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Historically, power in Congress is partly relative

While it’s still up in the air, we could be facing another Bush vs. Clinton matchup in the 2016 presidential race — both of which are American political dynasties.

But those two families make up just one many we’ve seen and while they all may not have the same name recognition, there has been a decent amount inbreeding in Congress.

The data we’re looking at is a bit dated, but a study from 2009 gives us some solid historical perspective on the family lineage in Congress.

For example, from 1789 to 1996, approximately 9 percent of members of Congress had a relative who previously held a seat.

From 1994 to 2006, for House races lacking an incumbent candidate, 12 percent had a member from a politcal dynasty, according to an article by Brian Feinstein in Legislative Studies Quarterly.

Overall, the numbers have fluctuated over time.

The Washington Post charted it out, and the numbers peaked in the 1850s and have been fairly stable over the last 100 years:

A more current analysis by Time shows that there are 37 current members of the House and Senate (6.9 percent) that come from political dynasties.

And for the Republicans, having Jeb Bush and his dynasty try to recapture the White House in 2016 might be the GOP’s best bet. Why’s that?

Because since 1928, the only Republicans to win a presidential election were named either Nixon or Bush.

Via New York Times, Washington Post