Lost your bid to be an ‘American Idol’? Try Congress. It’s easier.

February 3

Former "American Idol" contestant Clay Aiken (D) is said to be gunning for Rep. Renee Ellmers’s (R-N.C.) seat in Congress.

Ellmers's response: That guy couldn't even win "American Idol," so how's he going to beat me?

“Apparently his performing career isn’t going so well, and he’s bored,” Ellmers told Washington, D.C. radio station WMAL.

“As we know, he doesn't always fare all that well,” she added. “He was runner-up.”

To put that comment in perspective, let's look at it numerically speaking.

Courtesy: Ian Millhiser
Courtesy: Ian Millhiser

As this incredible chart from ThinkProgress’s Ian Millhiser notes, only two people win "American Idol" every two years — but 435 politicians win election to the House of Representatives.

And that's not to mention the disparity between the number of people who try out for "American Idol" (estimated as high as 100,000 per season and 200,000 for every two years) and the number who run for Congress (2,432 in the 2012 election cycle, per Ballotpedia).

In fact, Aiken is a long shot, but it's not because he was the second loser on "American Idol." The Cook Political Report rates the district at R+10 — that’s safe Republican territory.

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Chris Cillizza · February 3