First Look: Can Democrats Win the Senate in 2016?

Stuart Rothenberg January 29, 2015 · 9:30 AM EST

For Republicans, the fight for control of the Senate in 2016 is all about playing defense.

Unlike 2014 (and 2018), the Senate races of 2016 offer few, if any, opportunities for the GOP as the election cycle begins. The map strongly favors Democrats and suggests the possibility of considerable Democratic gains.

Republicans hope to recruit strong challengers to Democrats Michael Bennet of Colorado and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, but the other eight Democratic senators up next year come from states so reliably Democratic that Republicans don’t have any real hope of making them competitive.

On the other hand, Republicans are defending 24 seats, including seven that gave their electoral votes twice to President Barack Obama, and another two (Indiana and North Carolina) that were carried by Obama in 2008, but not 2012.

Some of the GOP seats that went for Obama twice are prime Democratic opportunities — Illinois, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, for example — while others remain only mouthwatering possibilities for now. How they will develop will depend on the quality of Democratic recruiting and other factors.

Democrats will need to net five seats to win a Senate majority in 2016, but they could win control by adding only four seats (getting to 50) if the party holds…

Democrats Looking Beyond New York 11 Special Election

Nathan L. Gonzales January 28, 2015 · 10:51 AM EST

The date hasn’t even been set, but Republicans have all but won the special election in New York’s 11th District.

The Staten Island-based district has swung from being a top Democratic target in the midterms all the way across the competitive spectrum to Democrats punting the opportunity to win…

2015-16 Gubernatorial Overview: Washington Gridlock Puts Governors in the Spotlight

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Nathan L. Gonzales January 23, 2015 · 1:35 PM EST

Congressional job approval is abysmal and faith in Washington’s ability to enact significant legislation isn’t much better. That’s why some party strategists are emphasizing the importance of governors and their ability to enact meaningful policies at the state level.

Gubernatorial races were not…

2015-16 Gubernatorial Overview (January 23, 2015) Delaware - West Virginia

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January 23, 2015 · 1:34 PM EST

DELAWARE - Open; Jack Markell (D) term-limited. The race to replace Markell will get some attention, but not because Republicans have a chance of winning. Former state Attorney General Beau Biden (D), son of Vice President Joe Biden, is widely expected to run and become the next governor of The…

Pennsylvania 8: Democrats Looking Forward to Open Seat

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Nathan L. Gonzales January 23, 2015 · 1:32 PM EST

Politicians get criticized for violating vows of term limits, but GOP Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick is sticking to his pledge, even if it costs his party a seat. 

Not long ago, Democrat Patrick Murphy held Pennsylvania’s 8th District, but that was before Republicans redrew the district to be more…