Democrats poised to retain control of Senate

With an apparent early pickup, Senate Democrats are poised to retain control of the chamber, positioning the Senate to function similarly in the 113th Congress or to become a lone Democratic bulwark against a Republican White House and House.

ABC News and NBC News called Maine's Senate race for former Gov. Angus King. King is an independent, and he has not said if he will caucus with either party. But both sides expect him to join the Democratic Caucus.

The fight for Senate control shifted sharply from 2011, as Republican ambitions of capturing a majority -- fueled by the 23-10 Democratic-to-GOP disparity in incumbents up for reelection -- gave way to GOP hopes of merely simply gaining seats. With superior recruiting, better candidates, and stronger party discipline, Senate Democrats went into Election Day with just one incumbent, Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., without better than even odds of winning. Democrats have legitimate hopes of gaining Senate seats.

That would be a pill of bitter disappointment for Republicans and might generate internal backlash against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn of Texas over the party’s Senate-race strategy and tactics.

Still, Republicans have another good shot at winning Senate control in 2014, when 20 Democratic seats are in play versus 13 Republican ones. An Obama win would boost congressional GOP odds in the 2014 midterm elections.

If Obama wins tonight, he can bank on strong support for his tax and deficit plans from energized Senate Democrats -- at least next year. If Mitt Romney prevails, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and his conference look ready to block a GOP agenda at every chance. Reid on Friday called “laughable” Romney’s assertion that Senate Democrats would work with him on Republican proposals.

At least 10 new senators, and probably at least a few more, will be elected on Tuesday night. That continues a rapid pace of turnover in the body unmatched since the 1978 and 1980 elections. Senior members and committee leaders are departing, leaving large bodies of relatively new members yet to distinguish themselves. Gone next year will be Foreign Relations ranking member Richard Lugar, R-Ind., Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., and Energy Chairman Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., as well as long-serving Sens. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas.
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.