Senate News & Analysis

Democrats Start With Narrow Advantage in Nevada Open Seat

Nathan L. Gonzales March 27, 2015 · 11:02 AM EDT

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s retirement ensures that Nevada will host a top-tier Senate race in 2016.

Reid’s announcement doesn’t expand the map for Republicans, since the Democrat was vulnerable if he had sought re-election to a sixth term. But the open seat is likely to be an expensive…

Lopach Leads March Toward Democratic Senate Majority

Nathan L. Gonzales March 25, 2015 · 9:16 AM EDT

Smoke billowed out of Ted Kennedy’s living room fireplace as donors gathered in his D.C. home for a fundraiser, though the legendary senator was still on the Hill for votes.

But that wasn’t too much for Tom Lopach.

“I don’t know anyone, my house is on fire and my…

Indiana Senate Race Moves Out of Safe

Nathan L. Gonzales March 24, 2015 · 12:32 PM EDT

GOP Sen. Dan Coats’ retirement creates a takeover opportunity in Indiana next year. But Democrats will likely need some breaks to move the race from a potential gain to a top tier contest.

Coats would have started the race as a clear favorite for re-election, but now that he…

Why Primaries Aren’t All Bad

Nathan L. Gonzales March 23, 2015 · 10:04 AM EDT

Primaries can be expensive and divisive, but treating them like the plague — as party spokesmen are prone to do early every cycle — distorts electoral reality.

GOP strategists looking to hold the party’s newly attained majority are reveling in the potentially crowded field of Democrats for the open…

Report Shorts (March 20, 2015) Florida Senate, Maryland Senate, Michigan’s 11th, New Jersey Senate

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March 20, 2015 · 2:27 PM EDT

Florida Senate. Democratic National Committee Chairwoman/Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz announced on Tuesday that she will seek re-election and not run for the Senate. Former GOP Governor/2014 Democratic gubernatorial nominee Charlie Crist also announced he isn’t running for the Senate either. Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy appears close to jumping in. Reps.…

Mark Kirk Starts 2016 as an Underdog

Stuart Rothenberg March 12, 2015 · 4:58 PM EDT

Where does Illinois Republican Sen. Mark S. Kirk start in his bid for re-election? It depends on whom you ask.

The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report currently rates the 2016 race as a Tossup, while the Cook Political Report says it is a “Lean Republican” contest. The folks in…

Why Electoral Waves Are Rarer in a Presidential Year

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Stuart Rothenberg March 6, 2015 · 1:59 PM EST

Six months before the 2014 midterm elections, Arkansas Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor looked to be in serious trouble, as did the Democratic-held Montana Senate seat. Even more troubling for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the party’s seats in strongly red states like West Virginia and South Dakota resembled lost…

Maryland Senate: Democrats Jockey for Mikulski’s Seat

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Nathan L. Gonzales March 6, 2015 · 1:57 PM EST

Five-term Sen. Barbara Mikulski announced her retirement on Monday giving ambitious Maryland Democrats an open seat opportunity. But it remains to be seen how many candidates will take the plunge. 

Mikulski, who served in Congress longer than any other woman, had been raising money but was never definitive about…

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

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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 announced his decision, but Maryland Sen.…

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…