Senate News & Analysis

Incumbent Primary Challengers: Some Promising, Others Premature

Stuart Rothenberg August 7, 2013 · 10:20 AM EDT

The 2014 primary season has begun with high-profile Democratic Senate primaries in Massachusetts and New Jersey. But they’re the tip of the iceberg in what promises to be a cycle of competitive, and possibly nasty, primaries in both parties.

Republicans face plenty of intraparty fights, including one in…

Georgia Senate: Maybe, Potentially, Possibly … but Not Yet

Stuart Rothenberg August 1, 2013 · 9:48 AM EDT

The recent entry of Michelle Nunn into the Georgia Senate race is good news for national and state Democrats who hope to swipe a normally Republican Senate seat in the Deep South.

Nunn, the daughter of former Democratic Sen. Sam Nunn, is CEO of Points of Light, a…

New Jersey Senate: Over Before It Began?

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Stuart Rothenberg July 30, 2013 · 2:58 PM EDT

The October 16 special election in New Jersey to fill the remainder of the late Senator Frank Lautenberg’s term doesn’t look like much of a contest.

With the GOP race drawing nothing more than second- or third-tier hopefuls, the Democratic nomination, which will be decided in an August…

Maine Senate: Collins Moves to Safe

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Nathan L. Gonzales July 30, 2013 · 2:57 PM EDT

Susan Collins is the only Republican senator seeking re-election in a state that President Barack Obama carried in 2012. But Maine is virtually nowhere on Democratic target lists for 2014.

The battle for the Senate next year will be played out primarily in states where Democrats are playing…

Kentucky Senate: Process of Elimination

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Stuart Rothenberg July 19, 2013 · 2:59 PM EDT

With Republican Senate takeover opportunities continuing to grow, national Democratic strategists know that they need to try to put one or two GOP seats into play next year.

Maine, the only state carried by President Barack Obama that has a Republican senator up for re-election next year, should…

Montana Senate: Democrats Start From Scratch

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Stuart Rothenberg July 19, 2013 · 2:57 PM EDT

The announcement by former governor Brian Schweitzer that he won’t seek the Democratic nomination for Senate next year certainly shakes up the contest to fill the open seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Max Baucus.

After Baucus announced his retirement in April, Democratic insiders seemed quite confident that Schweitzer…

Montana Senate Rating: Move or Reaffirm?

Stuart Rothenberg July 18, 2013 · 9:17 AM EDT

Since Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., announced he would not seek re-election in late April, we have rated the Montana Senate race as a Pure Tossup — a reflection of our uncertainty about the Democratic candidacy of former Gov. Brian Schweitzer.

Yes, Schweitzer has always seemed ambitious. And yes,…

Despite Primary, Rounds Remains Favorite in South Dakota

Stuart Rothenberg July 15, 2013 · 11:42 AM EDT

State Sen. Larry Rhoden’s formal entry into the South Dakota GOP Senate race doesn’t fundamentally change the Republican contest. Former Gov. Mike Rounds remains the party’s favorite for the nomination and for the general election.

Some conservatives are still looking for an alternative to Rounds, whom they…

Gay Couples Could Face Different Campaign Money Rules Across States

Nathan L. Gonzales July 11, 2013 · 9:30 AM EDT

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, gay candidates and their spouses could face different campaign finance guidelines depending on their state.

Earlier this month, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee sent an advisory opinion request to the Federal…

Rating Alison Lundergan Grimes’ Chances in Kentucky

Stuart Rothenberg July 10, 2013 · 9:30 AM EDT

Does the candidacy of Kentucky Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, who is challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, change McConnell’s re-election prospects? The answer depends on whether you think she will be 2014’s version of Linda Lingle or Heidi Heitkamp.

Lingle, a former two-term Republican governor of Hawaii, was…