• Strongly Dem (43)
  • Likely Dem (3)
  • Barely Dem (3)
  • Exactly tied (1)
  • Barely GOP (4)
  • Likely GOP (1)
  • Strongly GOP (45)
  • No Senate race
Map algorithm and special elections
An Orman (I) lead in Kansas is a "tie"
New polls: MI SD
Dem pickups : GA
GOP pickups : AK AR LA MT NC SD WV

News from the Votemaster

New feature: Graph of Senate Scores for the Whole Year

We are introducing a new feature of the site today: a time series of the Senate score for every day of 2014. From it you can see the long-term trends in the battle for control of the Senate. The page has two graphs on it. The upper one simply shows the expected number of seats for each party for each day of 2014 based on the then-current polls. The lower one is the same thing but omits the states where the candidates were statistically tied and only counts the states in which one of the parties was really ahead. It will be updated every day from now on. A link to it is on the menu to the left of the map.

Democrat Chad Taylor Asks Kansas Supreme Court to Remove Him from Ballot

The Democratic candidate for the Senate in Kansas has dropped out of the race but the Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach refused to remove his name from the ballot because he did not state that he was incapable of fulfilling the duties of the office, as required by state law. Nevertheless, the candidate, lawyer Chad Taylor has asked the state supreme court to overrule the secretary of state and remove his name from the ballot. A poll released yesterday shows that 10% of the voters are still prepared to vote for him, even though he is not running. If his name is removed from the ballot, many of them may vote for independent Greg Orman, thus helping to defeat incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), which is what Taylor really wants. In his lawsuit, Taylor is claiming that Kobach is forcing him to run for an office he does not want to run for and that violates the Constitution.

Primary Season is Over

The final 2014 primaries concluded yesterday, except for Louisiana, whose election on Nov. 4 is technically a primary. As expected, former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown won his primary and so he can pursue his dream of being the next senator from New Hampshire. If he wins, which the polls show as unlikely, he would be the third person to represent two different states in the Senate and the first in 150 years. Sen. James Shields (D) once represented Illinois, Missouri, and Minnesota and Waitman Thomas Willey represented Virginia and West Virginia.

In other states, Businessman Kevin Wade defeated 81-year-old Carl Smink in Delaware so he will now face Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE). Coons is heavily favored in this very blue state. In Rhode Island, Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) will face former Rhode Island Republican Party chairman Mark Zaccaria. Reed is also strongly favored.

New York didn't have a Senate primary, but it did have gubernatorial primaries. Not surprisingly Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), who is often mentioned as a presidential contender, won his against activist Zephyr Teachout by a wide margin, 62% to 34%. Nevertheless, Teachout, a Fordham University law professor who ran to the left of Cuomo, did quite well against such a powerful establishment figure.

In other Northeast primaries, the favorites won except for MA-06, where nine-term congressman John Tierney was defeated in the Democratic primary by newcomer Seth Moulton. Tierney is only the fourth incumbent congressman to be beaten in a primary this year and the first Democrat. The district is heavily Democratic, so Moulton is assured of victory in November

Republican Establishment Triumphs in the End

Many Republican senators in deep red states who are up for reelection this year were scared to death. They weren't scared of the Democrats, though, they were scared of tea party opponents in primaries. But in the end, the incumbents won all their races, albeit by modest margins in some cases. No tea party candidate beat an incumbent senator in a contested primary this year, unlike 2010 and 2012 where that happened repeatedly.

A large part of the reason is that this year incumbents were not caught asleep at the switch. In previous years they underestimated grass roots opponents who had never before run for public office. This year, every incumbent brought out massive firepower to go after any opponent, no matter how weak. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce also poured big money into many races to help incumbents.

With the primaries over, the National Journal has compiled a list of what we have learned from them. The seven items are:

  1. Incumbents still rule the roost, but not as easily as they used to.
  2. Challengers have access to more money than ever
  3. Primaries can help Democrats
  4. The NRSC still has game
  5. Message to conservatives: Tactics matter
  6. A good ad still matters
  7. "Meddling" in the other party's primary is really difficult

Items Democrats and Republicans Agree On about the Election

The executive director of the DSCC, Guy Cecil, and the executive director of the NRSC, Rob Collins, debated yesterday for the first time and differed on many things, of course, but there are some things that came out of their meeting that they agree on, as follows:

  1. 2014 does not look like a wave year
  2. Republicans want to nationalize the election; Democrats don't
  3. Both sides are focusing on turnout
  4. Republicans will talk about the Democrats' issues, like birth control
  5. Democrats have basically conceded Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia already
  6. Democrats aren't going to invest in Kansas quite yet
  7. Ads are getting very expensive
  8. Campaign finances have come under the control of outside interests
  9. Suburban women will decide the election

Today's Senate Polls

With states in the West and Midwest like Michigan, Colorado, and Iowa slowly returning to the Democratic fold, it looks like control of the Senate will be largely fought out in the South and Alaska, with Kansas being a wild card. North Carolina may be the biggest battle of all. Nominally it is Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) against house speaker Thom Tillis, but in reality it is President Obama against the North Carolina state legislature, both unpopular in the state.

State Democrat D % Republican R % I I % Start End Pollster
Michigan Gary Peters 43% Terri Land 36%     Sep 04 Sep 07 PPP
South Dakota Rick Weiland 28% Mike Rounds 39% Larry Pressler 25% Sep 03 Sep 07 SurveyUSA

* Denotes incumbent

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---The Votemaster
Sep09 Icons for Websites and bloggers Now Available
Sep09 The Battle for Kansas Has Started
Sep09 Ten 2014 Races That Will Matter in 2016
Sep09 Constitutional Amendment to Regulate Campaign Finances Advances in the Senate
Sep09 Michelle Obama Hits Campaign Trail
Sep09 Obama Asks for Five Billion Dollars to Go after ISIS
Sep09 Icons for Websites and loggers Now Available
Sep09 The Battle for Kansas Has Started
Sep09 Ten 2014 Races That Will Matter in 2016
Sep09 Constitutional Amendment to Regular Campaign Finances Advances in the Senate
Sep09 Constitutional Amendment to Regulate Campaign Finances Advances in the Senate
Sep09 Michelle Obama Hits Campaign Trail
Sep09 Obama Asks for Five Billion Dollars to Go after ISIS
Sep08 Why Democrats Can't Win the House
Sep08 Final Primaries Tomorrow
Sep08 Economic Realignment May Help the Democrats
Sep08 Dark Horses Are Emerging for 2016 Already
Sep08 Why Democrats Can't Win the House?
Sep08 Final Primaries Tomorrow
Sep08 Economic Realignment May Help the Democrats
Sep08 Dark Horses Are Emerging for 2016 Already
Sep07 Obama To Delay Action on Immigration
Sep07 Wendy Davis Talks about Her Abortion
Sep07 Politico Publishes List of the Top 50 Political Thinkers
Sep06 Landrieu Survives Residency Challenge--for the Time Being
Sep06 McDonnell Conviction Could Have Far-Reaching Consequences
Sep06 Christie Loses Bet in Atlantic City
Sep06 Voting Restrictions Are in Place in Eight States
Sep05 Taylor's Withdrawal from Kansas Senate Race Getting More Complicated
Sep05 Political Stupidity is Bipartisan
Sep05 Court Orders Early Voting To Be Reinstated in Ohio
Sep05 Early Voting Is Starting Today
Sep05 Kay Hagan and Thom Tillis Each Attack the Other's Party
Sep05 The Top Eight Senate Campaign Gaffes
Sep04 Chad Taylor Drops Out of Kansas Senate Race
Sep04 Martin O'Malley Says He Will Run for President in 2016
Sep04 Campaigns Used to Begin after Labor Day
Sep03 Roll Call's List of Vulnerable Senators
Sep03 Democrats and Dynasties
Sep03 Some Republicans Calling for Over-the-Counter Birth Control
Sep03 Secret News Is Released Friday Evening
Sep03 Kentuckians Do Not Want to Change the Law for Rand Paul
Sep02 Obama Spends Labor Day Talking to Labor Unions
Sep02 Hagan Popular with Banks
Sep02 Buying Access to Senators and Governors is Surprisingly Inexpensive
Sep02 Public Doesn't Believe the Economy is Improving
Sep02 Republicans Expect Small Gain in the House
Sep02 Another Take on Romney 2016
Sep02 Lankford Crushing Johnson in Oklahoma Special Election
Sep01 Study Says that Citizens United Decision Helped Republicans