Senate News & Analysis

The Case for Primaries: Arizona Edition

by Nathan L. Gonzales April 3, 2019 · 9:14 AM EDT

Democrats breathed a sigh of relief last week when Rep. Ruben Gallego decided not to run for the Senate, likely avoiding a primary in the run-up to a competitive general election in Arizona. That’s because “bitter,” “bloody,” and “bruising” seem to be the most commonly used adjectives to describe primaries…

When It Comes to Younger Voters, Watch the Margin of Victory

by Nathan L. Gonzales March 29, 2019 · 8:49 AM EDT

There’s really no question Democrats are going to win younger voters in 2020. But what matters for them is the size of their margin of victory. 

Republicans haven’t carried 18-to-29-year-olds in an election cycle since 1994, when exit polling showed them besting Democrats in this age group, 51 percent to…

New Mexico: Ben Ray Lujan Set to Announce Senate Candidacy on Monday

by Nathan L. Gonzales March 28, 2019 · 9:00 AM EDT

Democratic Rep. Ben Ray Lujan plans to run for the Senate in New Mexico and is set to officially announce his candidacy on Monday, according to two sources familiar with the congressman’s decision. The seat is open after Democratic Sen. Tom Udall announced he would not seek re-election in 2020. 

For Senators, Pressure To Cross Party Lines Is Light

by Leah Askarinam March 26, 2019 · 11:10 AM EDT

Twelve Republicans parted with President Donald Trump on his national emergency funding. But given the electoral politics of the Senate, it would be unwise to expect much crossparty voting in the future.

The partisan performance of a state is not the only consideration that Senators take into account when…

New Mexico Senate Remains Solid Democratic For Now

March 25, 2019 · 12:20 PM EDT

Open seats are usually better takeover opportunities, but Republicans still have plenty of work to do in New Mexico to prove they’ve got a real chance of flipping the seat. Democratic Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico announced on Monday that he would not seek re-election, but it’s been…

A Few Thoughts on the State of the Union Address

by Nathan L. Gonzales February 6, 2019 · 8:51 PM EST

I did something dangerous Tuesday night. I watched the State of the Union and the Democratic response on my own, without Twitter as a crutch. I even watched the C-SPAN feed on my phone in order to avoid commentary from the networks and cable channels.

My goal was to avoid…

Too Early for Senate Ratings?

by Nathan L. Gonzales February 1, 2019 · 2:28 PM EST

A couple decades ago, The Rothenberg Political Report would wait months before placing individual Senate races into specific ratings categories, admitting that the election cycle was far from taking shape. But that would be almost unthinkable today. For example, most media outlets that handicap races released 2020 Senate ratings before…

Report Shorts (Feb. 1, 2019)

February 1, 2019 · 2:27 PM EST

California’s 50th District. Alex Balkin became the second Democrat to announce a challenge to indicted GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter. 2018 nominee Ammar Campa-Najjar was the first. Balkin formerly worked at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Department of Defense. The district is considerably favorable to Republicans, considering Hunter was under…

Maine Senate: How Vulnerable is Susan Collins?

by Stuart Rothenberg January 25, 2019 · 9:10 AM EST

If Sen. Susan Collins runs for a fifth term, she ought to expect a very different race than in the past. Forget coasting to victory, no matter the opponent or even the nature of the election cycle.

Collins will start off as vulnerable — a top Democratic target in a…

Report Shorts (Jan. 18, 2019)

January 18, 2019 · 2:28 PM EST

California’s 50th District. Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar came within 4 points of defeating GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter in 2016 and announced he will seek a rematch in 2020. But there’s a chance neither man makes it to the next general election. 

Hunter is under indictment and facing trial in September, and there’s…