10 Thoughts After the Alabama Senate Election

December 13, 2017 · 12:48 AM EST

One of the best parts about covering elections is that there is always a result. After all the prognosticating, projecting, discussing and arguing, there’s a winner. But determining the true meaning of victory and loss can be difficult.

There will be plenty of time to analyze the Alabama Senate special election (at least until the next special election on March 13 in Pennsylvania’s 18th District), but here are some initial post-election thoughts:

This was a historic victory for Doug Jones. Of course, Roy Moore had some unparalleled flaws as a candidate, but Jones overcame a 20-point deficit in partisan performance to win. The last Democrat to win a Senate race in Alabama was Sen. Richard Shelby in 1992, and he’s now the state’s senior senator as a Republican. Tonight’s upset will be talked about for years to come.

The seat is more important than being a bellwether. In the short term, Jones’ victory narrows the Republican majority, making it more difficult to pass legislation next year. In the longer term, it puts Democrats one seat closer to the majority in 2019. It was also the most difficult seat of the three-seat gain Democrats need, considering the party has better takeover opportunities in Nevada and Arizona next year. They still have to run the table for a majority, but…

2018 Senate Ratings (December 13, 2017)

December 13, 2017 · 12:47 AM EST

No One Is Afraid of a Government Shutdown

Nathan L. Gonzales December 8, 2017 · 12:47 PM EST

Call me crazy, but I'm not sure we won't see a government shutdodwn, even though Congress managed to pass a stopgap spending bill to fund the government through Dec. 22. Why? Because no one in Washington is particularly afraid of a government shutdown.

Democrats aren’t afraid of a government…

Ratings Update: Tennessee Senate Remains Solid R for Now

December 7, 2017 · 1:14 PM EST

Democrats made a big splash this week with the entry of former Gov. Phil Bredesen into the Tennessee Senate race, but the party still has an uphill battle in a state President Donald Trump won convincingly, and it’s not even clear Bredesen gives Democrats the best chance of winning.

On the…

Ratings Change: Franken’s Minnesota Seat Starts as Likely for Democrats

December 7, 2017 · 12:30 PM EST

Sen. Al Franken’s resignation puts another Democratic seat into the 2018 mix, but it’s still unclear whether his departure provides Republicans with a legitimate takeover opportunity.

In order to handicap a race, it’s helpful to know where the contest will take place and who is running. In this…