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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

The Peculiar Rhythm of Senate Elections and 2024

 Our new book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses state and congressional elections. 

At Roll Call, Stuart Rothenberg notes that the 2006 Senate class yielded a partisan imbalance that affects future contests
But we already know that while handicappers’ initial ratings for the Senate class of 2022 suggest a relatively even fight involving only a handful of states, the 2024 map strongly favors the GOP.

At least nine Democratic-held seats in competitive states will be up in 2024 — Arizona (Kyrsten Sinema), Michigan (Debbie Stabenow), Minnesota (Amy Klobuchar), Montana (Jon Tester), Nevada (Jacky Rosen), Ohio (Sherrod Brown), Pennsylvania (Bob Casey), West Virginia (Joe Manchin III) and Wisconsin (Tammy Baldwin).

In addition, the seat of Maine independent Angus King, who caucuses with the Democrats and recently turned 77, will be up.

Heading into the 2006 balloting, Democrats were defending 18 Senate seats (including that of Vermont independent Jim Jeffords) to the GOP’s 15. But Republican Senate losses in Missouri (Jim Talent), Montana (Conrad Burns), Ohio (Mike DeWine), Pennsylvania (Rick Santorum), Rhode Island (Lincoln Chafee) and Virginia (George Allen) produced a Senate class that included only nine Republicans and 24 Democrats, including two independents who caucused with them, Connecticut’s Joe Lieberman and Vermont’s Bernie Sanders.
The class then ran in good Democratic years:  2012 (when Obama won reelection) and 2018 (midterm backlash against Trump).
All of this explains why the class of 2024 is so different from the other two Senate classes, each of which includes considerably more Republicans than Democrats. Those other classes took advantage of Obama’s two midterms to make huge gains, adding six Senate seats in 2010 and a stunning nine seats in 2014.