- The GOP Presidential Debate
- How Clinton Could Respond on Supreme Court Vacancy
- Trump and Clinton Way Ahead in South Carolina
- McConnell Says Senate Will Wait to Replace Scalia
- Antonin Scalia Is Dead
Updated 12:53 p.m. | Sen. Johnny Isakson announced Wednesday that he suffers from Parkinson’s disease, but will still run for re-election in 2016. Full story
The morning after he won Georgia’s open Senate seat, Republican David Perdue was asked on “Fox & Friends” how he avoided a runoff when every available poll had shown a tight race.
It was the question of the day in the Democrats’ best pickup opportunity — where millions of dollars poured in from both sides during the final month of the contest, yet the Republican emerged with an unexpectedly large 8-point victory.
His answer indicated the Perdue campaign may have been the only ones not in the dark.
“Our pollster, Chris Perkins, had it pegged all along,” the former corporate CEO and first-time candidate responded. Full story
Updated Nov. 5, 7:23 a.m. | Republicans swept the Senate races Tuesday night, and come January, they will control the chamber for the first time in eight years.
Democratic incumbents fell right and left, even in seats that they had originally been favored to win. President Barack Obama’s poor approval rating — 42 percent in the last nationwide Gallup poll — dragged down candidates across the country in the face of a Republican wave.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who cruised to victory in his own re-election, is set to become the next majority leader, with a gain of at least seven seats — one more than the GOP needed.
As results were still pouring in, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Jerry Moran credited the GOP’s recruiting, encouraging and training its candidates.
“They are why we have the ability to deliver a majority, this evening, of Republicans to the United States Senate,” the Kansas Republican said. Full story
Control of the Senate comes down to just a few states, with Republicans in a position to pick up the necessary net six seats to win the majority.
As the results pour in Tuesday evening, here are the counties to watch in five of the most contested Senate races: Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina, Kansas, and Georgia.
Colorado: Arapahoe County and Jefferson County
These two Denver suburbs have served as bellwethers for statewide results in recent years, and probably will again as Sen. Mark Udall, a Democrat, fights to fend off Rep. Cory Gardner, a Republican.
Jefferson County’s results in the past six cycles have mirrored the statewide results within a percentage point. Arapahoe is another strong indicator of the statewide results in past years, but it’s also a county where there’s often drop off in voters between presidential years and midterms. If the number of votes coming in from Arapahoe look similar to the vote total from 2012, it could be a good night for the Democrats. Full story
There are enough Democratic seats in play for Republicans to secure the Senate majority Tuesday, but there is also a chance the outcome won’t be known for days, weeks or even a couple months.
Needing to net six seats to win back control for the first time since George W. Bush’s second midterm in 2006, Republicans have taken advantage of a Democratic president in a similarly weak political position and have carved a path through 10 states. That means Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell may be celebrating more than his own re-election in Louisville, Ky., on Tuesday night.
Still, with runoffs likely in two competitive states, potentially razor-thin margins in a few races and vote-counting complications in Alaska, there are several hurdles to one party having clear control of the Senate by the time the sun rises Wednesday on the East Coast. Full story
Roll Call’s final ranking of the most vulnerable senators doesn’t vary much from previous versions — the result of an unfavorable national climate for Democrats that has failed to improve.
On the eve of the midterm elections, Senate Democrats are staring down a hole dug by President Barack Obama’s disapproval ratings and an unforgiving map packed with red states. Retirements by a quartet of senators in Republican-leaning or swing states didn’t help, but the seats of at least four incumbents seeking re-election aren’t on much stronger ground.
It’s the reality of what could end up being a dreadful cycle for Democrats. Still, party strategists remain cautiously optimistic they can hold on to a few endangered seats, possibly even pick up a GOP open seat in Georgia and save the majority. Republicans need a net gain of six seats. Full story
Early voting is playing a crucial role in several of the cycle’s most contested races for the Senate, where control hangs in the balance ahead of Tuesday’s midterm elections.
Senate Republicans must gain six seats to win the majority — an increasingly likely scenario.
Here’s a look at how both sides are faring in early voting in four of the most competitive Senate races:
Sen. Mark Udall, Democrat, vs. Rep. Cory Gardner, Republican.
Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call Race Rating: Tilts Republican
After the polls close Tuesday, it’s likely at least a handful of House and Senate races will be too close to call.
What would happen next for these tight contests? In most cases, once all the votes are collected and counted, it’s a pesky procedure that keeps candidates and canvassers up at night for days or weeks: the recount.
Recount laws vary by state, so we’ve rounded up what triggers one and any notable fine print in states with anticipated close contests.
Sen. Mark Begich (D) vs. Dan Sullivan (R)
Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call Race Rating: Tilts Republican
Trigger: Only an exact tie triggers a recount in the El Dorado of the North. But if the race does not end in a tie, a losing candidate or 10 qualified voters can still request a recount.
Fine Print: In a statewide election, the recount requestor must deposit $15,000 with the recount application, unless the margin is less than 0.5 percent, at which point the state covers the cost. The deposit is refunded if the recount changes the election results.
When the myriad Republican presidential contenders start campaigning for 2016, their journeys might not look much different from this cycle.
From Iowa to New Hampshire, every Republican who is even remotely considering a 2016 bid hit the trail this year to help Senate contenders. What’s more, several competitive Senate races are this year conveniently in states that play host to early nominating contests in 2016.
Joni Ernst, the Republican running for the open seat in Iowa, has had almost every presidential hopeful campaign for her.
Thom Tillis, the Republican nominee in North Carolina, has had visits from even more of them. North Carolina’s legislature voted last year to move the primary to the Tuesday after South Carolina’s contest, placing it in the early group of presidential primary states.
Check out the chart for a full look at who appeared where:
The National Republican Senatorial Committee confirmed Thursday they were looking at a tougher race in Georgia, a Republican-held state they were predicted to win fairly easily.
The executive director of the NRSC, Rob Collins, told reporters the race “has tightened up” between Republican David Perdue and Democrat Michele Nunn in Georgia.
Recent public polling has shown Nunn gaining traction, and Perdue is struggling to move past his comment that he was “proud” of outsourcing jobs during his business career. Last week, the NRSC announced they were putting another $1.4 million into the state to help Perdue, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee followed by announcing additional spending for the state.
So much for a predictable midterm cycle. The past month has left multiple possible outcomes for control of the Senate.
Republican groups are barraging Kansas with resources and advertising to save a three-term incumbent being challenged by an independent in a solidly GOP state. Democrats, lacking much hope for months of holding an open seat in South Dakota, are all of a sudden dropping $1 million in advertising there — and being matched by Republicans — in a last-second Hail Mary that could possibly save its majority.
Just three weeks remain until Election Day, yet control of the Senate remains a dogfight and more than a handful of seats could conceivably go either way. The GOP has at least 10 states to find a path to six Senate seats and the majority, but — while public polling in most states appears to be moving in its direction — at this point the party has only locked up two Democrat-held seats in a favorable national climate.
Making matters more convoluted are the unknowns surrounding independent candidates Greg Orman in Kansas and Larry Pressler in South Dakota, who have yet to say which caucus they would join.
With so many variables and competitive races, plus potential and competitive runoffs in Louisiana and Georgia, the outcome of the midterm elections is anyone’s guess.
But as the votes start rolling in, there’s a chance the result will be one of the following three scenarios: Full story
Updated, 9:04 a.m. | TOPEKA, Kan. — With less than four weeks until Election Day, the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s independent expenditure arm is shifting resources to increase its investment in six states, including South Dakota and Georgia.
The NRSC has moved $1 million to South Dakota, plus another $1.45 million to Georgia.
In South Dakota, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee made a $1 million television ad buy this week, on the heels of tightening poll numbers that showed its candidate, Rick Weiland, gaining ground. In Georgia, a new poll suggests a runoff is likely.
Gallup said Friday runoffs are “likely” in Georgia’s Senate and gubernatorial races, citing the high rate of independents in that state.
A Senate runoff in Georgia would be held Jan. 6 — potentially leaving control of the Senate in limbo into the next session of Congress.
Gallup didn’t post direct poll results in the hotly contested race between Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue, but the polling showed Georgia has trended slightly less conservative in recent years. Full story
Georgia Democrat Michelle Nunn launched a TV ad Friday asking whether women can trust David Perdue, Nunn’s GOP opponent for the state’s open Senate seat.
The ad, shared first with CQ Roll Call, is part of a continued effort to highlight Perdue’s corporate past. It states Dollar General was sued by female employees for discrimination while he was serving as CEO and that the company paid a multi-million-dollar settlement.
“If David Perdue didn’t do right by women at his company, why would he do right for Georgia?” the ad’s announcer says. Full story
The press secretary to former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is heading to the South to help Republicans retain one of their two most endangered Senate seats.
Megan Whittemore told reporters in an email Monday that beginning later this week, she will be communications director for David Perdue’s campaign in Georgia.
Whittemore’s exit comes as Cantor is set to resign from Congress, effective Aug. 18. The Virginia Republican’s descent from leadership and early exit followed his stunning June 10 primary defeat — and Whittemore was one of several top Cantor staffers identified as likely attractive candidates for new jobs.