TagSenate

Joe O’Dea wins Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Colorado

Joe O’Dea defeated Ron Hanks in the Republican Party primary for U.S. Senate in Colorado on June 28. O’Dea received 55.5% of the vote to Hanks’ 44.5%.

Leading up to the primary, Hanks and O’Dea led in media attention, and O’Dea maintained a lead in fundraising. According to the most recent Federal Election Commission data available, O’Dea had raised over $2.3 million and Hanks had raised $124,840 as of June 8.

O’Dea is the CEO of a Denver-based heavy civil contracting company and owner of the Mile High Station and Ironworks event centers. O’Dea said he ran for Senate “[t]o break the cycle of partisanship. To rebuild this country. To get it moving forward again. Colorado deserves a Senator who represents our voice.”

Hanks is a member of the Colorado House of Representatives representing District 60 since his election in 2020. A U.S. Air Force veteran, Hanks also worked as a linguist, a counterdrug officer, and a counterintelligence agent. Hanks said he was “the only proven conservative state legislator running” and “is adamantly pro-life and an ardent and active supporter of our second amendment.”

Key issues in the race included abortion and the 2020 election. Hanks said all abortions should be banned, and he “believe[s] life starts at conception. There should not be any exceptions.” The primary will “come down to that issue first and foremost. Are we a pro-life party, or aren’t we? I will tell you, I am pro-life, and my opponent is not. End of story,” Hanks said. 

O’Dea said he didn’t support overturning Roe v. Wade or total bans on abortions: “I don’t support a total ban. The country is not 100% pro-life. The country is not 100% pro-choice.” O’Dea said he “would vote for a bill that protects a woman’s right to choose early in the pregnancy. I would also protect that right in cases of rape, incest and medical necessities.”

On the 2020 election, Hanks said he believed former Pres. Donald Trump (R) won. Hanks said election security became a priority for him after 2020: “Just like the changes we felt after 9/11, my mission as a state representative shifted to election integrity. I have been fighting for it ever since.” O’Dea said he did not believe the election was stolen and that Republicans should “stay to the issues” in their campaigns. “I’ve been very clear about my stance. Biden’s our president. He’s lousy,” O’Dea said.

Incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet (D) was first elected in 2008, and in the 2016 election, won re-election with 50% of the vote. In the state’s 2020 U.S. Senate election, John Hickenlooper (D) defeated incumbent Cory Gardner (R) 54% to 44%, and Joe Biden won the state in the 2020 presidential election by 13 percentage points. In its June 14 ratings, The Cook Political Report rated the general election as Likely Democratic.



Four candidates compete in Democratic U.S. Senate primary in Pennsylvania

Four candidates are running in the Democratic primary for the open-seat U.S. Senate race in Pennsylvania on May 17. Sen. Pat Toomey (R)—who was first elected to the Senate in 2010—announced on Oct. 5, 2020, that he would not run for re-election. Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb have received the most campaign contributions and media attention. State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta and Alexandria Khalil are also running.

Toomey’s seat is one of two U.S. Senate seats up for election held by a Republican in a state that President Joe Biden (D) carried in the 2020 presidential election. Pennsylvania is also one of six states represented by one Democratic and one Republican U.S. Senator. Christopher Wilson of Yahoo News wrote that the race for Toomey’s seat “might be the Democratic Party’s best chance to gain a Senate seat in the fall.”

Fetterman served as the mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania, from 2005 to 2019 and was elected lieutenant governor in 2018. He finished third in the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania for the U.S. Senate in 2016. Fetterman’s top campaign priorities are adopting a single-payer healthcare system, legalizing marijuana, and supporting LGBTQIA+ rights. His campaign website describes him as “a different kind of Democrat,” saying, “John doesn’t look like a typical politician, and more importantly, he doesn’t act like one.” Marc Levy of the Associated Press described Fetterman as “irreverent, blunt and, well, something to see. At 6 feet 8, he is tattooed and goateed, his head is clean shaven, and he is most often seen wearing shorts — even in winter — and casual work shirts.”

Lamb worked as an assistant U.S. attorney and was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives by defeating Rick Saccone (R), 49.9% to 49.5%, in a March 2018 special election. He was re-elected in 2018 and 2020. Lamb identified his top legislative priorities on his campaign website as “protecting and expanding Medicare and Social Security, raising the minimum wage to $15, cutting prescription drug prices, creating and protecting jobs and strengthening unions.” Lamb described himself as practical and says h will work with both parties to get things done. He told City & State Pennsylvania, “I’m someone that has worked with Republicans when it’s necessary to, say, get an infrastructure bill passed and work with extremely progressive Democrats to try to get Build Back Better passed and include priorities that I really care about, like improving the Medicare program.”

Fetterman was endorsed by affiliates of the United Steelworkers and the United Food and Commercial Workers unions, the Democratic Lieutenant Governors Association, and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws PAC. Lamb was endorsed by The Philadelphia Democratic Party, local chapters of the Communications Workers of America and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (D).

According to campaign finance reports through March 31, Fetterman has raised $15.1 million and spent $10.9 million on the race. Lamb has raised $5.7 million and spent $4.4 million.

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Fourteen candidates are running in the Republican primary on May 17 for U.S. Senate in North Carolina

Fourteen candidates are running in the Republican primary on May 17, 2022, for U.S. Senate in North Carolina. Incumbent Richard Burr (R) is not running for re-election. The candidates that have performed best in recent polling and have received the most media attention are Ted Budd, Pat McCrory, and Mark Walker.

The primary is one of the first U.S. Senate races in 2022 to include a candidate endorsed by former President Donald Trump (R). Intelligencer’s Ed Kilgore wrote, “[North Carolina is] a particularly big deal for Trump, whose midterm strategy is to show his clout in both primary and general-election races.”

Budd, the owner of a gun range and store in Rural Hall, has represented North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District since 2017. Trump endorsed Budd in June 2021, and Budd has made his support of Trump and his record a key focus of his campaign. Budd’s website says, “Ted was elected to Congress along with President Donald Trump in 2016 and has established a strong, conservative record supporting efforts to secure our borders and stand up for America First policies.”

McCrory served as governor of North Carolina from 2013 to 2017 and as mayor of Charlotte from 1995 to 2009. He has focused on economic issues and has highlighted his record as governor throughout the campaign. His website says that, as governor, McCrory “turned around North Carolina’s economy from the fourth highest unemployment rate in the country to one of the highest for job growth.”

Walker represented North Carolina’s 6th Congressional District from 2015 to 2021 and served as a pastor for sixteen years before that. He has described himself as a conservative warrior and as a bridge-builder. He said, “[O]ut of 1,000 elected Republicans in North Carolina, I’m the only one to speak or give a commencement address at one of our state’s HBCU’s, and I’m the only Republican in all of Congress to win the United Negro College President’s Award.”

McCrory and Walker have criticized Budd for not participating in some public events, including a debate on February 26. Jordan Shaw, a strategist for McCrory, said, “US Senators don’t get to hide from the voters, run from the media, avoid debates, and refuse to answer tough questions.” Walker said, “[Budd] does not want to have to be on the same stage with me because it creates a contrast.” McCrory has also criticized Budd for comments he made about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and has compared Budd to U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R), calling them both “[an] embarrassment, to the state, to our party and to Congress.”

Budd’s campaign has described McCrory as a career politician and has criticized him for his electoral record. A website sponsored by Budd’s campaign says, “The sad reality is that Pat McCrory lost his last 2 out of 3 statewide bids this century.” Budd’s campaign has also criticized McCrory for what they described as “[McCrory’s] sad record of bashing President Trump.”

U.S. Reps. Jim Jordan (R) and Elise Stefanik (R), radio host Mark Levin, and the Club for Growth have endorsed Budd. Rep. Cawthorn, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R), and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (R) have endorsed Walker.

As of April 2022, three independent election forecasters considered the general election as “Lean” or “Likely Republican.”

Also running in the primary are Jennifer Banwart, Lee Brian, Leonard Bryant, Drew Bulecza, Marjorie K. Eastman, David Flaherty, Benjamin Griffiths, Kenneth Harper Jr., Charles Moss, Lichia Sibhatu and Debora Tshiovo.



The 2022 Senate battlegrounds (so far)

Control of both chambers of Congress is at stake in the 2022 midterm elections. The Democratic and Republican caucuses currently split the Senate 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris (D) casting tie-breaking votes. Thirty-four Senate seats are up for election next year. Republicans currently hold 20 of those and Democrats, 14. 

Senate races in eight states are rated Battlegrounds by Inside Elections and as Toss-ups, Lean, or Likely Democratic or Republican races by Cook Political Report and/or Sabato’s Crystal Ball: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

The table below shows information about each of these states that suggests competitive elections.

Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are the only two states where the Senate seat up for election is held by an incumbent of a different party than the state’s 2020 presidential winner. Joe Biden (D) defeated Donald Trump (R) 50.0%-48.8% in Pennsylvania and 49.5%-48.8% in Wisconsin. Democrats aren’t defending any seats in states Trump won last year.

Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are also the only two battleground states with one senator from each major party. Seats up for election from states with split delegations that are not currently considered battlegrounds are Ohio and Vermont (Sen. Bernie Sanders is an independent and caucuses with the Democratic Party, as does Vermont’s other senator, Democrat Patrick Leahy).

North Carolina and Pennsylvania are the two battleground states with retiring incumbents. Other states with open seats next year include Ohio, Alabama, and Missouri. Senators in South Dakota, Vermont, and Wisconsin have not announced whether they will seek re-election.

Arizona’s and Georgia’s Senate seats changed party hands in special elections in 2020 and 2021, respectively. Democrats Mark Kelly in Arizona and Raphael Warnock in Georgia defeated Republican incumbents. In New Hampshire’s 2016 election, Democrat Maggie Hassan defeated incumbent Kelly Ayotte (R).

Part of what suggests competitive races in Florida and Nevada are close 2018 Senate election results and close recent presidential election results in those states.



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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