April 16, 2014

Rothenberg Archive

How to Handicap a Campaign's Ground Game in 2014

This cycle, Democrats are counting heavily on registering new voters and turning out registered voters who otherwise don’t bother to vote during midterm elections. Republicans are also putting more emphasis on voter contact programs.

Meet 3 Divergent House Candidates Worth Watching

While some observers of politics apparently are only interested in statistical models that predict electoral outcomes, I have always thought that candidates matter — both during campaigns and, particularly, when the victorious arrive in Washington, D.C.

Senator Thad Cochran, Underdog?

Forget about Matt Bevin’s challenge to Sen. Mitch McConnell in the Kentucky Republican primary or Milton Wolf’s bid to knock off Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts in that state’s GOP contest. The Senate primary to watch is Mississippi’s.

Democrats' Growing Problems With Independent Voters on the Senate Map

While the nation’s (and news media’s) focus on Malaysian Airlines flight 370 gave Democrats a couple of weeks to catch their collective breath, the 2014 election cycle continues to look increasingly dangerous for President Barack Obama and his party.

Another Cycle, Another Poll Memo About Florida’s 2nd District

Democratic memos about the party’s optimistic prospects in Florida’s 2nd district never die. They simply fade away until the next election cycle, when a new one miraculously surfaces.

Why Polls Still Show Democrats With Higher Marks Than Republicans

Political brands are important. If a candidate or political party has a damaged political brand, it’s harder for them to sell themselves to voters. But sometimes a poll’s top lines can be deceiving, so you need to look a little below the surface to understand what is going on.

Bill Clinton's Real Impact on the Kentucky Senate Race

The national media’s reaction to former President Bill Clinton’s recent trip to Kentucky to boost the Senate candidacy of Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes was predictable.

There's No Good Time for the GOP on Immigration

GOP leaders on Capitol Hill apparently have already decided to punt rather than push ahead with their own immigration proposal, but that hasn’t stopped the chatter from the sidelines, especially from those who don’t like the leadership’s decision.

DCCC Is 2013 Fundraising Winner, but DNC Drops the Ball

A look at the end-of-the-year financial reports of the two House campaign committees, two Senate campaign committees and two national party committees makes it pretty clear which ones have something to crow about and which have some explaining to do.

For Democrats, It’s All About (Years) After November

Politics is often about keeping one eye on today and another eye on tomorrow. That’s especially true for Democrats, who should not be completely disheartened about their party’s prospects.

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up — and It's Only January

Sometimes, it’s difficult to tell the difference between a real news story and something from The Onion.

The Christie Investigation: From Inquiry to Lynching?

The two key questions are obvious. What did New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie know, and when did he know it?

Rothenberg’s Dangerous Dozen Open House Seats

I wrote my first Dangerous Dozen open House seats column in this space 14 years ago, so I figured I might as well keep the streak going, though it isn’t nearly as impressive as Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak.

The Race Democrats Can't Afford to Lose

It’s rare in politics that anything other than a presidential contest is viewed as a “must win” — but the special election in Florida’s 13th District falls into that category for Democrats.

Early TV Ads: Not New and Mostly a Waste of Money

By mid-December, more than $17.5 million had been spent on TV ads in just four Senate contests: in North Carolina ($8.3 million), Kentucky ($3.5 million), Arkansas ($3.4 million) and Louisiana ($2.3 million), according to a recent piece by Roll Call’s Kyle Trygstad.

Is Arkansas Really the Land of Opportunity for Democrats?

When we think of political battlegrounds, states like Ohio and Florida come to mind. But every so often, a small state becomes a partisan political battleground.

Awards for the Best and Worst of Politics in 2013

Yes, folks, it’s time again for my end-of-the-year awards. It’s been a weird year, but face it: Weird is the new normal in politics.

A Traditional Midterm Headache for Democrats

Democrats have had a nice run recently of interesting House recruits and new takeover opportunities resulting from open GOP seats. And yet, it probably won’t matter.

Open Your Mind to the Possibility of Another Midterm Mess for Democrats

Democrats might want to consider opening their minds to the potential of another midterm nightmare.

If Linda Lingle Could, Why Can’t Wendy Davis?

As longtime readers of this column know, voters in one-party states sometimes elect the nominee of the “wrong” party as governor. Today’s question is whether state Sen. Wendy Davis, a Democrat, has a fighting chance to win next year’s gubernatorial election in Texas, which remains a rock-solid Republican state.