Senate News & Analysis

How Divided Parties Survive and Thrive

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Nathan L. Gonzales June 23, 2017 · 3:00 PM EDT

Democrats were divided before the special election in Georgia, and Jon Ossoff’s loss certainly didn’t help heal any internal wounds. The party went “all in” to win the suburban Atlanta seat and came up short in the type of district the party needs to win to get to a majority…

The GOP’s Political Gamble on the Environment

Stuart Rothenberg June 4, 2017 · 8:00 AM EDT

While activists on both sides of the aisle and both ends of the ideological spectrum argue about whether President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris accord is a good idea, the political risks of that decision are undeniable.

The president’s announcement is likely to elevate the salience of “the environment”…

Lessons for Trump Detractors, Members of Congress From a Loyalty Expert

Nathan L. Gonzales May 18, 2017 · 11:40 AM EDT

You’ve probably never heard of James Kane, but elected officials, party strategists, and even some reporters could learn from his perspective as a behavioral scientist (instead of a partisan hack) about how to fracture President Donald Trump’s base and the future of the two parties. 

I rarely have time…

Alabama Senate Special: What a Short Strange Trip It’s Been

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Nathan L. Gonzales May 5, 2017 · 2:30 PM EDT

With an unpopular governor finally headed for the exits because of term limits and without a U.S. Senate seat up for re-election, Alabama was slated for a sleepy 2018 cycle. But President Donald Trump tapped Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions to be his Attorney General, opening up his Senate seat which…

Don’t Trust Politicians Who Say They Aren’t Running for President

Nathan L. Gonzales May 5, 2017 · 8:30 AM EDT

Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand told a group of local reporters in New York that she is not running for president in 2020. But, of course, that means you shouldn’t take her off any list of potential presidential candidates.

The Empire State’s junior senator is among the dozen or so…

The Bipartisan Effort to Make Senate History

Nathan L. Gonzales April 14, 2017 · 10:06 AM EDT

For all of the moaning and groaning about Washington being dysfunctional, members of Congress aren’t exactly tripping over each other to get out of town.

So far, all of the Republican and Democratic senators up for re-election this cycle seem intent on seeking another term. And if that trend continues,…

2018 Senate Overview: Waiting for the New Normal

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Nathan L. Gonzales April 7, 2017 · 3:00 PM EDT

Donald Trump has been president for less than three months and yet it feels like three years, as each day seems to bring at least one urgent story (if not two or three) to the forefront. And even though the 2018 midterm elections are 19 months away, they are not…

2018 Senate Overview (April 7, 2017) Alabama - Maine

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April 7, 2017 · 2:59 PM EDT

ALABAMA - Luther Strange (R) appointed 2017. Special Election. This seat is the latest addition to the regular class of senate seats up this cycle. GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions was confirmed as President Donald Trump’s attorney general and GOP Gov. Robert Bentley appointed state Attorney General Luther Strange to the…

2018 Senate Overview (April 7, 2017) Maryland - Ohio

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April 7, 2017 · 2:58 PM EDT

MARYLAND - Ben Cardin (D) elected 2006 (54%), 2012 (56%). Unless GOP Gov. Larry Hogan decides to challenge Cardin instead of seeking re-election (which he’s not going to do), Republicans aren’t going to win this seat. In 2016, Clinton defeated Trump 60-34 percent and Democrat Chris Van Hollen defeated Republican…

2018 Senate Overview (April 7, 2017) Oklahama - Wyoming

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April 7, 2017 · 2:57 PM EDT

PENNSYLVANIA - Bob Casey, Jr. (D) elected 2006 (59%), 2012 (54%). With Trump’s 49-48 percent win over Clinton and Sen. Pat Toomey’s re-election in 2016, Republicans are feeling emboldened about their chances of defeating Casey next year. Now they just need a candidate. There was a moment when Casey’s 2012…