Analysts always strain to generalize about elections. We want to “model” them, find the common elements, and project them as early as possible based on the commonalities. That’s a legitimate approach, but we need always remember that every election is different. Every single one.
If Republicans are to win the Senate, they probably are going to have to do something they haven’t done since 1980: beat more than two Democratic Senate incumbents in November.
Establishment Republicans across the country are saying “Thank God for Mississippi,” but not in the derisive way that political scientist V.O. Key describes it above. The state’s Republican voters, and probably quite a few Democrats, allowed the GOP establishment to fend off a Tea Party challenge to a sitting senator. In the process, they kept Democrats from potentially expanding the Senate’s general election playing field in November and from giving anti-establishment forces in the Republican Senate caucus another ally.
Mississippi, a state often ignored by the national political world, managed to do something rarely seen in politics: Produce two upsets in the same race in a three-week span. And it bucked a trend of generally pathetic turnout in primaries nationwide to produce the second and then first-largest primary turnouts in the history of Mississippi Republican politics.
Mississippi, a trailblazing leader in voter participation? It has been a very odd primary season indeed.
Election Day 2014 is now almost exactly seven months away, which is both near and far.
On the one hand, more than half of the states –29 of 50 — have passed their filing deadlines for major party candidates (the deadline in a 30th, Tennessee, is today). The late entries of Rep. Cory Gardner (R, CO-4) and ex-Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) into, respectively, the Colorado and New Hampshire Senate races are probably the last major candidate announcements we’re going to see this cycle, barring a late retirement or other big surprise. So the playing field is basically set.
In our first ranking of the very large and very unsettled 2016 Republican presidential field back in April of last year, we decided to not even include the name of one of the brightest stars in the GOP universe: Jeb Bush. We just didn’t think, at the time, that the former Florida governor and brother and son of presidents was all that interested in running.
But during 2013 and into this new year, we’ve gotten the sense, like many others, that things might be changing. So much so that we now consider Bush the leader of the field if he decides to run.
Rep.-elect David Jolly (R, FL-13) overcame money, some internal division among Republicans, and a name recognition and prestige deficit to defeat Alex Sink (D) in a much-watched special election in Florida’s Tampa-area 13th Congressional District Tuesday night.
At this very early point in the 2014 race for the U.S. House, small Republican gains -- as in, less than five seats -- look likelier than a similarly small gain for Democrats. That’s because the Republican targets just look a little better than the Democratic ones.
As we discussed last week, the Democratic Party’s presidential field in 2016 hinges greatly on the decision of one person: Hillary Clinton. The Republican Party’s early primary picture is much more complicated, and the top-tier contenders are grouped much closer together at the starting gate.
As the 2012 election fades into the history books, we begin our first look at the 2014 contests for Senate, House and Governor. Let’s start with the Senate, which will be the site of an intense battle for control once again. Before looking ahead at the Republicans’ prospects to gain the six seats they need to win control of the Senate, it is first important -- though for Republicans, painful -- to look back at the past two Senate cycles.
It’s pretty obvious who turned in a stronger performance in the first presidential debate last night. And it certainly wasn’t the incumbent. This may have been Mitt Romney’s best debate ever, and it almost certainly was Barack Obama’s worst. The question is, will it matter and, if so, how much will it matter?