Report Shorts (March 6, 2015) CA Senate, FL Senate, MO Governor, NC Senate

March 6, 2015 · 1:55 PM EST

California Senate. Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) decided against running for the open seat created by Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer’s retirement. State Attorney General Kamala Harris (D) continues to be the considerable favorite in the race. 

Rep. Xavier Becerra (D) hasn’t…

Pat Toomey Is a Strong Candidate. Will That Be Enough in 2016?

Stuart Rothenberg March 5, 2015 · 8:45 AM EST

Yes, I know Pennsylvania Democrats don’t have a 2016 Senate candidate who excites the entire party yet. I also know the election is 20 months away — plenty of time for them to rally around a nominee.

GOP Sen. Patrick J. Toomey’s re-election prospects in Pennsylvania next year depend to a large…

Feingold, Sestak Face History, Former Foes in Senate Rematches

Nathan L. Gonzales March 4, 2015 · 10:38 AM EST

The Senate is filled with members who lost previous races. But Democrats Joe Sestak and Russ Feingold are trying to pull off a rare electoral feat: defeating the people who defeated them six years prior.

In 2010, Republican businessman Ron Johnson defeated Feingold, the incumbent Democrat, 52…

Rand Paul, Hillary Clinton Face Foreign Policy Challenges in 2016

Stuart Rothenberg March 2, 2015 · 8:45 AM EST

While the economy is a decisive topic in many presidential elections, national security looks increasingly likely to become a top issue in next year’s contest. And if that happens, it could dramatically affect both the direction of the race for the Republican nomination and the party’s prospects in…

Remembrance of Shutdowns Past

Stuart Rothenberg February 27, 2015 · 9:00 AM EST

Republicans scored big gains in the 2010 and 2014 elections because both of those midterms were about President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party. Democrats had successful elections in 2006, 2008 and 2012 primarily because they made those elections about the GOP and George W. Bush, John McCain…

Senate Challenger Battles Secretary of State Curse

Nathan L. Gonzales February 24, 2015 · 7:21 AM EST

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, a Democrat, announced his challenge to GOP Sen. Roy Blunt Thursday. But he’ll have to overcome the Republican lean of the Show-Me State and history in order to win.

There are many paths to the Senate, but being a secretary of state is usually not one of…

How Much Money Does it Take to Defeat a Senator?

Nathan L. Gonzales February 20, 2015 · 2:30 PM EST

Political reporters love to write about fundraising. Tracking and comparing how much money incumbents and challengers have raised and spent is a staple of political journalism. But it can also be misleading. 

If history is any guide, candidate spending can be a poor indicator of re-election…

New York 19: Top-Tier Holding Pattern

Nathan L. Gonzales February 20, 2015 · 2:29 PM EST

GOP Rep. Chris Gibson shocked the Hudson Valley by announcing his retirement from Congress after just three terms. But even though he is leaving behind a competitive open seat in New York’s 19th District, there hasn’t exactly been a stampede of candidates ready to jump into the race. Why not?

California Senate: Boxer’s Retirement Complicates Contenders’ Plans to Move Up the Ladder

Nathan L. Gonzales February 20, 2015 · 2:28 PM EST

Democrat Barbara Boxer’s retirement sets up the first open Senate seat in California in over 20 years, but it’s not quite the right timing for some ambitious politicos. 

For an open seat in a Democratic state, the Democratic field has narrowed quickly. State Attorney General Kamala Harris is…