Senate News & Analysis

Candidate Conversation: Mark Walker (R)

March 5, 2021 · 2:25 PM EST

North Carolina Senate — Rating: Battleground

Interview Date: Feb. 16, 2021 (via Zoom)

Date of Birth: May 20, 1969; Dothan, Ala.

Education: Piedmont Baptist College (1999); Trinity Baptist College (attended)

Elected Office: 6th District U.S. House Representative (former, 2015-2021)

Current Outlook: Walker is a credible candidate in an evolving race…

How the Lack of Ticket-Splitting Leads to Gridlock

by Nathan L. Gonzales March 3, 2021 · 2:22 PM EST

It’s easy to blame politicians for gridlock on Capitol Hill. It’s the voters, however, and the lack of ticket-splitting, that are key to the lack of compromise. For some reason, people act surprised that a divided country is reflected in a divided Congress.

The bottom line is that there are…

Candidate Conversation: Tom Nelson (D)

February 19, 2021 · 2:26 PM EST

Wisconsin Senate — Rating: Battleground

Interview Date: Feb. 8, 2021 (via Zoom)

Date of Birth: March 3, 1976; St. Paul, Minn.

Education: Carleton College (1998); Princeton Univ. (2004, Masters of Public Affairs)

Elected Office: Outagamie Cty. Executive (2011-present); state Assembly (2005-2011); Lt. Gov. nominee (2010); 8th Congressional District nominee (2016) 

Recent History Shows Senate Retirements Don’t Tell Us Squat

by Nathan L. Gonzales February 10, 2021 · 9:30 AM EST

Sen. Richard Shelby’s decision not to seek re-election in Alabama fueled multiple narratives: Republicans in disarray in the wake of President Donald Trump’s loss; a fatalist mentality that the GOP is destined to remain in the Senate minority. Just a quick browse through recent history, however, shows that it’s best…

Ohio Senate: Open Season

February 5, 2021 · 2:28 PM EST

It’s been less than two weeks since GOP Sen. Rob Portman announced he would not seek re-election in Ohio and the broad field of potential candidates has already narrowed to a handful of contenders from each party.

Portman’s decision gives Democrats a glimmer of hope in a state that didn’t…

Candidate Conversation - Sarah Godlewski (D)

February 5, 2021 · 2:27 PM EST

Wisconsin Senate — Rating: Battleground

Interview Date: Jan. 28, 2021 (Zoom)

Date of Birth: Nov. 9, 1981; Eau Claire, Wisc.

Education: George Mason Univ. (2004); Univ. of Pennsylvania (attended)

Elected Office: State Treasurer (2019-present)

Current Outlook: Godlewski has not formally announced her candidacy, but she’ll likely be one of several…

Ohio Senate: Portman Decision Complicates Race

January 25, 2021 · 11:57 AM EST

Republican Sen. Rob Portman is not seeking re-election in Ohio, giving Democrats a glimmer of hope in a seat that didn’t look all that competitive at this early stage of the 2022 cycle. 

The senator’s comments about “partisan gridlock” will add to the narrative that Republicans are in disarray in…

Vote Above Replacement: 2020 Senate Elections

January 22, 2021 · 2:28 PM EST

Democrats’ quest to take back the Senate paid off this cycle, thanks in no small part to a slate of strong candidates. The unique benefit provided by these recruits, as well as the value of other 2020 Senate contenders, can be quantified using Vote Above Replacement (VAR). And it provides…

Election Predictions Look Different (and Better) Now that All the Races are Over

by Nathan L. Gonzales January 22, 2021 · 9:09 AM EST

More than two months later, the 2020 elections are still handing out lessons. The latest: Don’t judge election projections until all the results have hatched.

Lost in the aftermath of the siege on the U.S. Capitol was the fact that Democrats won two Senate runoffs in Georgia. Not only does…

2022 Senate Overview (January 8, 2021): Control is On the Line, Again

January 8, 2021 · 2:29 PM EST

By Nathan L. Gonzales & Jacob Rubashkin

Even before voters in Georgia cast their ballots, it was clear that the fight for the Senate would continue on to the 2022 cycle. No matter who won the runoff races, one party was going to control the chamber by a slim majority.…