Senate News & Analysis

Warning: Senate Races Aren’t as Close as They Appear

Stuart Rothenberg April 30, 2014 · 2:14 PM EDT

I’ve noticed with some alarm how many people fail to make reasonable distinctions among races that admittedly have some factors in common.

So let me make an important distinction: While Democratic Senate candidates Alison Lundergan Grimes, 35, and Michelle Nunn, 47, have difficult races ahead of them in…

When Birth Certificates and Senate Races Clash

Nathan L. Gonzales April 29, 2014 · 10:51 AM EDT

Democrats have attacked a trio of Republican Senate candidates for not being born in the states they seek to represent. While the issue could matter in a close race, there are four dozen senators who prove that birthplace isn’t necessarily a stumbling block to getting elected.

Just more…

North Carolina: Primary Purpose

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Nathan L. Gonzales April 25, 2014 · 3:00 PM EDT

With the Senate majority hanging in the balance, the Republican primary in North Carolina has gained national attention. But a handful of House primaries in the Tar Heel State are also important including open seats in safe districts, a long-time incumbent facing a challenge, and a former American Idol…

Arkansas Senate: Shooting Down Strawmen

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Nathan L. Gonzales April 25, 2014 · 2:58 PM EDT

Reports of Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor’s political death are greatly exaggerated, argue some Democratic operatives and more than a few journalists.

The only problem with that view is that Pryor’s obituary has not yet been written by any serious observer or handicapper. And while arguing over whether Pryor,…

Charleston Gazette Endorsements Need a Little Perspective

Stuart Rothenberg April 25, 2014 · 9:49 AM EDT

Stop the presses!

The Charleston Gazette, West Virginia’s largest newspaper, has endorsed both Democratic Senate hopeful Natalie Tennant and Rep. Nick J. Rahall II, a Democrat in the 3rd District.

Tennant will face Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., in November in an open-seat contest, while Rahall will…

Obama’s Foreign Policy Impacts 2014 Elections — Really

Stuart Rothenberg April 24, 2014 · 9:52 AM EDT

No, I am not going to try to make the case that foreign policy will be at the forefront of this year’s elections, or that international issues are a high priority for most Americans. They aren’t.

But foreign policy could have an indirect yet significant impact on the…

Why TV Airtime Reservations Are More Important Than Ever

Nathan L. Gonzales April 23, 2014 · 11:35 AM EDT

It’s time to pay more attention to television ad reservations; they have become another critical way party strategists communicate without coordinating under campaign finance laws.

Not too many cycles ago, political reporters rightly handled television ad reservations loosely and delicately as strategists from both parties used them to…

Colorado Senate: Mark Udall Still Favored

Stuart Rothenberg April 22, 2014 · 12:34 PM EDT

Rarely has so much been made of so little.

I ought to know, since I am in the middle of the to-do.

During the past weekend’s edition of CNN’s State of the Union, I happened to suggest that Republican Rep. Cory Gardner might upset incumbent Democratic Sen.…

Sebelius to the Senate? Maybe in the Land of Oz, But Not in Kansas

Stuart Rothenberg April 18, 2014 · 11:23 AM EDT

When I read the New York Times piece, “Sebelius Said to Weigh Run for Kansas Senate Seat,” I had two very different reactions.

First, I figured that national Democrats had to be encouraged that former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, a once-popular two-term governor of…

How to Handicap a Campaign’s Ground Game in 2014

Stuart Rothenberg April 17, 2014 · 9:40 AM EDT

This cycle, Democrats are counting heavily on registering new voters and turning out registered voters who otherwise don’t bother to vote during midterm elections. Republicans are also putting more emphasis on voter contact programs.

In an era of micro-targeting and sophisticated get-out-the-vote operations, how can a handicapper know…