Senate News & Analysis

Harkin’s Retirement Puts Seat In Play for GOP

Jessica Taylor January 26, 2013 · 2:21 PM EDT

Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin’s (D) retirement announcement Saturday gives Republicans another pickup opportunity and Democrats another possible headache -- but also presents the GOP with another test in finding an electable candidate in the swing state that’s been trending blue.

While many had wondered whether the 73 year-old…

Chambliss’ Exit Shakes Up Georgia Senate Race

Jessica Taylor January 25, 2013 · 2:38 PM EDT

Georgia will be on a lot of Republican, and maybe even Democratic, minds all of a sudden, following GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss’s surprise Friday announcement that he wouldn’t seek a third term.

The state’s senior senator had often stoked conservative ire with his willingness to work across the…

The Fight for the Senate: GOP Opportunities Abound

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Stuart Rothenberg January 25, 2013 · 2:00 PM EDT

The sheer number of the Senate seats scheduled to be up in 2014 gives Republicans reason for optimism: 20 Democratic seats and only 13 Republican seats. Add to those numbers two special elections next year -- a Democratic seat in Hawaii and a Republican seat in South Carolina.

2014 Senate Overview (January 25, 2013) Alabama - Kansas

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January 25, 2013 · 1:59 PM EDT

ALABAMA -- Jeff Sessions (R), elected 1996 (52%), 2002 (59%) and 2008 (63%).
The last Democratic Senate nominee to win over 40 percent of the vote in Alabama was Roger Bedford in 1996 (45.5 percent). Sessions’ December 31 FEC report showed him with just over $2.8 million in…

2014 Senate Overview (January 25, 2013) Kentucky - New Mexico

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January 25, 2013 · 1:58 PM EDT

KENTUCKY -- Mitch McConnell (R), elected 1984 (50%), 1990 (52%), 1996 (55%), 2002 (65%), 2008 (53%).
McConnell, who is about to turn 71 years old, is already preparing for re-election. His relationship with colleague Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has improved, which may minimize the chances of a serious primary…

2014 Senate Overview (January 25, 2013) North Carolina - Wyoming

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January 25, 2013 · 1:57 PM EDT

NORTH CAROLINA -- Kay Hagan (D), elected 2008 (53%).
Given the GOP’s recent victories in the state, Hagan is almost guaranteed a serious challenge. Mitt Romney carried the state last year, and Republican Pat McCrory won the governorship in November. In addition, the GOP now controls both houses…

Senate Majority Leader’s Biography Badly Needs a Rewrite

Stuart Rothenberg January 25, 2013 · 10:12 AM EDT

“He has earned the trust of both Democrats and Republicans” and has a “reputation for integrity and fairness,” says the biography of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on his official Senate website.

The self-congratulatory 1,566-word tribute, which includes praise from Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, and Parade magazine,…

West Virginia Senate: Democrats Look for Winner

Nathan L. Gonzales January 15, 2013 · 12:01 PM EDT

Not too long ago, Democrats would have panicked if they had to defend a Senate seat in a state where their presidential nominee received 36 percent of the vote. But victories in North Dakota and West Virginia last year, and a strong cycle overall, have emboldened Democrats in the…

Massachusetts Senate: Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Won’t Lose

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Nathan L. Gonzales January 11, 2013 · 2:00 PM EDT

Scott Brown’s 2010 special election victory to claim the late-Sen. Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat was one of the biggest political upsets of all-time. Now, just three years later, Democrats are rallying behind two words: never again.

Democrats succeeded in knocking off the Massachusetts Republican in November, when liberal…

Are Democratic Insiders Missing the Boat in Massachusetts as Special Election Draws Closer?

Stuart Rothenberg January 9, 2013 · 9:30 AM EDT

Democratic insiders are hoping to avoid a primary to pick the party’s nominee for the special election to fill Democrat John Kerry’s eventual open Senate seat later this year. So, they have jumped on the Rep. Edward J. Markey bandwagon, hoping to anoint him as their nominee without much…