Senate

Ernst and Braley tied in Iowa

Featured image A new NBC/Marist poll of the Iowa Senate race finds Democrat Bruce Braley and Republican Joni Ernst tied at 43 percent. The poll is of registered voters. The NBC/Marist result is in line with the findings, viewed collectively, of three surveys conducted last month. A Quinnipiac poll had Braley ahead by 4; a Loras College poll had Ernst up by 6; and a Rasmussen poll gave Ernst a 1 point »

Dana Milbank’s fantasy

Featured image Dana Milbank, the Clown Prince of the Washington Post, argues that having an “all-Republican Congress” might help President Obama. By all-Republican Congress, Milbank means a majority Republican Senate to go along with the majority Republican House. Milbank reasons that with Republicans in control of both chambers, they would pass conservative legislation on matters such as immigration, health care, the budget, and abortion. Obama could then veto that legislation, thereby enhancing »

Cochran leads McDaniel in early returns from Mississippi showdown [UPDATED -- COCHRAN WINS]

Featured image Tonight’s most important primary election is the runoff in Mississippi for the Republican Senate nomination. Incumbent Thad Cochran faces a stiff challenge from Chris McDaniel, the candidate of choice for the Tea Party and other staunch conservatives. Recent polls have shown McDaniel ahead, but with 37 percent of the precincts counted, Cochran leads by 53.5 to 46.5. In raw numbers, this translates to a little more than 6,000 which, of »

Republicans still have slight edge in latest Nate Silver Senate forecast

Featured image Nate Silver, the reigning champion of election forecasting, has issued a new Senate forecast. He projects that the Republicans will gain 5.7 Senate seats. They need a gain of 5 to wrest control of the Senate, so Silver’s forecast gives the Republicans a better than 50 percent chance of accomplishing this. In his last forecast, Silver projected a Republican gain of 5.8 seats. Thus, he sees the overall shape of »

Ernst pulls even, or maybe ahead, in Iowa

Featured image Two new polls contain good news for those of us hoping to see the Republicans win the Iowa Senate seat being vacated by Tom Harkin. A Rasmussen poll has Republican Joni Ernst, fresh off of her victory earlier this week in the primary, in a dead heat with Democrat Bruce Braley (Ernst 45, Braley 44). Before the primary, Braley was leading Ernst by 4 to 8 points in the various »

Mark Pryor and company rubber stamp radical nominee David Barron

Featured image The Senate has confirmed the nomination of left-winger David Barron to the First Circuit Court of Appeals. The vote was 53-45. Only two Democrats voted against confirming Barron. They were Joe Manchin, a genuine moderate, and Mary Landrieu, who is up for re-election in a conservative state. Other pseudo-moderate Democrats such as Mark Pryor, Mark Begich, and Kay Hagan were perfectly content to rubber-stamp a nominee who, among things, has »

In other primary news

Featured image Monica Wehby, a pediatric neurosurgeon, has won the Oregon Senate primary and will face incumbent Democrat Jeff Merkley. Wehby defeated state Rep. Jason Conger by a margin of 51-37. Such polling as exists suggests that Wehby has a shot at defeating her non-descript opponent. However, Wehby, a divorced mother, has come under fire for her involvement in two domestic disputes. Her ex-boyfriend apparently called the police on her for alleged »

Georgia Republican Senate Primary produces a runoff

Featured image With more than 90 percent of the precincts reporting in Georgia, the Republican Senate primary has finally been called. David Perdue will finish first and Rep. Jack Kingston will finish second. Perdue is at 30.3 percent; Kingston at 26.2 percent. Accordingly, there will be a runoff in July. Because the three candidates who came in next are quite conservative, and because collectively they captured more than 40 percent of the »

McConnell wins Kentucky primary

Featured image With more than 80 percent of the precincts reporting, Mitch McConnell is the runaway winner in his primary contest against Matt Bevin. McConnell’s lead is 60-36. Politico reports that the Senate Conservatives Fund, associated with Jim DeMint and a major funder of Bevin’s campaign, immediately issued a statement congratulating McConnell, thanking Bevin for “standing up for conservative principles,” and calling for Republicans to “unite” in the fight against Grimes. Bevin »

Poll: Voters leaning Republican in 2014 battleground races

Featured image A new poll conducted for Politico by SocialSphere Inc. of Cambridge, Massachusetts contains bad news for Democrats. Surveying voters in 16 states with competitive Senate races and dozens of congressional districts that may also be in play (according to the University of Virginia Center for Politics), Politico found that 43 percent intend to vote for the Republican Senate candidate, while only 36 percent intend to vote for the Democrat. The »

Tillis looking good in North Carolina Senate Primary [UPDATED]

Featured image Thom Tillis has a substantial lead over a crowded field of Republican candidates bidding for the nomination to run against vulnerable incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan. With 41 percent of the precincts reporting Tillis has 45.7 percent of the vote. His closest rival, Greg Bannon a Tea Party libertarian, has 27.4 percent support. For Tillis, the key is to clear 40 percent. That would enable him to avoid a costly run-off »

Oregon appears to be in play

Featured image My Senate polling roundup from a few days ago did not include the Oregon race between incumbent Democrat Jeff Merkeley and Republican Dr. Monica Wehby (Wehby isn’t the Republican candidate yet, but she’s favored to win the nomination). That’s because the polling organization whose work I reported on, Magellan Strategies, did not conduct a survey of that race. The Oregon race only recently has come to be widely considered competitive. »

Senate polling roundup

Featured image Magellan Strategies, which provides analysis for Republicans and conservative groups, has released poll results for seven important Senate races: Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, and North Carolina. In most cases, the candidates are running neck-and-neck according to Magellan, which surveyed 600 to 900 voters in each state. Let’s start with Arkansas. According to Magellan, our friend Rep. Tom Cotton leads Sen. Mark Pryor by three points, 46-43. Two recent »

The Dems Are In Trouble In Oregon

Featured image In Oregon, little-known Senator Jeff Merkley is running for re-election. His opponent is Dr. Monica Wehby, a pediatric neurosurgeon. I don’t know much about Dr. Wehby, but she is playing for keeps. Check out this ad; it is pure dynamite: If Oregon wasn’t in play before, it is now. »

The Republicans’ natural Senate majority, and its implications

Featured image I used to argue that the Republicans have a natural majority in the Senate in the sense that, given a 50-50 election, the House will be almost evenly divided, the presidential winner will be uncertain, but the Senate will likely be Republican (though this would require 50-50 elections over the course of three cycles). The reason, of course, is that the Senate gives equal weight to thinly populated states and »

Mark Pryor relies on a prior Pryor

Featured image This Politico story about Sen. Mark Pryor’s reelection pitch goes on for the two pages but never gets beyond the fact that Pryor’s father was a very popular politician. After serving for almost 12 years in the Senate, Mark Pryor should be embarrassed that his main claim to fame is that he’s David Pryor’s son. But when it comes to clinging to office, Pryor is probably beyond feeling embarrassed. And »

Harry Reid blocks “clean” legislation to aid Ukraine

Featured image A fascinating debate over aid to Ukraine erupted on the Senate floor tonight. It featured Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, Robert Menendez, John McCain, and Bob Corker on one side and Jeff Sessions, John Barrasso, and Ted Cruz on the other. The debate concerned two bills — a House bill that would provide a billion dollar loan package to Ukraine and a Senate bill that would provide loans and also impose »