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Rothenberg Archive

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.

What If I’m Wrong About GOP Flipping at Least 7 Seats?

A few weeks ago I wrote Senate Republicans would gain at least seven seats, even though the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call race ratings showed a likely Republican gain of five to eight seats.

Shift in Landscape Makes Bigger GOP House Gains Possible

Only three times since the Civil War, as any political junkie knows, has the presidentís party gained House seats in midterm elections ó in 1934, 1998 and 2002. It now seems quite clear 2014 wonít be another exception to that rule.

Rothenberg: Senate GOP Gains At Least 7 Seats

While the current Rothenberg Political Report ratings donít show it, I am now expecting a substantial Republican Senate wave in November, with a net gain of at least seven seats.

The Best Ads of 2014 – Oh Really?

A few weeks ago, I noticed a piece in Time headlined ďThe Best 6 Political Campaign Ads of the Summer (So Far).Ē

Not Your Typical Southern Democrat in South Carolina

Republican Sen. Lindsey Grahamís Democratic opponent, state Sen. Brad Hutto, wants you to know two things: He has a path to victory against the two-term Republican, and it doesnít require him to run from traditional Democratic positions.

President George W. Obama Meets the Midterms

I certainly didnít know foreign policy would be front and center in the final months before the midterm elections when I wrote in late April that these issues ďcould have an indirect yet significant impact on the midterm elections.Ē

'Simple' Doesn’t Equal 'Easy' in N.H. Senate Race

Having written about House and Senate races for the past 30 years, Iíve seen plenty of press releases, polling memos and campaign strategy emails. But rarely have I received anything as silly as a July 9 press release from New Hampshire Republican Senate hopeful Scott P. Brownís campaign, which presented the challengerís alleged ďPath To Victory.Ē

Fight for the Senate Still Very Much Up in the Air

The bottom line looks about the same in the fight for control of the Senate in November ó but some of the pieces of the puzzle have moved around dramatically over the past few months.

Could Upbeat Economic News Help Obama, Democrats?

Last weekís news that the U.S. economy gained 288,000 jobs in June seems to confirm the upbeat economic assessments coming from many of the nationís economists and Wall Street analysts.

Beware 'Anti-Incumbent' Election Hysteria

The defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia is sure to lead to another round of speculation that the 2014 midterms might not produce a partisan-wave election, but rather one where large numbers of incumbents from both parties are sent packing by voters.

Thad Cochran’s Mississippi

CLEVELAND, Miss. ó The rain pounded the Mississippi Delta for the better part of three days late last week, but the nasty weather and a hard-fought primary contest didnít stop Sen. Thad Cochran from attending the Delta Councilís annual event on May 30 on the Delta State University campus. The council is an economic development organization, started in 1935, that includes eighteen Delta and part-Delta counties in the state.

The Long Lost Tale of Phil Maloof

Most readers know that Nathan Gonzales and I, along with our friends from Roll Call, interview at least 150 candidates for Congress every election cycle. I have been doing it for many years.

Ben Sasse, Mystery Man

I am not at all certain who or what Ben Sasse is. I interviewed him in February, and heard him speak to a large, sympathetic group not long after that. And, of course, Iíve seen him interviewed by others. But I still donít have a handle on what kind of senator he will be.

The New World of Election Coverage and Analysis: A Case Study

My new statistical model of the open Wisconsin Senate seat suggests that Democrats now have only a 54.496 percent chance of holding the seat. Thatís a dramatic change from just three weeks ago, when my model showed them with a 55.501 percent chance.

And the Winner of the GOP’s Civil War Primary Is ...

Who is winning the primary campaign war within the GOP between pragmatic conservatives and the anti-establishment wing of the party?

Warning: Senate Races Aren't as Close as They Appear

Iíve noticed with some alarm how many people fail to make reasonable distinctions among races that admittedly have some factors in common.

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