bottle Twice?

Minnesotans have elected a Democratic governor with a Democrat in the White House in just four of 28 cycles since statehood - with none in their second term.

Return of the King: Charlie Crist and Ex-Governor Comebacks

More than half of ex-governors have been victorious in general election bids to return to their old seats since 1945.

Marty Seifert's Political Hiatus: Not a Problem

A new study suggests Seifert's three years out of government should not decrease his chances of winning the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

Plurality Blues: Governors on the Hot Seat

Since 1900, less than half of plurality-winning governors who were eligible for another term were reelected to their seat in the next cycle.

Tim Pawlenty: The Forgotten Man?

During Jeopardy's Teacher's Tournament, three educators could not name the capital city from where Tim Pawlenty governed for eight years.

Virginia's 'National Naysayer' Streak Ends While New Jersey's Continues

For the first time in 40 years, Virginians elected a governor from the party of the sitting president; New Jersey extends its streak to seven cycles - second longest in the country.

Sarvis Notches 3rd Best Libertarian Gubernatorial Mark in US History

The Virginian has the best showing in a gubernatorial race for a Libertarian in 11 years and easily records the third best showing in party history.

Sarvis Eyes Record Book in Virginia Gubernatorial Race

The third option in Virginia's top of the ballot race next week will likely rank among the Top 3 performances by a Libertarian gubernatorial nominee in party history.

Which States Have the Highest Rates of Female Gubernatorial Nominees?

Western states dominate the top of the list, with Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, Washington, and Wyoming all in the Top 10.

Tom Foley and GOP Eye Rare Split-Ticket Upset in Connecticut

For the first time in the Democratic vs Republican era, one party could sweep Connecticut's congressional seats while the other wins the governorship.

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Political Crumbs

Final Four Has Presidential Approval

By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.


Three for the Road

A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat with likely 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Burke. Walker is seeking to win his third consecutive election after prevailing in 2012's recall contest. Eight of his predecessors accomplished this feat: Republicans Lucius Fairchild (in 1869), Jeremiah Rusk (1886), Robert La Follette (1904), Emanuel Philipp (1918), John Blaine (1924), Walter Kohler (1954), Warren Knowles (1968), and Tommy Thompson (1994). Three others Badger State governors lost on their third campaign: Democrat George Peck (1894), Progressive Philip La Follette (1938), and Republican Julius Heil (1942). One died in office before having the opportunity to win a third contest (GOPer Walter Goodland in 1947) while another resigned beforehand (Democrat Patrick Lucey in 1977 to become Ambassador to Mexico). Overall Wisconsin gubernatorial incumbents have won 35 of 47 general election contests, or 74.5 percent of the time.


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