Tag: 2016 Senate Elections

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Since last week’s Indiana primary, and the subsequent departures of Ted Cruz and John Kasich, there has been a lot of media speculation on what the coming Trump nomination will mean to down-ballot GOP candidates for congress and senate. There are two prevailing theories. One is that GOP candidates are in trouble because those who […]

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Will Republicans Hold the Senate in 2016?


shutterstock_198818447This year’s US Senate races are probably as important — if not more important — than the presidential contest that has taken-up all the attention so far. Currently, the Senate consists of 54 Republicans and 46 Democrats (including Sanders and King). Of the 34 seats up for election in 2016, Republicans hold 24 to the Democrats’ mere 10.

That means Republicans go into the election with a guarantee of holding only 30 seats, while the Democrats are assured no fewer than 36. Given these favorable terms, it’s at least possible that the Democrats can net an additional five seats and regain control of the Senate. At the very least, we shouldn’t take the Senate for granted.

Of those 34 races, 25 strike me as safe. Republicans can be assured of 17 (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah) while Democrats are all-but-guaranteed eight (California, Connecticut, Hawaii, New York, Maryland, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington). This would give the Republicans 47 seats and the Democrats 44.

Senate Timing, Temperament, and 2016 Odds


shutterstock_190129352I got to sit in on a roundtable talk with a Republican senator yesterday, during which said lawmaker expressed hope of getting tax reform moving in Congress. My thought: will timing and temperament make this possible?

As for the former (timing), we’re already midway through 2015. Next year is a reelection year for one-third of the U.S. Senate and the entire House. Does that make for more productivity or less — especially with something as prolonged as tax reform?

Which leads to the question of temperament.

Sweet Loretta?


Congresswoman+Loretta+Sanchez+Joins+WGA+Picket+2AP6UjWqRkKlYou can’t blame Californians for being somewhat jaded, if not downright disinterested, in statewide elections. Just look at the numbers.

Jerry Brown won last year’s gubernatorial contest by 20 points without working up a sweat (or bothering to run ads). He also won by a shade under 13%, back in 2010. As for presidential contests, America’s nation-state hasn’t gone with a Republican since George H.W. Bush back in 1988. The average spread in the last five presidential years is 17 points, ranging from a 24-point Obama win in 2008 to a 10-point George W. Bush loss in 2004. Then there’s the U.S. Senate, which will be in play in 2016 with Barbara Boxer stepping down after four terms. Will a Republican take her seat? Don’t bet on it. The average GOP Senate loss in years coinciding with a presidential election — this is going back to 1992, when Boxer and Dianne Feinstein were first elected — is the same 17 points. Take out Boxer’s 5% win in 1992 and it’s over 20%.

But that doesn’t mean the Senate race won’t be fun to watch, especially when the two Democrats in the race cross paths. That would be State Attorney General Kamala Harris and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez.

Reiding Between the Lines


ReidHis decision not to seek another Senate term sent Washington into a tizzy last week, begging questions as to what prompted the surprise career choice and what it portends for control of the chamber beyond 2016. But enough about Indiana Senator Dan Coats . . .

Instead, it’s Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who made the big splash in announcing that he won’t seek a sixth term next year. And this being the nation’s capital, where no one voluntarily relinquishes power unless (a) they’re shoved out the door or (b) happen to be awaiting indictment, one wonders what all contributed to Reid’s retirement.

Here are three things to ponder:



RubioI’m in Washington, D.C., where some of the political buzz centers around Florida Senator Marco Rubio and the “to be or not to be”/”will he or won’t he?” question of his future plans. Here’s Rubio’s dilemma: run for re-election in 2016, or run for the White House.

It’s an either/or question, as Rubio’s said repeatedly that he won’t go national while trying to hold on to his day job (something that Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan did in 2012 and that Kentucky Senator Rand Paul may attempt in 2016 — that is, if he can sell the idea back home).

Rubio’s second dilemma: he has to make up his mind soon, in order for Florida Republicans to get their act together should he vacate the Senate seat.