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Rothenberg Archive

Pat Toomey Is a Strong Candidate. Will That Be Enough in 2016?

Yes, I know Pennsylvania Democrats don’t have a 2016 Senate candidate who excites the entire party yet. I also know the election is 20 months away — plenty of time for them to rally around a nominee.

Remembrance of Shutdowns Past

Republicans scored big gains in the 2010 and 2014 elections because both of those midterms were about President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party. Democrats had successful elections in 2006, 2008 and 2012 primarily because they made those elections about the GOP and George W. Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney.

Rand Paul, Hillary Clinton Face Foreign Policy Challenges in 2016

While the economy is a decisive topic in many presidential elections, national security looks increasingly likely to become a top issue in next year’s contest. And if that happens, it could dramatically affect both the direction of the race for the Republican nomination and the party’s prospects in November.

Past and Precedent: What Makes This Mississippi Special Election Interesting

You might think the best way to understand Mississippi’s upcoming 1st District special election to fill the late Rep. Alan Nunnelee’s seat is to examine the 2008 special election in the same district. After all, that previous special election to fill the seat left open by Roger Wicker’s appointment to the Senate happened less than seven years ago.

Is Ben Carson Really a Viable Presidential Candidate?

Just because something has not happened before doesn’t mean it can’t happen in the future.

Not Your Father’s (or Grandfather’s) GOP Field

None of the top-tier GOP contenders for the party’s presidential nomination have formally entered the race yet, but it’s already clear the field will be unique in the party’s modern campaign history.

First Look: Can Democrats Win the Senate in 2016?

For Republicans, the fight for control of the Senate in 2016 is all about playing defense.

Can Democrats Win the House in 2016?

Democrats have a better chance of winning control of the House next year than they did at any time in 2014. That’s true even though they now need to gain 30 seats, almost twice what they needed last year.

Jury Duty in Today's America

While most of America was still talking about what happened in Ferguson, Mo., and turning to law enforcement issues in Cleveland and Staten Island, New York, I spent the better part of the week of Dec. 1 in a courthouse in Rockville, Md.

Mary Landrieu’s Loss and the End of Ticket Splitting

Louisiana Sen. Mary L. Landrieu’s defeat in the Dec. 6 runoff certainly was no surprise. If anything, it seemed inevitable since the evening of Nov. 4, when it became clear a Republican rout was underway and Democrats would lose control of the Senate.

Rothenberg’s End of the Year Awards for 2014

Well, we’ve made it through another strange political year — and let’s face it, they are all strange — so it’s time for me to devote another column to picking the best, the worst and the weirdest candidates, campaigns and outcomes of the year.

What Did — and Didn't — Surprise Me This Cycle

Every election cycle is filled with twists and turns, upsets and surprises. And every cycle is filled with goofy arguments, warnings about things that never happen and unsurprising outcomes that surprise only the politically uneducated.

Lessons for Democratic Strategists From 2014

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.

2014: Plenty of Surprises, but None Totally Unexpected

Yes, that was a wave. A big one. In many respects, it was a wave that was larger and more damaging to Democrats than in 2010.

Republicans (Still) Poised to Pick Up 6 to 8 Senate Seats

Almost two months ago, on September 8th, I wrote that while the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call ratings projected Republican Senate gains in the five to eight seat range, I was “expecting a substantial Republican Senate wave in November, with a net gain of at least seven seats.”

A Nerve-Wracking Finish for Democrats

How big of a year is this going to be for Republicans? It’s still hard to tell, one week before voters go to the polls for the midterm elections.

What Counts As a GOP Wave in 2014?

Most neutral observers expect Republicans to take the Senate and make at least small gains in the House, but talk about a possible GOP political wave has all but disappeared.

Weak GOP Candidates May Need More Than a Good Year

Republicans have the wind at their backs this year. But not every GOP nominee is taking advantage of that dynamic. As usual, some candidates are under-performing, proving once again that candidates and the campaigns they choose to run actually matter.

Not His Father’s Arkansas

I have been thinking for months about how politics has changed over the past decade, but those changes struck home in a very obvious way while I was reading a recent Washington Post article written by the very able Philip Rucker.

Why Republicans Must Win the Senate in 2014

If next month produces a big Republican year, with the GOP gaining control of the Senate and expanding its majority in the House, it will say little or nothing about 2016, when a presidential electorate and a very different Senate class combine to create the makings of a substantially good Democratic year.

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