alaska

Murkowski Facing a Primary Puzzle

Murkowski may face another competitive primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Joe Miller isn’t the only conservative Alaskan with eyes on Sen. Lisa Murkowski — state Sen. Mike Dunleavy is also considering coming after the Republican senator from the right.  

GOP operatives in the state and Democratic former Sen. Mark Begich, ousted last fall, told CQ Roll Call about Dunleavy's interest.  

How Reid Reacted When a Republican Senator Was Indicted

After New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez was indicted on corruption charges  Wednesday, Minority Leader Harry Reid’s reaction to his colleague’s situation wasn’t particularly surprising, but it's not because Menendez is a fellow Democrat.  

"I appreciate Senator Menendez's willingness to temporarily step down as ranking member,” the Nevada Democrat said in a statement. “He has been a consistent champion for the middle class. “As I have said about both Democrats and Republicans, our justice system is premised on the principle of innocent until proven guilty and Senator Menendez should not be judged until he has his day in court."  

Lessons for Democratic Strategists From 2014

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

You could feel it from Day One of this cycle. Senate Democratic strategists knew they were smarter than their Republican adversaries. They’d out-think them and out-work them.  

Incumbent Democratic senators who run good campaigns rarely lose, I was reminded. Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, who had been appointed to his seat, won a tough race in 2010. So did Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. And Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill did the same in 2012.  

GOP Candidates More Popular Than Democrats in Top Senate Races

Landrieu arrives at a rally with supporters in Shreveport. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Here is an emerging surprise of the midterm elections: Republican candidates are more popular than Democratic candidates in top Senate contests.  

It’s no secret the path to victory for Democrats in the Senate was to demonize GOP candidates in the eyes of voters who are dissatisfied with President Barack Obama. For much of the cycle, Democrats were banking on their incumbents’ personal popularity and connection to each of their states being enough to carry them to victory.  

The Recount Rules Guide for 2014

recount rules

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.  

Most Vulnerable Senators, Ranked by Their Wealth

McConnell is the richest on our most vulnerable list. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The most vulnerable senators who face the voters in less than two weeks run the gamut from multimillionaires to one of the poorest on Capitol Hill, based on Roll Call's Wealth of Congress ranking of the minimum net worth of every single lawmaker.  

Two senators in tough spots on Nov. 4 are members of the 50 Richest  list. One of the vulnerable senators has a negative minimum net worth.  

Mark Begich Targeted on Arctic Oil Drilling in New GOP TV Ad (Video)

Begich is being targeted on ANWR in a new TV ad. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A Republican-aligned outside group is hitting Alaska Sen. Mark Begich for failing to persuade his party to support opening drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.  

Utilizing a theme of broken campaign promises from 2008, when Begich defeated Republican Sen. Ted Stevens, the new TV ad from American Crossroads hammers the Democrat for both the percentage of votes on which he agreed with the president last year and the fact that Congress has not approved ANWR oil exploration.  

Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call Race Ratings Changes

Nunn is challenging Perdue for Georgia Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

While national polls show a stable landscape, polls in individual races continue to show some movement. That movement leads us to make a number of changes to our Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call ratings .  

Most of the House changes benefit the GOP, while the Senate and governor changes are far more mixed.  

Ratings Change: Alaska Senate

The Alaska Senate race remains quite close, with incumbent Democrat Mark Begich continuing to run a quality campaign. But the contest has started to better reflect the state’s partisan bent and its attitudes about the president, and GOP challenger Dan Sullivan has moved to a small but significant advantage in the most recent surveys.  

Begich continues to try to localize the contest in the hope that he can defeat Sullivan in spite of President Barack Obama’s poor standing in the state. But that is proving to be difficult, and the incumbent will need a huge turnout of Democrats (including those who usually don’t vote) and a large percentage of late deciders to fashion a come-from-behind victory.  

Why Vote Counting in Alaska Takes a Long Time

Begich is facing a competitive re-election challenge. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

An Alaska Senate race has the potential to once again remain undecided well after the election, and this time the wait could keep control of the Senate up in the air until at least mid-November.  

December and January runoffs are possible in two other states with Senate races, so it could be even longer before either party can claim a majority of seats in the chamber in the next Congress. Senate Republicans need a net gain of six seats to take control.