TagSenate

U.S. Senate confirms nominee to U.S. district court

The U.S. Senate on Sept. 21 confirmed one of President Joe Biden’s (D) federal judicial nominees to a lifetime Article III judgeship.

Margaret Strickland was nominated to the District of New Mexico on April 19 to replace Judge Robert Brack, who assumed senior status on July 25, 2018. Strickland was rated as Well Qualified by a majority and Qualified by a minorityby the American Bar Association. Strickland will join the court upon receiving her judicial commission and taking her judicial oath.

To date, 13 of Biden’s appointees have been confirmed. For historical comparison since 1981, the following list shows the date by which the past six presidents had 13 Article III judicial nominees confirmed by the Senate:

Currently, nine Article III nominees are awaiting a confirmation vote from the U.S Senate, seven nominees are awaiting a Senate Judiciary Committee vote to advance their nominations to the full Senate, and 12 nominees are awaiting a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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U.S. Senate confirms nominee to 10th Circuit Court of Appeals

The U.S. Senate on Sept. 20 confirmed one of President Joe Biden’s (D) federal judicial nominees to a lifetime Article III judgeship.

Veronica Rossman was nominated to the 10th Circuit on May 12 to replace Judge Carlos Lucero, who assumed senior status on Feb. 1. Rossman was rated as Qualified by a substantial majority and Well Qualified by a minorityby the American Bar Association. Rossman will join the court upon receiving her judicial commission and taking her judicial oath.

To date, 12 of Biden’s appointees have been confirmed. For historical comparison since 1981, the following list shows the date by which the past six presidents had 12 Article III judicial nominees confirmed by the Senate:

Currently, 10 Article III nominees are awaiting a confirmation vote from the U.S Senate, seven nominees are awaiting a Senate Judiciary Committee vote to advance their nominations to the full Senate, and 12 nominees are awaiting a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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Reps. Billy Long, Conor Lamb announce they will run for Senate next year

U.S. Representatives Conor Lamb (D-Penn.) and Billy Long (R-Mo.) both announced last week that they would run for the U.S. Senate in 2022. Lamb will run for the seat currently held by Sen. Pat Toomey (R). Long will run for the seat currently held by Sen. Roy Blunt (R). Toomey and Blunt are both retiring.

Lamb was first elected in a special election in 2018 and was last re-elected with 51% of the vote to Republican challenger Sean Parnell’s 49%. Long was first elected to the House in 2010 and most recently won re-election with 69% of the vote to Democratic challenger Teresa Montseny’s 27%.

Long and Lamb are the fourteenth and fifteenth members of the House to announce that they will not run for re-election next year. The 15 members of the House who are not running include eight Republicans and seven Democrats. Five members of the U.S. Senate, all Republicans, have announced they will not run for re-election.

Thirty-six members of the U.S. House did not run for re-election in 2020—26 Republicans, nine Democrats, and one Libertarian. In 2018, 52 members of the U.S. House did not run for re-election, including 34 Republicans and 18 Democrats.

All 435 U.S. House seats will be up for election next year. Democrats currently have a 220-212 majority with three vacant seats.

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Analyzing partisan splits in states holding U.S. Senate elections in 2022

Thirty-four Senate seats are up for election on November 8, 2022. Republicans currently hold 20 and Democrats hold 14. 

For seats up for election next year, we look at party differences between the current Senate incumbent and their state’s other senator, their state’s governor, and their state’s 2020 presidential winner.

Split Senate delegations

Seven states have senators from different parties in the 117th Senate: Maine, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. This is the fewest number of states with split Senate delegations in history, according to Eric Ostermeier of the University of Minnesota.

Four of the seven states with split delegations in 2021 have Senate seats up for election in 2022. Vermont has one Democratic senator and one independent senator who caucuses with Democrats, so three states with seats up for election have senators in different caucuses: Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. In all three, the seats up for election in 2022 are currently held by Republicans.

Senator’s vs. governor’s party

Eleven seats up for election are currently held by a senator of a different party than the state’s governor. Six seats held by Republican senators in states with Democratic governors are up. Five seats held by Democratic senators in states with Republican governors are up.

States won by presidential candidate of a different party

Democrats are not defending any Senate seats in states Donald Trump won in the 2020 presidential election. Republicans are defending two Senate seats in states Joe Biden won: Pennsylvania (held by Sen. Pat Toomey) and Wisconsin (held by Sen. Ron Johnson).

• In Pennsylvania, Biden defeated Trump (R) 50.0%-48.8%.

• In Wisconsin, Biden defeated Trump 49.5%-48.8%.

For additional information on the 2022 Senate elections, including outside race ratings and a full list of seats up for election, click below.

https://ballotpedia.org/United_States_Senate_elections,_2022

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Senate confirms first Biden Cabinet nominee

The Senate confirmed Avril Haines as director of national intelligence on January 20, 2021, by a vote of 84-10. Haines previously served as an assistant to the president and principal deputy national security advisor during the Obama administration. Ten Republican senators voted against her confirmation:

  • Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.)
  • Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.)
  • Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)
  • Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)
  • Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.)
  • Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.)
  • Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah)
  • Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.)
  • Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)
  • Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho)

Haines is the first member of President Joe Biden (D)’s Cabinet to be confirmed. Prior to the Senate vote, Biden announced that Lora Shiao would serve as the acting director of national intelligence until Haines was sworn in.



Partisan control of U.S. Senate will come down to Georgia

Two of the 35 Senate races held in 2020 remain uncalled: the regular and special Senate elections in Georgia. Republicans have secured 50 seats in the next Senate, and Democrats have secured 48 (including two seats held by independents who caucus with Democrats). Control of the Senate will come down to Georgia.

Democrats would need to win both of Georgia’s Senate seats to split the chamber 50-50. Since the vice president casts tie-breaking votes in the Senate, splitting the chamber would give Democrats an effective majority in 2021. Republicans would need to win one of the Senate races to maintain their majority.

Georgia is one of two states (alongside Louisiana) that requires runoff elections if no candidate receives a majority of the vote in a general election. As vote totals currently stand, it is projected that both Senate elections in Georgia will go to runoffs. That would mean we wouldn’t know which party will control the Senate until the January 5 runoff elections.

Republican incumbents are running in both Georgia Senate races: David Perdue in the regular election and Kelly Loeffler in the special election. Perdue was first elected in 2014. Loeffler assumed office in January 2020; she was appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp (R) after Sen. Johnny Isakson (R) resigned.

Perdue faces Jon Ossoff (D), who challenged Karen Handel (R) in the special election for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District in 2017. Raphael Warnock (D), senior pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church, is challenging Loeffler.

Of the 33 Senate races called, Republicans won 20 and Democrats 13. Democrats have a net gain of one seat, as they flipped two (in Colorado and Arizona) and Republicans flipped one (in Alabama).

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Graham (R) defeats Harrison (D) in S.C. Senate race 

Incumbent Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) defeated Jaime Harrison (D) in the U.S. Senate election in South Carolina. Graham was first elected in 2002.

Harrison raised the most money out of all the Senate candidates in the 2020 cycle at $109 million. Graham was fourth with $74 million.

Thirty-five of 100 Senate seats are up for election. Republicans have a 53-47 majority. Of the 35 seats up for grabs in the 2020 U.S. Senate race, 23 are held by Republicans and 12 by Democrats, giving Republicans greater partisan risk this year. Democrats need to win a net four seats to win an outright majority in the chamber.

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Georgia U.S. Senate candidate Jon Ossoff completes Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connections survey

Jon Ossoff, the Democratic nominee in the regularly-scheduled U.S. Senate election in Georgia, recently completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connections survey. Ossoff faces incumbent David Perdue (R) and Shane Hazel (L) in the general election for U.S. Senate.

Ballotpedia asks all federal, state, and local candidates to complete a survey so voters can discover what motivates them on political and personal levels.

Select responses from Ossoff’s survey are below. Ballotpedia’s questions are in bold.

Who are you? Tell us about yourself.

“I run a small business that exposes corruption, organized crime, and war crimes for news organizations worldwide. My wife Alisha is an OB/GYN physician, and we both grew up in Atlanta. I earned my Bachelor of Science degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and a Master’s of Science from the London School of Economics. Before embarking upon my career in journalism and media production, I worked as a national security aide for Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson, handling defense and economic policy. Since 2013, I have been the CEO of Insight TWI, a 30-year old media production company that produces investigations of corruption, organized crime, and war crimes that are broadcast internationally to a global television audience of hundreds of millions. In recent years, we have investigated and exposed sexual slavery of women and girls by ISIS, crooked judges, foreign officials who steal U.S-funded food and medical aid, contract killers, human traffickers, war crimes, and bribery.”

What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?

“I am passionate about delivering a historic infrastructure & clean energy package to create millions of new, good-paying jobs & make the U.S. the world leader in renewable energy and sustainability. I’ll push for big, overdue investments in transportation & transit, clean energy, energy efficiency, public health, communications, research & development, emergency response, & environmental cleanup. These investments will create job training & employment opportunities for millions of American workers & demand for products made by American businesses. They will revitalize our economy & lay the foundations for decades of prosperity, environmental sustainability, & health. Upgraded infrastructure will make life safer & more convenient, support commerce, attract investment, protect our environment, & improve our health. Money spent on infrastructure is truly an investment in America with positive returns across the economy & dramatic improvements to our quality of life.”

In 2018, 1,957 candidates completed a Candidate Connection survey. This number represents 6.9% of all 28,315 candidates Ballotpedia covered during that cycle. Out of the 1,957 respondents, 477 (24.4%) won their elections.

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To read more about Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey or if you are a candidate who would like to submit a survey, click here.



Major party candidates for Congress elections, 2016-2020

Image of a red sign with the words "Polling Place" a pointing arrow.

As of September 10, 2020, 3,169 major party candidates filed to run for U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.

For U.S. Senate, 519 candidates filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Of those, 402—199 Democrats and 203 Republicans—are from one of the two major political parties.

• In 2018, 529 candidates filed to run for Senate, including 138 Democrats and 241 Republicans.

• In 2016, 474 candidates ran, including 133 Democrats and 175 Republicans.

For U.S. House, 3,263 candidates have filed with the FEC to run. Of those, 2,767—1,291 Democrats and 1,476 Republicans—are from one of the two major political parties.

• In 2018, 3,242 candidates filed to run for House, including 1,576 Democrats and 1,149 Republicans.

• In 2016, 2,430 candidates ran, including 898 Democrats and 1,025 Republicans.

Thirty-seven members of the U.S. House are not seeking re-election in 2020. That includes 27 Republicans, nine Democrats, and one Libertarian. Four senators (three Republicans and one Democrat) are not running for re-election.

• In 2018, 55 members of Congress—18 Democrats and 37 Republicans—did not seek re-election.

• In 2016, 45 members of Congress—19 Democrats and 26 Republicans—did not seek re-election.

On November 3, 2020, 35 Senate seats and all 435 House seats are up for election. Of those Senate seats, 33 are regularly scheduled elections, while the other two are special elections in Arizona and Georgia. Twelve are Democratic-held seats and 23 are Republican-held seats. In the House, Democrats currently hold a majority with 232 seats.

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Congressional retirements by month, 2011-2020 — a Ballotpedia analysis

Between 2011 and July 2020, Ballotpedia tracked 243 retirement announcements from members of the U.S. House and Senate. January saw the highest number of retirement announcements of any month at 45—31 during even-number years and 14 during odd-number years, when no regular congressional elections are held.

February and November had the second-highest total announcements at 27 each. Sixteen February announcements occurred during an election year and 11 during an off year. Most November announcements—24—took place during off years. The three November election year announcements were for the following election cycle.

The fewest retirements—eight—were announced in June. Six of those occurred during odd-number years. August and October saw the second-fewest announcements at 11 each. All of those except for one announcement occurred during off years.

As of August 26, 41 members of Congress—four U.S. senators and 37 U.S. representatives—are not running for re-election in 2020 (not including incumbents who resigned or otherwise left office early). In 2018, 55 members didn’t seek re-election. Forty-five members retired in 2016. In 2014, 48 members retired. And in 2012, 50 members retired.

See our analysis for numbers of announcements by month and year, as well as a data table that includes each officeholder who announced a retirement, their party, the announcement date, and more.