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U.S. Senate


The Short Half-Life of a First-Term US Senator

Three fell in 2014 and more than half of all defeated U.S. Senators over the last 100 years have been in their first term; at least one first-term incumbent has lost reelection in 47 of the 51 election cycles during the direct election era.

Two Female US Senators Lose Seats in 2014 for First Time in History

Despite losses by Mary Landrieu and Kay Hagan this cycle, female U.S. Senators have been reelected to the chamber at nearly the same rate (84 percent) as males (87 percent) over the last quarter-century.

Senate Will Have Historic Number of Ex-US Reps in 114th Congress

With a Cassidy victory in Louisiana, the 114th Congress will convene with more U.S. Senators who previously served in the U.S. House than in any Congress dating back to at least 1899.

Mark Begich and Sean Parnell Join Small Group in Defeat

Over the last 50 years, just five pairs of incumbent governors and U.S. Senators from different political parties in the same state have been defeated.

Will a Freshman US Representative Win a Senate Seat in 2016?

Tom Cotton and Steve Daines became two of just 19 House freshmen to be elected to the Senate over the last century; will a new freshman risk his or her seat to do the same in two years?

Rock Bottom: Democrats Hit Multiple Low Water Marks in US Senate Elections

Ten of the 34 states with U.S. Senate races in 2014 found the Democratic Party endure one of its three worst performances in the direct election era.

Inhofe Wins Record-Setting 5th US Senate Election in Oklahoma

The oldest U.S. Senator in Oklahoma history now has the most victories from the state in races to the nation's upper legislative chamber.

Scott Brown Becomes 1st US Senate Nominee to Lose to 2 Women

Brown is just the fourth U.S. Senate candidate in history to face major party female nominees in three different cycles; he is also the first to lose in two of them.

Mark Pryor Loss Makes US Senate History

Pryor is the first of 89 U.S. Senators to lose a general election coming off a victory in which there was no major party opponent on the ballot.

Mitch McConnell Notches Another Win for US Senate Floor Leaders

Floor leaders in the U.S. Senate have won reelection 87 percent of the time since the position was created in 1920.

Will Alaskans "Throw All the Bums Out" for the First Time in History?

Alaskans have never voted both gubernatorial and U.S. Senate incumbents out of office in the same cycle; incumbents in all three statewide offices could lose Tuesday.

Senators Greg, Bruce, and Michelle? The Names They Are a-Changin'

The Senate will likely add another James, Mike, and Steve to its ranks after the 2014 election, but could also welcome new Senators with names never previously seen among its membership.

The Revolution Continues: 3rd Party and Independent US Senate Candidacies in 2 Charts

The rate of third party and independent U.S. Senate candidacies over the last two decades has increased 60+ percent compared to the first 75 years of the direct election era; 2014 may make the biggest splash yet.

Why Are We Obsessed with the 2014 US Senate Elections?

Control of the upper legislative chamber has flipped in just one out of five cycles since 1914.

Will New Hampshire Split Its Gubernatorial and US Senate Vote in 2014?

Electing a Democratic governor and a Republican U.S. Senator has been a common practice in the Granite State over the last half-century.

Mike Rounds Fact Check: Is South Dakota a Purple State?

Rounds stretches the truth about the electoral history of the Mount Rushmore State in an interview with Bloomberg News.

Strange Bedfellows: A Historical Review of Divided US Senate Delegations

Over the last century, states have been twice as likely to be represented by a single political party in the U.S. Senate than have a split delegation; only Delaware, Iowa, and Illinois have been divided more than half the time.

Can Dayton, Franken Both Win By Double-Digits in 2014?

The DFL/Democratic parties have won Minnesota gubernatorial and U.S. Senate contests in the same cycle in just three out of 25 elections and never by double-digits in both.

Rise of the Independents? Greg Orman Victory Would Make Senate History

No more than two independents have served in the chamber at the same time; the last time three non-major party officeholders served in the U.S. Senate was 1940.

Can Iowa's Split US Senate Delegation Tradition Save Bruce Braley?

The Hawkeye State has the second highest rate in the nation over the last 100 years of sending members from two different parties to the nation's upper legislative chamber.

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Political Crumbs

Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


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