Feingold, Sestak Face History, Former Foes in Senate Rematches

Nathan L. Gonzales March 4, 2015 · 10:38 AM EST

The Senate is filled with members who lost previous races. But Democrats Joe Sestak and Russ Feingold are trying to pull off a rare electoral feat: defeating the people who defeated them six years prior.

In 2010, Republican businessman Ron Johnson defeated Feingold, the incumbent Democrat, 52 percent to 47 percent, in Wisconsin. Feingold’s 2016 candidacy isn’t a guarantee, but all signs point to a rematch, particularly now that he has left his post at the State Department.

But in order to get back to the Senate, Feingold will have to do something that hasn’t happened in nearly a century.

According to the Senate Historical Office, 35 senators have served non-consecutive terms going back to 1913, when 17th Amendment established the direct election of senators.

But not all of those senators ended their first tenure in defeat like Feingold did. Twenty senators resigned, retired or didn’t seek election after being appointed and were elected later after being out of office for varying time spans of time.

Fourteen senators lost re-election and came back later to be elected to the Senate again, but none of them defeated the candidate who beat them the first time.

For example, Republican Slade Gorton of Washington lost re-election in 1986 to Democrat Brock Adams, but he returned to…

Rand Paul, Hillary Clinton Face Foreign Policy Challenges in 2016

Stuart Rothenberg March 2, 2015 · 8:45 AM EST

While the economy is a decisive topic in many presidential elections, national security looks increasingly likely to become a top issue in next year’s contest. And if that happens, it could dramatically affect both the direction of the race for the Republican nomination and the party’s prospects in…

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…

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 usually not one of…