Senate News & Analysis

The Best Ads of 2014 – Oh Really?

Stuart Rothenberg September 11, 2014 · 1:02 PM EDT

A few weeks ago, I noticed a piece in Time headlined “The Best 6 Political Campaign Ads of the Summer (So Far).”

I’ve written columns about “the best” this or “the worst” that, so I’m certainly not opposed to columns that list personal assessments or even personal…

Senate Ratings vs. Senate Expecations

Stuart Rothenberg September 10, 2014 · 10:56 AM EDT

While the current Rothenberg Political Report ratings don’t show it, I am now expecting a substantial Republican Senate wave in November, with a net gain of at least seven seats.

But I wouldn’t be shocked by a larger gain.

Rothenberg Political Report ratings reflect both where a…

Republicans Use Birth Control as Campaign Wedge

Stuart Rothenberg September 9, 2014 · 9:45 AM EDT

Politics is mostly about both parties regurgitating well-established positions (on taxes, the environment, abortion and spending, for example) to appeal to base voters and demonize their opponents. But every so often, candidates from one party try a dramatically new message.

That’s what is happening now in a number…

Pat Roberts is the Most Vulnerable Republican Senator in the Country

Nathan L. Gonzales September 4, 2014 · 1:21 AM EDT

Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts survived a competitive Republican primary but it looks like his toughest race is still to come. Democrat Chad Taylor dropped out of the race on Wednesday leaving independent Greg Orman as the senator’s main challenger and completely changing the math of the race. 

Numbers Game Still Favors GOP Senate Majority

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Stuart Rothenberg August 29, 2014 · 3:01 PM EDT

The GOP appears more likely than not to win the six seats in November (and December) that it needs for Senate control, but that is certainly not yet a done deal. Democratic incumbents continue to run energetic campaigns but the national dynamic favors GOP prospects.

Three states now…

2014 Senate Overview (August 29, 2014) Alabama - Kansas

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Stuart Rothenberg August 29, 2014 · 3:00 PM EDT

ALABAMA -- Jeff Sessions (R), elected 1996 (52%), 2002 (59%) and 2008 (63%). The last Democratic Senate nominee to receive even 40 percent of the vote in Alabama was Roger Bedford nearly 20 years ago. Safe Republican.

ALASKA -- Mark Begich (D), elected 2008 (48%). Daniel S. Sullivan,…

2014 Senate Overview (August 29, 2014) Kentucky - New Mexico

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Stuart Rothenberg August 29, 2014 · 2:58 PM EDT

KENTUCKY -- Mitch McConnell (R), elected 1984 (50%), 1990 (52%), 1996 (55%), 2002 (65%), 2008 (53%). Senate Minority Leader McConnell beat primary challenger Matt Bevin surprisingly easily, but Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is a more challenging opponent. Early polling consistently suggested that Grimes was running about…

2014 Senate Overview (August 29, 2014) North Carolina - Wyoming

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Stuart Rothenberg August 29, 2014 · 2:57 PM EDT

NORTH CAROLINA -- Kay Hagan (D), elected 2008 (53%). Given the GOP’s recent victories in the state, Hagan certainly knew that she would have a serious challenge. State House Speaker Thom Tillis won the Republican nomination without a runoff, allowing him to avoid further attacks from the right and…

And the Winner of the GOP’s Civil War Primary Is…Part II

Stuart Rothenberg August 28, 2014 · 2:47 PM EDT

Three and a half months ago, I wrote about the state of the fight between the Republican establishment’s pragmatic conservative candidates and tea party/libertarian/anti-establishment conservatives.

I concluded the results were mixed and it was too early to call a winner, though I also noted, “it’s already clear…

Not Your Typical Southern Democrat in South Carolina

Stuart Rothenberg August 20, 2014 · 2:12 PM EDT

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham’s Democratic opponent, state Sen. Brad Hutto, wants you to know two things: He has a path to victory against the two-term Republican, and it doesn’t require him to run from traditional Democratic positions.

“I’m not a Blue Dog,” Hutto said proudly during a recent…