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Oregon: Brown Takes the Helm as Kitzhaber Resigns

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Nathan L. Gonzales February 20, 2015 · 2:27 PM EST

Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber of Oregon resigned his office last week under an ethical cloud, but Republicans still don’t have much of a shot taking over the governorship anytime soon. 

Kitzhaber was re-elected, 50 percent to 44 percent, to his fourth term just last November. But his reign in…

Report Shorts (February 20, 2015) California 44, Mississippi 1, Missouri Senate

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February 20, 2015 · 2:26 PM EST

California’s 44th District. Democratic Rep. Janice Hahn is running for an open seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and not seeking re-election in 2016. Her seat is not at risk of falling into Republican hands. State Sen. Isadore Hall (D) is running and has Hahn’s support. 

Other…

Past and Precedent: What Makes This Mississippi Special Election Interesting

Stuart Rothenberg February 19, 2015 · 10:37 AM EST

You might think the best way to understand Mississippi’s upcoming 1st District special election to fill the late Rep. Alan Nunnelee’s seat is to examine the 2008 special election in the same district. After all, that previous special election to fill the seat left open by Roger Wicker’s appointment…

What to Expect When You’re Expecting to Run

Nathan L. Gonzales February 17, 2015 · 9:59 AM EST

This is prime time for candidate recruitment, but aspiring politicos might pause to make sure they know what they’re in for before jumping into a competitive congressional race.

In the same vein as the timeless book for new parents, a bipartisan collection of campaign strategists and consultants…

Why Early Senate Polling Is Usually Useless

Stuart Rothenberg February 13, 2015 · 1:20 PM EST

I never pay too much attention to early polls, since snapshots of a race more than 18 months before Election Day can be misleading.

And political parties ought to be careful about crowing too loudly about early polls for fear someone will look too closely into them.

A Feb. 10 “rapid response”…

Why Special Elections Really Matter

Nathan L. Gonzales February 12, 2015 · 9:43 AM EST

Special elections matter, but not for the reasons you might think.

It’s an annual sport in politics: arguing whether special elections serve as bellwethers. But while special elections often poorly portend results around the country, they can produce potential leaders. They’re also excellent…

Is Ben Carson Really a Viable Presidential Candidate?

Stuart Rothenberg February 11, 2015 · 10:11 AM EST

Just because something has not happened before doesn’t mean it can’t happen in the future.

Barack Obama and Barry Goldwater proved that point, and Hillary Rodham Clinton could soon be added to the list. Could Ben Carson, as well?

There has been plenty of chatter about Carson and his potential…

Democrats Might Need to Lose the White House to Win the House Majority

Nathan L. Gonzales February 9, 2015 · 9:40 AM EST

“It’s going to be awhile,” wrote The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza recently, summarizing Democrats’ chances of obtaining a majority in the House.

But Democrats may not need years to dig out from their minority hole … if they are willing to surrender the White House in 2016.

Cillizza, a former…

Ohio Senate: Portman Shifts from Offense to Defense

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Nathan L. Gonzales February 6, 2015 · 2:00 PM EST

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman was a key part of the Republican effort to take back the Senate majority in 2014 by raising money to get others elected. Now he’s a critical part of keeping the majority by getting re-elected. 

On one hand, the path back to the Senate majority is simple for Democrats: win the…