Tag: senate

Florida: The Name of the Game

In what looks to be the most expensive Senate race this election cycle, incumbent Democratic Senator Bill Nelson seeks to retain his seat amidst Class I elections that pit the Democratic Party against the worst Senate map any party has seen in the last half century—facing what looks to be his stiffest electoral competition yet.

The Rhetoric and Play

Nelson’s re-election campaign pivots largely on a combination of appealing to moderates and popularity among the more politically energized youth. As a southern Democrat originally elected in 1978, Nelson has never been very liberal or progressive like many of his Senate colleagues, so the threat of base turnout is very real.

Rather than an attack specifically against Trump and Capitol Hill Republicans, Nelson’s message gives off old-school vibes of “Washington isn’t doing enough”. Through campaigning on a purportedly poor federal reaction to natural disaster and Scott’s poor track record in a state where the environment is a crucial factor, Nelson seems to have covered a bit of ground with the new progressive Democratic base as well as not turning away moderate or otherwise undecided voters.

Speaking of undecided voters, Scott doesn’t seem to be doing very well with them. Though the governor has a massive edge in terms of name recognition among constituents, this may in fact be the decisive factor that acts against a Scott victory. Close affiliation with Trump and unpopular flabbergasts in past years decidedly put off still-undecided voters (yes, they actually do exist in this race). Surmising that this is a notable factor, Scott could counteract this by running to rile up turnout among his conservative base, which seems to be the case in his cautions of the fate of America if a Democratic majority Senate were to come to power.

What You Clicked For

But enough talking. You’ve waited. And here they are. Lone Umbrella’s county outcome prediction maps for the Florida Senate race are complete!Florida Senate 2018 MapOutcomes involved in creating these maps:

  • 2016 Florida Senate election—Murphy vs. Rubio
    • Rubio won this one with the largest raw vote in Florida history and a margin of eight points.
    • Opponent Patrick Murphy was a relatively popular and charismatic Democrat, but name recognition put the ball in Rubio’s court—along with his incumbency advantage.
Florida Senate Race 2018
County Prediction Map | Population Adjusted
  • 2012 Florida Senate election—Nelson vs. Mack
    • Early polls indicated Mack with a lead over incumbent Senator Nelson.
    • Progression of the race showed a vulnerable Nelson with a three to seven point lead.
    • Election night showed Nelson very comfortably cruise to a victory by well over a million votes and a margin of 13 points.
  • 2016 Presidential election in Florida—Trump vs. Clinton
  • 2014 Florida gubernatorial election—Scott vs. Crist
    • very tight race. Scott won by a mere sixty thousand votes; a margin of less than a percent.
    • Though a tight margin for an incumbent governor, Crist was a notable opponent well known among Floridians as Republican-turned-Democrat former governor of the state.
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Roy Moore ’17: A Hard-Learned Lesson for the GOP

While Roy Moore’s failed Alabama Senate campaign may have resulted in the loss of a GOP Senate seat, Senate establishment Republicans nevertheless breathe a sigh of relief. As allegations of sexual misconduct began to unfold, Senate Republicans started to distance themselves from the potential of a party deadweight in future elections.


Where Republican Senators stand on Roy Moore

With clear calls for withdrawal having come from all but three Senate Republicans¹, many Republican Senators are fruitlessly blaming the seat loss on Moore’s poor performance as a candidate. The problem with putting the blame on poor campaigning is that it completely negates how a candidate like Roy Moore actually managed to get all the way to the general election in the first place. In order to understand how the GOP could fail in quite possibly the reddest state in the Union, spectators need only to look back on September’s Alabama GOP primary.

Continue reading “Roy Moore ’17: A Hard-Learned Lesson for the GOP”

NPP #6: Old Men With Good Resumes

As a part of a daily series called Non-Political Politics (NPP), Yusoof Monawvil posts daily maps on the obscure, quirky, and unconventional aspects of the United States’ key political institutions—in an undoubtedly non-political manner


NPP #6_ Service in the House

Light green: none of delegation has experience in House | Green: One of delegation has experience in House | Dark green: both of delegation has experience in House


Today’s map takes a look at Senators with experience serving in the lower chamber of Congress—the House of Representatives.

With a total of fifty Senators, exactly half of the Senate has experience in the House. Of this fifty, twenty-six are Republicans, twenty-three are Democrats, and one—Vermont’s Bernie Sanders—is an independent.

NPP #5: Southern Party-Switchers

As a part of a daily series called Non-Political Politics (NPP), Yusoof Monawvil posts daily maps on the obscure, quirky, and unconventional aspects of the United States’ key political institutions—in an undoubtedly non-political manner


Today’s NPP map takes a look at party-switching among Senators. party-switching-npp5

Blue: consistent party affiliation  |  Mid-purple: one Senator has switched party affiliation  |  Purple: both Senators have switched party affiliation


Unlike most NPP maps I make, this one shows some geographic correlation. It seems that the Deep South has a higher proportion of party-switching Senators than other regions of the United States.

At first glance, one might assume that these Senators were part of the old Yellow Dog Democrat brand but in reality, this only accounts for Mississippi’s Thad Cochran—a Southern Democrat who turned Republican amidst the nomination of Richard Nixon in 1968.

The other three Southern Senators—all former Democrats—switched parties much later than Nixon’s nomination and presidency.

  • John Neely Kennedy (LA): 2007
  • Bill Cassidy (LA): 2001
  • Richard Shelby (AL): 1994

As years went on, Southern Democratic Senators found that the increasingly progressive platform of the party hurt them in the polls. Far from being the remnants of an old Southern Democratic political machine, these Senators’ party switches were the results of political polarization and the slow disintegration of the Democratic big tent.

 

Midterm Profile: Sherrod Brown

This week’s midterm profile takes a look at Ohio’s Senior Senator, Sherrod Brown, the populist Democrat from Mansfield.

Josh_Mandel
CC BY 2.0

With Josh Mandel essentially being a shoo-in inside the GOP primary, Democrats nationwide are skeptical of Brown’s ability to keep up with his young opponent, whom he beat in the last election by a margin of six points.

Even though Brown comes from a state that Trump won in by a sizeable margin, his consistent fiscal policy and bipartisan work sets him apart from many Senate Democrats. When it came to Ohio and the Democratic firewall states in last year’s election, it was Democrats of a more liberal and seemingly distanced brand that led dissatisfied independents to go the Trump route.

Sherrod Brown definitely is not the polar opposite of Trump-voting Republicans. He opposed NAFTA when he served in the House and voiced dissent regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership during the Obama White House.

Unlike Trump, Brown has remained consistent in this shared regard—eager to point out the Trump White House’s dependence on corporate America, calling the White House “a retreat for Goldman Sachs executives.”

All in all, I’d say that Democrats ought to pay more attention to the races of Michigan’s Debbie Stabenow, Montana’s Jon Tester, and Missouri’s Claire McCaskill. I’d go as far as to say that taking up a more populist platform and attitude like Brown’s might help them secure their seats.