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Most-Read Articles of 2011 Touched on Campaigns, Controversy

Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Former Rep. Anthony Weiner resigned this year in disgrace after an Internet sex scandal, but the New York Democrat will still collect more than $1 million in retirement benefits.

It was another fascinating year in politics.

As 2011 winded down, Roll Call took a look at our most popular news stories online.

The results were a time capsule of this wild and woolly year, from Rep. Anthony Weiner's indiscreet tweet to the super committee that wasn't so super. And, as always, these stories offer a glimpse of some of the finest reporting on campaigns and Congress around.

Here are the Top 10 most-read articles from the site this year.

1. "The Uneven Senate Landscape of 2012 (and 2014)" (April 14)

Columnist Stuart Rothenberg read the tea leaves for this April 14 piece about the GOP advantage in the 2012 Senate elections. He noted that Republicans won 24 of 37 Senate contests in 2010, putting them in a position to do well in 2012 and potentially even win a 60-seat supermajority in 2014. "The stunning imbalance means that Democrats will be on the defensive throughout the cycle," he wrote. In a recent column, Rothenberg said control of the Senate might ultimately hinge on which presidential candidate carries the day.

2. "Weiner's Pension, Benefits Could Top $1 Million" (June 16)

After Rep. Anthony Weiner resigned in the wake of a sex scandal, reporter John Stanton checked out what kind of retirement benefits he would enjoy. "According to an analysis of his available benefits by the National Taxpayers Union, the New York Democrat's pension and a savings plan lawmakers have access to similar to a 401(k) could be worth $1.12 million to $1.28 million," Stanton wrote.

3. "Poll: Majority of Republicans Doubt Obama's Birthplace" (Feb. 15)

In mid-February, reporter Kyle Trygstad shared the results of a survey by a Democratic polling firm, which found that a "slim majority of Republicans" disbelieved that President Barack Obama was born in the United States. In April, the president released his long-form birth certificate showing he was indeed born in Hawaii, though for some die-hards, the issue still has not gone away.

4. "'Sheriff Joe' Arpaio Leads in Arizona Poll for Senate Race" (Feb. 14)

In February, reporter David M. Drucker wrote about a poll of likely Republican primary voters by the Summit Consulting Group which showed tough-talking Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio beating Rep. Jeff Flake and former Rep. J.D. Hayworth in the GOP primary to replace retiring Sen. Jon Kyl. Arpaio has stayed involved in national and local politics but never entered the primary. It now looks like an easy win for Flake, who faces real-estate investor Wil Cardon. Democrats face their own primary between former Surgeon General Richard Carmona and former state party chairman Don Bivens.

5. "FBI Saw Dark Side of Rep. John Murtha" (Oct. 25)

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