Interview with John Sacret Young (West Wing Writer) with this West Wing mention at the end:
"He emphasized "The West Wing" series "is a parallel universe that does not intersect with reality. It is how we wished government worked, an attempt to deal with our higher selves."
The next season will feature a "presidential campaign we wish we could get," he said. "Based on issues and character. People you can admire who are not craven and melodramatic.""
ESPN has been mentioning the real Josiah Bartlet (who signed the Declaration of Independence) and his fictional descendant in their profile of New Hampshire.