Not His Father’s Arkansas

Stuart Rothenberg October 20, 2014 · 10:27 AM EDT

I have been thinking for months about how politics has changed over the past decade, but those changes struck home in a very obvious way while I was reading a recent Washington Post article written by the very able Philip Rucker.

“Senator’s parents hit trail to preserve Ark. dynasty” was a front page piece that noted the efforts of former governor and former senator David Pryor and his wife, Barbara, to help their son, Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor, win re-election next month.

David Pryor won three races for Congress, two elections for governor and three Senate contests (losing only a Senate primary in 1972) between 1966 and 1990. He rarely had a tough race, and he was held in high regard by many Arkansans, even those who didn’t vote for him.

Rucker’s piece shows that many greeted the former governor warmly, but it also demonstrates how politics has evolved, and how that change has altered the way voters evaluate candidates for Congress.

“We’re campaigning for Mark because everybody likes mamas and daddies,” said the senator’s mother to one voter, according to Rucker.

Well, yes, people understand why parents support their children, and nobody is going to blame the vulnerable senator or his parents for stumping for him. But David and Barbara Pryor aren’t likely to get…

Senate Outlook: Lots of Moving Pieces But Fundamentally Unchanged

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Stuart Rothenberg October 17, 2014 · 3:30 PM EDT

The arithmetic for Senate control in the midterms is more complicated and confused than ever, but it is also still very dangerous for Democrats.

Who would have thought that a little more than two weeks before the election Republican strategists would be trying to spending time and money to try…

Wither the National House Vote?

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Nathan L. Gonzales October 17, 2014 · 3:29 PM EDT

Democrats failed to win back the House in 2012 but took pride in discrediting the Republican majority by pointing to the National House Vote. So what happens if Republicans keep the majority and get more votes nationwide?

Last cycle, Democrats gained just eight seats, falling 17 short of the…

Gubernatorial Report Shorts (October 17, 2014)

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Nathan L. Gonzales October 17, 2014 · 3:28 PM EDT

Alaska Governor. GOP Gov. Sean Parnell continues to be in a very close race for re-election. He faces Independent Bill Walker, who ran in the Republican primary four years ago, but has been embraced by the Democratic Party after their nominee dropped out to run on the ticket as lieutenant…