n-c-senate

10 Races to Watch in 2016: North Carolina Senate

Burr is a Republican from North Carolina. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Tar Heel State residents should enjoy the absence of political ads on their airwaves while they can.  

The 2016 Senate race in North Carolina could be just as competitive as the 2014 contest, which flooded local televisions with more than $100 million in political ads to become one of the most expensive congressional races in history. Sen. Richard M. Burr, R-N.C., has said he will seek re-election , and some Democrats hope outgoing Sen. Kay Hagan will challenge him. Hagan lost her seat last month to Sen.-elect Thom Tillis. But almost immediately after her defeat, Democrats started talking about a potential comeback campaign in 2016. She ran one of the best campaigns last cycle, and she has not ruled out  running again.  

How Thom Tillis Defeated One of 2014's Best Campaigns

Sen.-elect Thom Tillis is a North Carolina Republican. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call).

It’s rare a losing campaign has no regrets. But to the last person, Democrats involved in Sen. Kay Hagan's re-election say they would not have done anything differently.  

Hagan ran one of the best campaigns of the cycle , defying headwinds of an unpopular Democratic president in a state that elected Mitt Romney in 2012. But on Election Day, it was not enough, and she fell to Republican state Speaker Thom Tillis by 1.7 points.  

The Best Congressional Campaigns of 2014

Ernst is the senator-elect from Iowa. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As a national Republican wave crested on Election Day, there were several campaigns in both parties that stood out as outstanding operations.  

The GOP expanded its House majority and obtained control of the Senate. As a result, more Republican campaigns emerged deserving of the spotlight. But there were also several Democratic operations worthy of recognition.  

What Happened to 2014's Most Vulnerable Senators?

Sen. Hagan was defeated Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Three members on Roll Call's ranking of the 10 most vulnerable senators will definitely not be returning to Congress next year, along with a slew of other incumbents .  

The fate of two more senators is still unknown, but they also appear to be in trouble. Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., faces a difficult December runoff. Votes are also still being counted in Alaska, where Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, is trailing his Republican opponent by several points.  

Republicans Sweep the Senate (Updated)

McConnell won re-election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call Photo)

Updated Nov. 5, 7:23 a.m. | Republicans swept the Senate races Tuesday night, and come January, they will control the chamber for the first time in eight years.  

Democratic incumbents fell right and left, even in seats that they had originally been favored to win. President Barack Obama's poor approval rating — 42 percent in the last nationwide Gallup poll — dragged down candidates across the country in the face of a Republican wave.  

Counties to Watch in 5 Key Senate Races

Udall is seeking re-election in Colorado. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Control of the Senate comes down to just a few states, with Republicans in a position to pick up the necessary net six seats to win the majority.  

As the results pour in Tuesday evening, here are the counties to watch in five of the most contested Senate races: Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina, Kansas, and Georgia.  

Why Senate Control May Not Be Known by Wednesday

Landrieu rallies supporters Nov. 2 in Shreveport, La. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

There are enough Democratic seats in play for Republicans to secure the Senate majority Tuesday, but there is also a chance the outcome won't be known for days, weeks or even a couple months.  

Needing to net six seats to win back control for the first time since George W. Bush’s second midterm in 2006, Republicans have taken advantage of a Democratic president in a similarly weak political position and have carved a path through 10 states . That means Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell may be celebrating more than his own re-election in Louisville, Ky., on Tuesday night.  

Why State Lawmakers Are an Opposition Researcher's Dream

Tillis has a record and Democrats know it. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Think being a Washington politician gets a bum rap? It's not so easy being a politician from Phoenix, Springfield, Des Moines, Lincoln or Raleigh, either. Just ask Arizona Speaker Andy Tobin, Illinois state Rep. Mike Bost, Iowa House Rep. Pat Murphy, Nebraska state Sen. Brad Ashford or North Carolina Speaker Thom Tillis.

With extensive voting records, state legislators hoping to capture national offices have seen their records used against them in close races, as their opponents use their votes to paint them with the same brush any incumbent is accustomed to.

Final Rankings: The 10 Most Vulnerable Senators

Pryor, right, canvasses Saturday with an aide in the Little Rock, Arkansas, suburbs. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call Photo)

Roll Call's final ranking of the most vulnerable senators doesn't vary much from previous versions — the result of an unfavorable national climate for Democrats that has failed to improve.  

On the eve of the midterm elections, Senate Democrats are staring down a hole dug by President Barack Obama’s disapproval ratings and an unforgiving map packed with red states. Retirements by a quartet of senators in Republican-leaning or swing states didn’t help, but the seats of at least four incumbents seeking re-election aren’t on much stronger ground.  

Reid: Iowa Loss Would Mean Republican Senate Majority (Updated)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:27 p.m., Nov. 1 | Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid may have just unwittingly given Minority Leader McConnell something to smile about.  

"What Joni Ernst would mean, coming to the United States Senate, is that Mitch McConnell would be the leader of the Senate, someone who agrees with her on virtually everything. Think what that would mean to our country," Reid told progressives Saturday, when asked about Ernst's chances in the open-seat race in Iowa.