Democratic Senate Prospects and the New Black Voter

Nathan L. Gonzales April 14, 2014 · 12:54 PM EDT

Democrats plan to turn out thousands of African-American voters this fall, in an effort to hold the Senate majority. The challenge is that some of them aren’t yet registered to vote.

Which begs the question, after opportunities to elect and re-elect the first black president, why would an African-American choose this year’s midterm elections to finally jump from the sidelines and into the game?

This question especially matters given that contests in North Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas, Michigan and Louisiana will help determine control of the Senate.

Democratic strategists believe there is low-hanging fruit in the black populations in Arkansas and Louisiana, where Democrats are defending seats, because those states never saw a well-financed and organized get-out-the-vote effort from President Barack Obama’s campaign. After all, neither state was regarded as competitive in the past two presidential races.

This cycle, Democrats on the House and Senate sides are investing unprecedented amounts of money into their party’s ground game for the midterm elections. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is set to spend $60 million on 4,000 staff in top states through the Bannock Street Project to get out the vote.

Part of that effort is focused on boosting black turnout…

Republicans to Maintain, and Potentially Grow, House Majority

Stuart Rothenberg April 11, 2014 · 4:00 PM EDT

So far, there is precious little evidence that Democrats have changed the trajectory of the 2014 midterm elections, reinforcing our earlier assessment that Democrats have little or no chance of taking back the House in November.

President Barack Obama’s weak job approval numbers, questions…

2014 House Overview (April 11, 2014) Alabama - Indiana

April 11, 2014 · 3:59 PM EDT

Alabama (6 Republicans, 1 Democrat). June 3 primary, July 15 runoff.
AL 6 (Open; Bachus, R). Among those running are state Sen. Scott Beason, state Rep. Paul DeMarco, businessman Will Brooke and former Alabama Policy Institute president Gary Palmer. From Beason’s website: “As Establishment…

2014 House Overview (April 11, 2014) Iowa - Oklahoma

April 11, 2014 · 3:58 PM EDT

Iowa (2R, 2D). June 3 primary. If no candidate receives 35 percent in the primary, party conventions pick the nominees.
IA 1 (Open; Braley, D). The Democratic field includes former state House Speaker Pat Murphy, Cedar Rapids City Councilor Monica Vernon, former state Sen. Swati Dandekar and…

2014 House Overview (April 11, 2014) Oregon - Wyoming

April 11, 2014 · 3:57 PM EDT

Oregon (1R, 4D). May 20 primary.
OR 5 (Schrader, D). Republicans hope that Clackamas County Commissioner Tootie Smith can unseat incumbent Kurt Schrader, who drew only 53 percent in 2012 against an underfunded challenger. But this is only a Republican long-shot.

Pennsylvania (13R, 5D). May 20…