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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Senate Classes and the Six-Year Term

 In Defying the Odds, we discuss state and congressional elections as well as the presidential race

Always remember the importance of the six-year term for senators.

A Senate class elected in a midterm will face reelection in a presidential year, and vice versa.  The political conditions of the second will be different from the first.  A wave election brings in a set of senators who are vulnerable to defeat six years later.  The GOP took control of the Senate in the Reagan sweep of 1980, and lost it in 1986.  The GOP tied in 2000, suffered a big setback in 2006.  

Bridget Bowman at Roll Call:

The same group of Republicans who helped their party win control of the Senate in 2014 could be responsible for the GOP losing the majority next week. For these particular senators, a lot has changed over the last six years.

In 2014, it might have been incomprehensible that, six years later, Donald Trump would be president, Democrats would be raising millions in a single fundraising quarter, the 2010 health care law would be popular and the world would be grappling with a once-in-a-century pandemic.

But that’s the reality facing the GOP class of 2014, a group of senators that included some “rising stars” in the party, such as Iowa’s Joni Ernst and Colorado’s Cory Gardner. They’re now among the most vulnerable senators up for reelection, in part because of the dramatically different political environment.

“Six years is a long time in politics,” said Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran, who ran the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 2014.