Senate News & Analysis

The Republican Brand’s Recovery Tour — Sort Of

Stuart Rothenberg September 17, 2014 · 11:19 AM EDT

There was a time, a little less than a year ago, when Democrats salivated at the thought of running against the GOP brand and demonizing Republican candidates by attacking them and their party for “shutting down the government.”

But the Republican brand has largely recovered from its low…

A National Election or a Localized One?

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Stuart Rothenberg September 12, 2014 · 4:30 PM EDT

Our House and Senate ratings continue to reflect state-level and district-level surveys, as well as the fundamentals of each contest. But as we all know, midterm elections sometimes become referenda on the sitting president. When that happens, if the electorate’s mood is angry and dissatisfied with the president’s performance,…

The Best Ads of 2014 – Oh Really?

Stuart Rothenberg September 11, 2014 · 1:02 PM EDT

A few weeks ago, I noticed a piece in Time headlined “The Best 6 Political Campaign Ads of the Summer (So Far).”

I’ve written columns about “the best” this or “the worst” that, so I’m certainly not opposed to columns that list personal assessments or even personal…

Senate Ratings vs. Senate Expecations

Stuart Rothenberg September 10, 2014 · 10:56 AM EDT

While the current Rothenberg Political Report ratings don’t show it, I am now expecting a substantial Republican Senate wave in November, with a net gain of at least seven seats.

But I wouldn’t be shocked by a larger gain.

Rothenberg Political Report ratings reflect both where a…

Republicans Use Birth Control as Campaign Wedge

Stuart Rothenberg September 9, 2014 · 9:45 AM EDT

Politics is mostly about both parties regurgitating well-established positions (on taxes, the environment, abortion and spending, for example) to appeal to base voters and demonize their opponents. But every so often, candidates from one party try a dramatically new message.

That’s what is happening now in a number…

Pat Roberts is the Most Vulnerable Republican Senator in the Country

Nathan L. Gonzales September 4, 2014 · 1:21 AM EDT

Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts survived a competitive Republican primary but it looks like his toughest race is still to come. Democrat Chad Taylor dropped out of the race on Wednesday leaving independent Greg Orman as the senator’s main challenger and completely changing the math of the race. 

Numbers Game Still Favors GOP Senate Majority

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Stuart Rothenberg August 29, 2014 · 3:01 PM EDT

The GOP appears more likely than not to win the six seats in November (and December) that it needs for Senate control, but that is certainly not yet a done deal. Democratic incumbents continue to run energetic campaigns but the national dynamic favors GOP prospects.

Three states now…

2014 Senate Overview (August 29, 2014) Alabama - Kansas

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Stuart Rothenberg August 29, 2014 · 3:00 PM EDT

ALABAMA -- Jeff Sessions (R), elected 1996 (52%), 2002 (59%) and 2008 (63%). The last Democratic Senate nominee to receive even 40 percent of the vote in Alabama was Roger Bedford nearly 20 years ago. Safe Republican.

ALASKA -- Mark Begich (D), elected 2008 (48%). Daniel S. Sullivan,…

2014 Senate Overview (August 29, 2014) Kentucky - New Mexico

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Stuart Rothenberg August 29, 2014 · 2:58 PM EDT

KENTUCKY -- Mitch McConnell (R), elected 1984 (50%), 1990 (52%), 1996 (55%), 2002 (65%), 2008 (53%). Senate Minority Leader McConnell beat primary challenger Matt Bevin surprisingly easily, but Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is a more challenging opponent. Early polling consistently suggested that Grimes was running about…

2014 Senate Overview (August 29, 2014) North Carolina - Wyoming

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Stuart Rothenberg August 29, 2014 · 2:57 PM EDT

NORTH CAROLINA -- Kay Hagan (D), elected 2008 (53%). Given the GOP’s recent victories in the state, Hagan certainly knew that she would have a serious challenge. State House Speaker Thom Tillis won the Republican nomination without a runoff, allowing him to avoid further attacks from the right and…