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U.S. Senate


Maryland US Representatives Eye Mikulski's Senate Seat

Maryland U.S. Senators have paid their dues in the lower chamber at the fifth highest rate in the nation; a former U.S. Representative has held Mikulski's seat for 107 of the last 130 years.

Joe Sestak and Retread Pennsylvania US Senate Candidates By the Numbers

Only two failed U.S. Senate nominees from the Keystone State have sought a return to the chamber prior to Sestak - neither were victorious.

Will Dan Coats Retire from the US Senate (Again)?

None of the eight Indiana U.S. Senators who served longer than Coats left the chamber on their own terms.

Strickland Would Be Oldest True Freshman US Senator Popularly Elected to Full Term

Only a dozen U.S. Senators have been seated in the chamber for the first time at the age of 75+ years: nine were appointed, two were elected by state legislatures, and one won a special election.

Russ Feingold: An Unlikely Return to the Senate in 2016?

Only two defeated U.S. Senators have come back to win an election to the chamber since the mid-1950s.

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).

Going Home? Joe Manchin Eyes Rare Electoral Feat in 2016

In 2016, West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin may become just the sixth former governor in the last 100 years who then won a U.S. Senate seat only to return to his gubernatorial post.

A Brief History of Illinois US Reps Running for Senate

Just eight sitting or ex-U.S. House members from Illinois have run for the U.S. Senate over the last 24 elections since 1944; the last time two or more faced off in a Senate primary was 1938.

Libertarians Notch Record-Setting Cycle in 2014 US Senate Elections

Nominees from the nation's largest third party set records in 10 states last cycle for the largest support ever recorded in a U.S. Senate election.

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.

End of an Era: Grassley/Harkin Finish #3 for US Senate Delegation Service

The Iowa duo ends up with the bronze medal for serving alongside each other in the chamber for 30 years.

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.

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.

Mark Begich and Sean Parnell Join Small Group in Defeat

Over the last 50 years, just five pairs of incumbent governors and U.S. Senators from different political parties in the same state have been defeated.

Will a Freshman US Representative Win a Senate Seat in 2016?

Tom Cotton and Steve Daines became two of just 19 House freshmen to be elected to the Senate over the last century; will a new freshman risk his or her seat to do the same in two years?

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.

Inhofe Wins Record-Setting 5th US Senate Election in Oklahoma

The oldest U.S. Senator in Oklahoma history now has the most victories from the state in races to the nation's upper legislative chamber.

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Political Crumbs

Six for Thirteen

Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


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.


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