Senate News & Analysis

Kirkpatrick’s Decision Prompts Ratings Changes in Two Arizona Races

May 26, 2015 · 1:00 PM EDT

Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick’s challenge to Republican Sen. John McCain impacts our ratings of two races in Arizona. 

Up to this point, McCain was considered a heavy favorite for re-election to a sixth term, in part because the senator has proven to be a tough campaigner. Moreover, Republicans have…

500 Attack Emails Couldn’t Take Down Thom Tillis

Nathan L. Gonzales May 26, 2015 · 11:41 AM EDT

There were a few constants during the 2014 cycle: death, taxes, my three young kids waking up before 7 a.m. and a daily Democratic email attacking North Carolina Speaker Thom Tillis. But in the end, even in the face of hundreds of blistering emails, the Republican challenger knocked off…

Can Republicans Repeat an Upset in Colorado?

Stuart Rothenberg May 21, 2015 · 11:06 AM EDT

The May 5 email I received from Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet’s campaign committee opened with: “Larry Sabato in Politico: COLORADO IS ONE OF ONLY SEVEN 2016 TOSS-UPS. Colorado will decide the 2016 election!”

Forget the fact Sabato’s piece was talking about the Electoral College and the presidential contest,…

Nevada Senate: Republicans Hope for Heck of a Race

Nathan L. Gonzales May 15, 2015 · 3:00 PM EDT

Democrats can’t afford to lose any of their own Senate seats in 2016 in order to have a chance at winning back the majority. That means holding on to Nevada. 

Nevada has changed dramatically between 2004, when President George W. Bush won the Silver State handily, and 2008 (and 2012),…

Report Shorts (May 15, 2015) California Senate, California 25, Indiana Senate, Indiana 3

May 15, 2015 · 2:56 PM EDT

California Senate. After a clumsy rollout, Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez announced her bid for the open Senate seat being left by retiring-Sen. Barbara Boxer (D). She is playing catch-up to state Attorney General Kamala Harris (D), who jumped into the race soon after Boxer’s announcement. With California’s top two…

How Much Trouble Is Richard Burr in?

Stuart Rothenberg May 6, 2015 · 10:12 AM EDT

North Carolina Republican Sen. Richard M. Burr apparently is easy to underestimate.

The former Wake Forest football defensive back (he played at 6’1’’, 200 pounds as a sophomore in 1975, according to the university’s Athletic Media Relations Department) served five terms in the House and is now in his second…

What Kind of Senate Candidates Will Do Well in 2016?

Stuart Rothenberg May 1, 2015 · 2:30 PM EDT

The list of likely 2016 Democratic Senate challengers to GOP incumbents is starting to gel, though it’s early enough in the cycle that things could change quite dramatically.

At this point, former Rep. Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania and former Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin appear headed for re-matches with…

DSCC Preferred Chairman’s Opponent in 2006 Primary

Nathan L. Gonzales April 28, 2015 · 1:20 PM EDT

If the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee had its way a decade ago, its current chairman probably wouldn’t be in the Senate today.

In the 2006 cycle, Democratic strategists in Washington preferred state Auditor John Morrison in the Montana Senate race, hoping to avoid a primary and keep the party…

‘Big Money’ and the 2016 Elections

Stuart Rothenberg April 24, 2015 · 9:54 AM EDT

Reporters love to write about money in politics, so I shouldn’t have been at all surprised by an April 20 Washington Post article suggesting campaign finance is becoming an issue in the presidential contest.

But a front-page story above the fold that relied on a couple of anecdotes…

Senate Overview: Retirements and Primaries Matter for Majority

Nathan L. Gonzales April 17, 2015 · 3:04 PM EDT

A year and a half before Election Day, the battle for the Senate is well underway.

GOP strategists are spending the first part of the cycle encouraging their incumbents to run for re-election while Democratic strategists are recruiting challengers to vulnerable Republican senators running for re-election in competitive states.