Senate News & Analysis

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 and…

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…

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 success, particularly considering…

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 running…

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

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. 


Ohio Senate: Portman Shifts from Offense to Defense

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…

When Activists Run for Office

Nathan L. Gonzales February 5, 2015 · 10:03 AM EST

Spending time, energy and money on campaigns is one thing. But some political activists go a step further, contemplating whether to become a candidate themselves.

California could see two such cases in the next few years, with environmentalist Tom Steyer and Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas potentially finding themselves…

Why Even Democrats Love Talking About Joni Ernst

Nathan L. Gonzales February 2, 2015 · 10:59 AM EST

Republicans and Democrats can’t agree on much of anything these days, but strategists on both sides of the aisle love to talk about Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst’s victory.

Two years ago, Ernst was a little-known GOP state senator from Southwest Iowa. She entered the national spotlight with a Continue Reading

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…

Report Shorts (January 23, 2015) California Senate, Iowa Senate, Pennsylvania Senate

January 23, 2015 · 1:31 PM EST

California Senate. Since our last issue, state Attorney General Kamala Harris (D) announced her candidacy in the race to replace retiring-Sen. Barbara Boxer (D). Harris won’t necessarily clear the field, but she is a top contender for the seat. On Thursday wealthy environmental activist Tom Steyer declined to run, but…