Senate News & Analysis

For Some in Senate, Losing Once Is Way to Win

by Nathan L. Gonzales May 16, 2011 · 9:44 AM EDT

For the world’s most exclusive club, the Senate sure has a lot of losers.

Almost a dozen Senators lost their first races for the Senate only to come back later in their careers and win. This cycle, a trio of Republicans are trying to join the club.

Wisconsin Senate: Moved from Safe Democrat to Lean Democrat

May 13, 2011 · 10:44 AM EDT

The retirement of Sen. Herb Kohl (D) forces Democrats to defend yet another open seat in a competitive state. The likable, wealthy senator, who was first elected in 1988, hasn’t had a particularly difficult race since his first race, so the open seat significantly improves GOP prospects.


Debt Limit Vote: You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

by Stuart Rothenberg May 13, 2011 · 10:17 AM EDT

Forget the fights over health care reform, the extension of the Bush tax cuts and any other controversy previously billed by the media as The Big One. The vote on raising the debt limit is so politically significant that any other Capitol Hill fight we have witnessed of late…

New Mexico Senate: Open for Business

by Nathan L. Gonzales May 9, 2011 · 3:29 PM EDT

It looks like we’ve seen this movie before in New Mexico, but Republicans are hoping it’s a sequel rather than a re-run. 

For almost 30 years, the Land of Enchantment had the same two U.S. senators. Now, for the second time in three election cycles, an open seat…

Nevada Senate: Remains Toss-Up/Tilt Republican

May 5, 2011 · 9:30 AM EDT

Sen. John Ensign’s (R) previous retirement announcement took the punch out of his more recent resignation. Now that he’s gone, Republicans are looking to appointed-Sen. Dean Heller (R) to hold the seat.

The electoral track record of appointed senators is dotted with wins and losses, but the appointment…

Berg Senate Run Likely in North Dakota

by Nathan L. Gonzales April 27, 2011 · 11:55 AM EDT

Rep. Rick Berg is very seriously considering a run for Senate in North Dakota and is even likely to make the race, according to sources close to the freshman Congressman.

According to the GOP sources, the Republican had no plans to seek higher office until Sen. Kent Conrad’s…

Ohio Senate: What Has Brown Done for You?

by Nathan L. Gonzales April 22, 2011 · 2:59 PM EDT

For all of the talk about Ohio being a swing state, the last two U.S. Senate races have been blowouts. Republicans are hoping next year’s race is different.

Almost six years ago, an often-reluctant Sherrod Brown (D) decided to leave his safe Congressional seat in order to challenge…

The Uneven Senate Landscape of 2012 (and 2014)

by Stuart Rothenberg April 15, 2011 · 9:30 AM EDT

Just over four years ago I wrote in this space that Democrats not only didn’t have to worry about losing their Senate majority in ’08, they needed to set their sights on 60 seats in 2010 because a “filibuster-proof majority would change the rules of the game on…

The New Norm: Last-Minute Political Deals

by Stuart Rothenberg April 13, 2011 · 11:32 AM EDT

One of the byproducts of the highly partisan environment that we find ourselves in is the last-minute political deal. That means that the Friday budget agreement isn’t likely to be the final last-minute political deal on the horizon.

Congress often waits until the clock is running out before…

No Such Thing as an Off Year for Consultants

by Nathan L. Gonzales April 11, 2011 · 9:30 AM EDT

Just a couple of months after helping direct $65 million in 77 House races across the country, media consultant John Lapp was in Wisconsin pitching a candidate for county executive.

It didn’t seem like much at the time — a fun, off-year race for the former executive director…