Senate News & Analysis

New Poll Numbers Reinforce Bush-Obama Comparisons

Stuart Rothenberg August 7, 2014 · 9:31 AM EDT

My last column, which argued President Barack Obama’s situation going into his second midterm closely resembled President George W. Bush’s standing going into his second midterm, is reinforced in a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

When I filed the column on Monday, I used the…

President George W. Obama Meets the Midterms

Stuart Rothenberg August 7, 2014 · 9:30 AM EDT

I certainly didn’t know foreign policy would be front and center in the final months before the midterm elections when I wrote in late April that these issues “could have an indirect yet significant impact on the midterm elections.”

But now, it looks increasingly as if foreign…

Montana Senate Moves to Lean Republican

Stuart Rothenberg July 24, 2014 · 2:00 PM EDT

As Roll Call was preparing to post my column yesterday on the Montana Senate race and recent Democratic polls showing the contest “closing,” a report surfaced in the New York Times about appointed Senator John Walsh’s plagiarism in his master’s thesis.

The Walsh story is a…

Montana Senate: A Real Race or Simply Manufactured Buzz?

Stuart Rothenberg July 24, 2014 · 1:59 PM EDT

Maybe you believe in coincidences. I usually do — but not four months from an election.

Almost simultaneously, two different memos appeared from Democratic pollsters insisting the Montana Senate race has closed and the outcome of the contest is very much in doubt.

One memo, by North…

‘Simple’ Doesn’t Equal ‘Easy’ in N.H. Senate Race

Stuart Rothenberg July 23, 2014 · 12:11 PM EDT

Having written about House and Senate races for the past 30 years, I’ve seen plenty of press releases, polling memos and campaign strategy emails. But rarely have I received anything as silly as a July 9 press release from New Hampshire Republican Senate hopeful Scott P. Brown’s campaign, which…

Imperfect People Get Elected to the Senate

Nathan L. Gonzales July 16, 2014 · 9:55 AM EDT

In the heat of the campaign, it can be easy to disqualify or dismiss candidates based on unsettling, or sometimes unseemly, revelations. But all you have to do is look at the current lineup of senators to realize that imperfect people win elections.

Connecticut is a great place…

Fight for the Senate Still Very Much Up in the Air

Stuart Rothenberg July 15, 2014 · 5:01 AM EDT

The bottom line looks about the same in the fight for control of the Senate in November — but some of the pieces of the puzzle have moved around dramatically over the past few months.

Republicans need a 6-seat gain to take over the Senate next year. Three…

Minnesota Senate: Still Very Unlikely, But Not Impossible

Stuart Rothenberg July 14, 2014 · 9:30 AM EDT

We are moving the Minnesota Senate race from Safe Democrat to Democrat Favored, but readers should not make too much of the changed rating.

The change reflects the broad national environment and Minnesota’s generally competitive nature. A national anti-President Barack Obama wave certainly could threaten incumbent Democratic Sen.…

Could Upbeat Economic News Help Obama, Democrats?

Stuart Rothenberg July 10, 2014 · 9:43 AM EDT

Last week’s news that the U.S. economy gained 288,000 jobs in June seems to confirm the upbeat economic assessments coming from many of the nation’s economists and Wall Street analysts.

The question is whether the data and increased optimism one might hear on CNBC will have an effect…

Senate Report Shorts (July 8, 2014)

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July 8, 2014 · 3:55 PM EDT

Mississippi Senate. Sen. Thad Cochran overcame long-odds by finishing a close second in the initial primary and then defeating state Sen. Chris McDaniel in the GOP runoff, 50.9 percent to 49.1 percent. Cochran and his allies successfully changed the size and shape of the runoff electorate, including outreach to…