Senate News & Analysis

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…

Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran, Underdog?

Stuart Rothenberg April 4, 2014 · 9:00 AM EDT

Forget about Matt Bevin’s challenge to Sen. Mitch McConnell in the Kentucky Republican primary or Milton Wolf’s bid to knock off Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts in that state’s GOP contest. The Senate primary to watch is Mississippi’s.

State Sen. Chris McDaniel has the best chance of any anti-establishment…

Nebraska Senate: Peak Timing

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Nathan L. Gonzales March 28, 2014 · 3:00 PM EDT

The first freshman senator for the 114th Congress will be chosen in less than two months.

In Nebraska, GOP Sen. Mike Johanns is retiring after just one term, leaving behind the fourth open Senate seat in the last 14 years. Because Nebraska is such a Republican state, the…

Democrats’ Growing Problems With Independent Voters on the Senate Map

Stuart Rothenberg March 26, 2014 · 9:45 AM EDT

While the nation’s (and news media’s) focus on Malaysian Airlines flight 370 gave Democrats a couple of weeks to catch their collective breath, the 2014 election cycle continues to look increasingly dangerous for President Barack Obama and his party.

The most recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal (March…

Colorado Senate Race Firmly on Senate Battlefield

Nathan L. Gonzales March 20, 2014 · 9:58 AM EDT

Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall never had intimidating poll numbers this cycle, but uncertainty about the GOP primary raised questions about the seriousness of the Republican threat to him. But all that changed when Republican Rep. Cory Gardner decided to run for the Senate in Colorado.

His decision…

Road Gets Tougher for Democratic Majority in the Senate

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Stuart Rothenberg March 14, 2014 · 4:00 PM EDT

The landscape that defines the fight for the Senate continues to shift in a way that benefits Republicans, though it isn’t yet clear how fully they can take advantage of the opportunity.

President Barack Obama’s job ratings continue to range from mediocre to troubling, and a GOP recruiting…

2014 Senate Overview (March 14, 2014) Alabama - Kansas

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March 14, 2014 · 3:59 PM EDT

ALABAMA -- Jeff Sessions (R), elected 1996 (52%), 2002 (59%) and 2008 (63%). April 4 filing deadline, June 3 primary, July 15 runoff. The last Democratic Senate nominee to win over 40 percent of the vote in Alabama was Roger Bedford in 1996 (45.5 percent). Sessions’ December 31 FEC…

2014 Senate Overview (March 14, 2014) Kentucky - New Mexico

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March 14, 2014 · 3:58 PM EDT

KENTUCKY -- Mitch McConnell (R), elected 1984 (50%), 1990 (52%), 1996 (55%), 2002 (65%), 2008 (53%). May 20 primary. Senate Minority Leader McConnell continues to fight a two-front war in his effort to win a sixth term. Primary challenger Matt Bevin has personal resources (he put $600,000 into his…

2014 Senate Overview (March 14, 2014) North Carolina - Wyoming

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Stuart Rothenberg March 14, 2014 · 3:57 PM EDT

NORTH CAROLINA -- Kay Hagan (D), elected 2008 (53%). May 6 primary, July 15 runoff. Given the GOP’s recent victories in the state, Hagan had to expect a serious challenge. State House Speaker Thom Tillis is the frontrunner for the GOP nomination. Physician Greg Brannon (an OB/GYN) is running…

Why Polls Still Show Democrats With Higher Marks Than Republicans

Stuart Rothenberg March 11, 2014 · 4:29 PM EDT

Political brands are important. If a candidate or political party has a damaged political brand, it’s harder for them to sell themselves to voters. But sometimes a poll’s top lines can be deceiving, so you need to look a little below the surface to understand what is going on.