Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 19, 2014

Senate Candidate Recruitment Timelines Compared

Both parties suffered Senate recruitment setbacks last week when incumbent House members announced their decisions not to run statewide in 2014. But is it too early to declare a recruitment failure for either party in these races?

Despite the reluctance of Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa and Democratic Rep. John Barrow of Georgia to make bids for the Senate, it’s probably too soon to judge either party’s fortunes this election cycle. Kyle Trygstad’s review of Senate candidate announcement dates in the last cycle shows there’s a lot that can happen before the point of no return arrives. (See this Roll Call story: Senate Race Recruitment: Too Early to Fail?)

For example, on this exact date last cycle, then-Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., entered the Senate race as an underdog. The following candidates hadn’t jumped into the race yet: Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and Deb Fischer, R-Neb. All four are now senators.

Also notable: All four candidates who flipped party control of a seat either announced on this date (Donnelly) or later in the 2012 cycle (Warren, Fischer and Sen. Angus King, I-Maine).

Here’s a timeline of when the top eventual Senate nominees jumped into the race last cycle:

Date Candidate, Party State    Win?

1/18/11

Ted Cruz, Republican Texas

W

1/20/11

Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat Connecticut

W

1/24/11

George Allen, Republican Virginia

2/5/11

Denny Rehberg, Republican Montana

2/14/11

Jeff Flake, Republican Arizona

W

2/22/11

Richard Mourdock, Republican Indiana

3/7/11

Heather Wilson, Republican New Mexico

3/15/11

Dean Heller, Republican Nevada

4/2/11

Martin Heinrich, Democrat New Mexico

4/5/11

Tim Kaine, Democrat Virginia

W

4/14/11

Shelley Berkley, Democrat Nevada

5/9/11

Joe Donnelly, Democrat Indiana

W

5/16/11

Rick Berg, Republican North Dakota

5/17/11

Todd Akin, Republican Missouri

5/19/11

Mazie K. Hirono, Democrat Hawaii

W

6/28/11

Deb Fischer, Republican Nebraska

W

7/20/11

Pete Hoekstra, Republican Michigan

9/6/11

Tammy Baldwin, Democrat Wisconsin

W

9/14/11

Elizabeth Warren, Democrat Massachusetts

W

9/20/11

Linda McMahon, Republican Connecticut

9/27/11

Tom Smith, Republican Pennsylvania

10/11/11

Linda Lingle, Republican Hawaii

11/8/11

Heidi Heitkamp, Democrat North Dakota

W

11/10/11

Richard Carmona, Democrat Arizona

11/29/11

Connie Mack, Republican Florida

12/1/11

Tommy Thompson, Republican Wisconsin

1/12/12

John Raese, Republican West Virginia

2/29/12

Bob Kerrey, Democrat Nebraska

3/15/12

Angus King, Independent Maine

W

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