Senate News & Analysis

History May Tell Us Little About GOP’s 2014 Senate Prospects

Stuart Rothenberg March 21, 2013 · 9:58 AM EDT

A recent National Journal item caught my attention. Entitled “Expanding the Map,” it began: “When Republicans gloat about the seven Democratic-held, red-state Senate seats up in 2014, Democrats can note that only six of their incumbents have lost since the 1990s.”

The statement is true … but…

Why I Rate Michigan’s Senate Seat As ‘Safe’ for Democrats

Stuart Rothenberg March 14, 2013 · 9:34 AM EDT

Moments after the Rothenberg Political Report reiterated its “Safe” rating of the now open Michigan Senate race, I started hearing complaints. Some of the questions raised were reasonable — so reasonable that I thought I’d use this space to explain why my colleagues and I decided not to move…

Monthly Party Fundraising Reports Don’t Tell the Whole Story

Stuart Rothenberg March 13, 2013 · 9:23 AM EDT

Every election cycle the party campaign committees, and many in the national media, make a big deal about party fundraising.

Coverage of the money chase has been exacerbated by the fact that these committees file monthly reports detailing their fundraising, as opposed to quarterly. To wit:

Michigan Senate: Levin to Retire, But Open Seat Remains Safe for Now

March 7, 2013 · 10:43 PM EDT

Democratic Sen. Carl Levin’s decision to not seek a seventh term certainly doesn’t come as a shock -- and it also doesn’t immediately warrant a change in how competitive his seat in Michigan should be viewed.

The rare open seat -- the last since Spencer Abraham (R) was…

Democrats’ Economic Narrative Still Trumps GOP’s

Stuart Rothenberg February 22, 2013 · 10:12 AM EDT

Congressional Republicans figured that after the fiscal cliff, they’d have the advantage talking about the sequester and, down the road, the continued funding of the government.

Clearly, they were wrong.

One of the reasons Republicans are faring so badly these days is that the Democratic narrative, presented…

In GOP Civil War, No Easy Answers

Stuart Rothenberg February 21, 2013 · 10:29 AM EDT

Republicans continue to argue about whether the party needs to take steps to prevent the next Christine O’Donnell, Sharron Angle, Todd Akin and Ken Buck, as well as how it might do so.

Those inept and seriously flawed candidates lost races that other Republicans would have won easily.

Markey: From 22 Percent to Anointed Senator

Nathan L. Gonzales February 20, 2013 · 11:00 AM EDT

The path to the U.S. Senate doesn’t get much easier than the one Rep. Edward J. Markey is on.

But that smooth path could signal significant potholes ahead.

The Massachusetts Democrat was first elected to Congress more than 30 years ago by winning a multi-candidate primary with…

Johanns Retirement Sets up Another Open Senate Seat in Nebraska

February 18, 2013 · 3:19 PM EDT

First-term Republican Sen. Mike Johanns’ surprise retirement sets up Nebraska’s second open seat Senate race in as many cycles. Republicans successfully took over Sen. Ben Nelson’s (D) seat in 2012 and will try to keep Johann’s seat next year.

Last year, Republicans had a competitive contest for the…

New Jersey Senate: Lautenberg Out, Still Safe D For Now

February 14, 2013 · 5:25 PM EDT

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) announced his retirement on Thursday, setting off a potential scramble for his open seat in New Jersey. But the most important action is likely to be on the Democratic side.

One prominent Democrat who has made no secret of his ambition is Newark Mayor…

Can Democrats Save Rockefeller’s Seat?

Stuart Rothenberg February 13, 2013 · 11:40 AM EDT

Oh what a difference one word can make. Take away the “West” from “West Virginia,” and you have a once-red state that surely is now purple, a state carried twice by Barack Obama. But add back the “West” and you have the Mountain State, which has been headed down…