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United States Senate elections, 2014

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2014 U.S. Senate Elections

Election Date
November 4, 2014

U.S. Senate Elections by State
Alabama • Alaska • Arkansas • Colorado • Delaware • Georgia • Hawaii • Idaho • Illinois • Iowa • Kansas • Kentucky • Louisiana • Maine • Massachusetts • Michigan • Minnesota • Mississippi • Montana • Nebraska • New Hampshire • New Jersey • New Mexico • North Carolina • Oklahoma • Oregon • Rhode Island • South Carolina • South Dakota • Tennessee • Texas • Virginia • West Virginia • Wyoming

U.S. House Elections by State
Alabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • Florida • Georgia • Hawaii • Idaho • Illinois • Indiana • Iowa • Kansas • Kentucky • Louisiana • Maine • Maryland • Massachusetts • Michigan • Minnesota • Mississippi • Missouri • Montana • Nebraska • Nevada • New Hampshire • New Jersey • New Mexico • New York • North Carolina • North Dakota • Ohio • Oklahoma • Oregon • Pennsylvania • Rhode Island • South Carolina • South Dakota • Tennessee • Texas • Utah • Vermont • Virginia • Washington • West Virginia • Wisconsin • Wyoming

Elections Information
Election DatesVoting in Primaries
Voting on November 4, 2014
Poll Opening and Closing Times

Elections to the U.S. Senate were held on November 4, 2014. A total of 33 of the 100 seats were up for regular election. Additionally, three special elections were held to fill vacancies that occurred in the 113th Congress (Hawaii, South Carolina and Oklahoma). All three special elections also took place on November 4, 2014, for a total of 36 Senate elections. A runoff election in Louisiana was required on December 6, 2014.

Republicans won a majority of the U.S. congressional seats up for election in 2014, taking 54 seats while Democrats secured 44. Two seats were held by independents who had previously caucused with the Democratic Party.

Those elected to the U.S. Senate in the 33 regular elections on November 4, 2014, began their six-year terms on January 3, 2015.

The 2014 elections marked the 100th anniversary of the direct popular election of U.S. Senators. Prior to the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1913, U.S. Senators were selected by state legislatures.

Seven senators announced they would not be running for re-election, while four U.S. Senators resigned their posts early. This meant that at least 10 seats would have a different occupant in January 2015. In 2012, 10 incumbent senators did not run for re-election, and 12 did not run for re-election in 2010.

According to a complex prediction model used by The Washington Post, Republicans were projected to have a 77 percent chance of winning the majority in 2014. They succeeded in obtaining the majority.[1] Eight seats held by Democrats heading into the election that were consistently ranked by outside ratings as either being toss-ups or Republican leaning included: West Virginia, South Dakota, Montana, Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, Alaska and Michigan. Additionally, elections in Republican-held seats in Georgia, Kansas and Kentucky became more competitive as the election neared.

There were incorrect predictions that the control of the Senate would not be decided on November 4. With races in Georgia and Louisiana tightening up, it was possible that one or both of those races could have been the deciding seats for the majority. A runoff in Louisiana took place on December 6, however, it did not decide the control of the Senate. Interestingly, a Georgia runoff would have been held on January 6, three days after the 114th Congress is sworn in.[2]

Election results

Who ended up with majority control of the U.S. Senate?

Joni Ernst claimed the sixth seat needed to flip control. Republicans will control the United States Senate in the 114th United States Congress. All eyes were on which party would control the U.S. Senate in 2015. The Democratic-controlled Senate in the 113th Congress had a partisan breakdown of 53-45-2, with the two Independents caucusing with the Democrats. For Republicans to take the majority in the Senate, they needed to take at least six of the 36 seats up for election that were held by Democrats, and retain control of the 15 seats held by Republicans. The section updated the seat count for each party throughout the night and the vote totals in the hotly contested races.

Rep. Bill Cassidy (R) won the Louisiana seat will in a runoff election on December 6, 2014.

U.S. Senate
Dem. 44
Rep. 54
Ind. 2
Click here for more details.
State Before After
Incumbent Party Winner Winner Party Seat Party Change?
Alaska Senate Mark Begich Democratic Party Dan Sullivan Republican Party Yes
Arkansas Senate Mark Pryor Democratic Party Tom Cotton Republican Party Yes
Colorado Senate Mark Udall Democratic Party Cory Gardner Republican Party Yes
Georgia Senate Saxby Chambliss* Republican Party David Perdue Republican Party No
Iowa Senate Tom Harkin* Democratic Party Joni Ernst Republican Party Yes
Kansas Senate Pat Roberts Republican Party Pat Roberts Republican Party No
Kentucky Senate Mitch McConnell Republican Party Mitch McConnell Republican Party No
Louisiana Senate Mary Landrieu Democratic Party Bill Cassidy Republican Party Yes
Montana Senate John Walsh* Democratic Party Steve Daines Republican Party Yes
New Hampshire Senate Jeanne Shaheen Democratic Party Jeanne Shaheen Democratic Party No
North Carolina Senate Kay Hagan Democratic Party Thom Tillis Republican Party Yes
South Dakota Senate Tim Johnson* Democratic Party Mike Rounds Republican Party Yes
Virginia Senate Mark Warner Democratic Party Mark Warner Democratic Party No
West Virginia Senate Jay Rockefeller* Democratic Party Shelley Moore Capito Republican Party Yes

"*" indicates that the incumbent retired in 2014.

U.S. Senate, Alaska General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDan Sullivan 48% 135,445
     Democratic Mark Begich Incumbent 45.8% 129,431
     Libertarian Mark Fish 3.7% 10,512
     Independent Ted Gianoutsos 2% 5,636
     N/A Write-in 0.5% 1,376
Total Votes 282,400
Source: Alaska Secretary of State

U.S. Senate, Arkansas General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngTom Cotton 56.5% 478,819
     Democratic Mark Pryor Incumbent 39.5% 334,174
     Libertarian Nathan LaFrance 2% 17,210
     Green Mark Swaney 2% 16,797
Total Votes 847,000
Source: Arkansas Secretary of State

U.S. Senate, Colorado General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngCory Gardner 48.2% 983,891
     Democratic Mark Udall Incumbent 46.3% 944,203
     Libertarian Gaylon Kent 2.6% 52,876
     Independent Steve Shogan 1.4% 29,472
     Independent Raul Acosta 1.2% 24,151
     Unity Party of Colorado Bill Hammons 0.3% 6,427
Total Votes 2,041,020
Source: Colorado Secretary of State

U.S. Senate, Georgia General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Michelle Nunn 45.21% 1,160,811
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDavid Perdue 52.89% 1,358,088
     Libertarian Amanda Swafford 1.90% 48,862
Total Votes 2,567,761
Source: Georgia Secretary of State

U.S. Senate, Kansas General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngPat Roberts Incumbent 53.1% 460,350
     Independent Greg Orman 42.5% 368,372
     Libertarian Randall Batson 4.3% 37,469
Total Votes 866,191
Source: Kentucky Secretary of State Official Results

U.S. Senate, Kentucky General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngMitch McConnell Incumbent 56.2% 806,787
     Democratic Alison Lundergan Grimes 40.7% 584,698
     Libertarian David Patterson 3.1% 44,240
Total Votes 1,435,725
Source: Kentucky Secretary of State

U.S. Senate, Louisiana General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMary Landrieu Incumbent 42.1% 619,402
     Democratic Wayne Ables 0.8% 11,323
     Democratic Vallian Senegal 0.3% 3,831
     Democratic William Waymire Jr. 0.3% 4,673
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngBill Cassidy 41% 603,084
     Republican Rob Maness 13.8% 202,556
     Republican Thomas Clements 1% 14,173
     Libertarian Brannon Lee McMorris 0.9% 13,034
Total Votes 1,472,076
Source: Mary Landrieu and Bill Cassidy headed to a runoff election on December 6, 2014. Louisiana Secretary of State

U.S. Senate, Montana General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngSteve Daines 57.8% 213,709
     Democratic Amanda Curtis 40.1% 148,184
     Libertarian Roger Roots 2.1% 7,933
Total Votes 369,826
Source: Montana Secretary of State

U.S. Senate, New Hampshire General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJeanne Shaheen Incumbent 51.5% 251,184
     Republican Scott Brown 48.2% 235,347
     N/A Scatter 0.3% 1,628
Total Votes 488,159
Source: New Hampshire Secretary of State

U.S. Senate, South Dakota General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngMike Rounds 50.4% 140,741
     Democratic Rick Weiland 29.5% 82,456
     Independent Larry Pressler 17.1% 47,741
     Independent Gordon Howie 3% 8,474
Total Votes 279,412
Source: South Dakota Secretary of State

U.S. Senate, Virginia General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMark Warner Incumbent 49.1% 1,073,667
     Republican Ed Gillespie 48.3% 1,055,940
     Libertarian Robert Sarvis 2.4% 53,102
     N/A write-in 0.1% 1,764
Total Votes 2,184,473
Source: Virginia Department of Elections

U.S. Senate, West Virginia General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngShelley Moore Capito 62.1% 280,400
     Democratic Natalie Tennant 34.5% 155,730
     Libertarian John Buckley 1.6% 7,344
     Constitution Phil Hudok 0.6% 2,543
     Mountain Bob Henry Baber 1.2% 5,481
Total Votes 451,498
Source: West Virginia Secretary of State

Margin of victory

The following table shows the margin of victory for each race winner, which is calculated by examining the percentage difference between the top-two vote getters. If the race was uncontested, the margin of victory is listed as 100%. Some general facts:

  • The average margin of victory was 22.6 percent.
  • On average, Democrats won closer races than Republicans. Average MOV for Democratic winners was 18.7 percent, while Republicans had an average margin of 24.7 percent.
  • The closest race was in Virginia, where incumbent Mark Warner (D) held on to his seat, defeating Ed Gillespie by 0.8 percent of the vote.
  • The largest margin of victory was in Alabama, where incumbent Jeff Sessions (R) faced no opponent in the general election. This election marked the first time in Alabama history that the Democratic Party fielded no candidates for the U.S. Senate race.[3]

Partisan breakdown

In 2014, Republicans needed to pick up six seats held by Democrats in order to gain a majority.[4]

Five incumbent Democratic U.S. Senators announced that they would not run for re-election in 2014 (please see table below), and the GOP was considered a favorite to pick up many of the seats they were leaving vacant.[4] Three other states with Democratic U.S. Senators were up for re-election in 2014 (Alaska, Arkansas and North Carolina) were generally considered to have GOP-leaning electorates.[4] A competitive race for the open seat in Georgia developed due to the retirement of Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R).

Open seats

See also: At least 52 new members will walk the halls of the U.S. Congress in 2015

Seven senators announced they would not for re-election in 2014. In addition to the following list, four senators left office early: Max Baucus (D-MA), John Kerry (D-MA), Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Tom Coburn (R-OK). The deaths of Sens. Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), and the early resignation of Coburn, necessitated three special elections that were held with the 33 regular elections on November 4, 2014.

  • Democratic Party 5 Democrats
  • Republican Party 2 Republicans

This list includes John Walsh of Montana who was appointed to the Senate in February 2014, but decided against seeking a full-term.

Name:Party:Current office:
Carl LevinElectiondot.png Democratic U.S. Senator, Michigan
Jay RockefellerElectiondot.png Democratic West Virginia
John WalshElectiondot.png Democratic Montana
Mike JohannsEnds.png Republican Nebraska
Saxby ChamblissEnds.png Republican Georgia
Tim JohnsonElectiondot.png Democratic South Dakota
Tom HarkinElectiondot.png Democratic U.S. Senator, Iowa

In 2012, the Democratic Party retained control over the chamber, winning 25 of the 33 seats. With Republican candidates winning only eight seats, this was the worst performance by a major party since the 1950s.[5]

The following table displays the partisan composition of the U.S. Senate before the 2014 elections.

U.S. Senate Partisan Breakdown
Party As of 2014 Election After the 2014 Election
     Democratic Party 53 44
     Republican Party 45 54
     Independent 2 2
Total 100 100
This map illustrates the 36 Senate seats up for election in 2014 (three of which were special elections). The red and blue colors indicate whether the seat was held by a Republican or a Democrat, respectively.

Senate primaries

See also: Contested primaries in U.S. Congressional elections, 2014

Although no incumbent senators lost in a 2014 primary, there were many marquee races. The hotly contested races involving incumbents included:

Among the 2014 elections were also contentious Republican primaries involving open seats and possible battleground Senate seats:

Campaign finance

August 2014

According to, below are the races that had the most outside spending by August 2014. They included the U.S. Senate races in North Carolina, Kentucky, Mississippi, Georgia and Arkansas.

List of the races receiving the most in independent expenditure in August 2014, according to

July 2014

In July 2014, Politico released the highlights from the second quarter 2014 fundraising reports. They included:[6]

April 2014

According to an April 2014 Politico report, vulnerable Democrats were being outraised by Republican challengers.[7] The candidates highlighted in the article were:

August 2013

An August 2013 Politico report reported that the 27 incumbents running for re-election in 2014 had together raised about $125 million by the end of June 2013.[8] The report also found that 2014 had the potential to be the most expensive midterm election to date, pointing to the fact that the total amount raised for incumbents seeking re-election is $30 million more than at the same point in 2012 and on par with the amount they had raised in 2010.[8]

The incumbents highlighted in the article were:[8]

April 2013

According to an April 2013 Politico report, incumbent Democrats in red states raised "millions" in the first three months of 2013.[9] The candidates highlighted in the article were:

  • Democratic Party Mary Landrieu (LA) raised $1.2 million and had $3.5 million cash on hand
  • Democratic Party Mark Pryor (AR) raised $1.9 million and had $3.4 million cash on hand
  • Democratic Party Kay Hagan (NC) raised $1.6 million and had $2.7 million cash on hand
  • Democratic Party Mark Begich (AK) raised $948,000 and had $1.5 million cash on hand[9]


Both the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) work to elect candidates from their respective parties to the U.S. Senate.

Fundraising numbers

September 2014

The DSCC raised $16 million in September, while the NRSC was on their heels with $15.5. Both organizations had the highest September hauls in the organizations' histories.[10]

July 2014

The DSCC had its strongest second quarter in organization history, raising $21.7 million during the quarter. As of July 2014, the DSCC had raised $70.3 million in the 2014 cycle, while the NRSC had raised $68.6 million in 2014.[11]

April 2014

The DSCC outraised the NRSC, $6.3 million to $6.04 million. In April, the DSCC ended the month with $25 million on hand, while the NRSC had $21.9 million in the bank. Both organizations remained debt-free.[12]

October 2013

The DSCC outraised their GOP counterpart, the NRSC, by one million dollars in October 2013. The DSCC raised $4.8 million compared to the NRSC's $3.8 million. This was the organization's best off-year October in their history.

At that time, the DSCC had raised $14 million more than the NRSC, a total of $43.5 million raised. They reported $11.1 million cash on hand. However, the organization was also carrying $6.2 million in debt. The NRSC had $5 million cash on hand at the end of October 2013.[13]

July 2013 memo

In July 2013, NRSC president, Rob Collins, circulated a memo to top donors outlining the path to a majority in the Senate for the Republican Party. From the memo:

"Montana now joins West Virginia and South Dakota as the third red-state where Democrats have not only failed to land their top candidates, but to recruit a candidate capable of winning a general election matchup."

Collins reiterated that Republicans needed to win just three seats in states with incumbent Democratic senators.[14]

Outside race ratings

Cook Political Report

Each month the Cook Political Report released race ratings for President, U.S. Senate, U.S. House (competitive only) and Governors in 2014. There were seven possible designations:[15]

     Solid D
     Likely D
     Lean D


     Lean R
     Likely R
     Solid R

Cook Political Report Race Rating -- U.S. Senate
Month Solid D Likely D Lean D Tossup Lean R Likely R Solid R Total D Total R Total races
June 27, 2013[16] 6 5 6 3 0 4 11 17 15 35
August 2, 2013[17] 7 4 6 2 3 2 11 17 16 35
October 17, 2013[18] 7 4 6 2 3 2 11 17 16 35
December 19, 2013[19] 7 5 4 3 3 1 12 16 16 35
February 7, 2014[20] 6 6 4 3 3 1 13 16 17 36
February 27, 2014[21] 6 5 5 3 3 1 13 16 17 36
March 19, 2014[22] 8 2 3 7 2 2 12 13 16 36
April 25, 2014[23] 8 2 2 8 2 2 12 12 16 36
August 15, 2014[24] 7 3 1 9 2 3 11 11 16 36
September 19, 2014[25] 7 3 1 9 1 3 12 11 16 36
October 17, 2014[26] 7 3 1 10 1 2 12 11 15 36


Race ratings

According to an analysis by Nate Silver, previously of The New York Times and now at his own blog FiveThirtyEight, Democrats had a tough road ahead of them in the U.S. Senate in 2014. Democrats held 21 of the 36 seats up for election in 2014, and there were more Democratic controlled seats that lean Republican than Republican seats that lean Democratic.[27]

Additionally, Democrats were predicted to suffer from a lower voter turnout of their base due to the fact that 2014 was a midterm election and President Obama was not be on the ballot.[27]

Silver's March 2014 ratings predicted that Republicans would pick-up the six seats needed to control the Senate.[27]

Most notably, in his March 2014 analysis, Silver broke up the possible key Republican pick-ups into two categories:

  • Democrat-held seats likely to be picked up by Republicans (four): West Virginia, South Dakota, Montana and Arkansas
  • Democrat-held seats that are toss-ups (four): Louisiana, North Carolina, Alaska and Michigan

The table below lists Silver's race ratings overview for the 36 senate seats up for election in 2014.[27]

FiveThirtyEight -- U.S. Senate
Month Solid D Likely D Lean D Tossup Lean R Likely R Solid R
February 20, 2013[28] 6 7 3 4 0 4 11
July 15, 2013[29] 8 4 3 3 0 4 13
March 23, 2014[30] 10 2 3 1 1 4 16


In September 2014, FiveThirtyEight released a new Senate forecasting model. In the first addition of this exclusive model, Silver determined that Republicans had a 53 percent chance of winning the Senate majority.[31]

Most vulnerable seats

The FiscalTimes compiled a list of the seven most vulnerable Senate seats up for election in 2014. The seven included in the list were: Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia. Going into the 2014 election, all seven seats were held by Democrats.[32]

Issues in 2014


Government shutdown

See also United States budget debate, 2013

Beginning in August 2013, House and Senate members began discussing the possibility of a government shutdown over the funding of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). On September 20, Republicans passed a spending bill in the House that funded the government until December 2013, but stripped funding from Obamacare. When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced that the Senate would hold a procedural vote on Wednesday, September 24, many senators began to announce their positions on voting against a cloture, the motion to end debate on a bill. After Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) gave a marathon speech, the motion for cloture was accepted and Reid was able to strip the Obamacare defunding language contained in the Republican House members' continuing resolution (CR).

Following the successful cloture vote and the Senate subsequently sending a clean continuing resolution back to the House, the two chambers began a high-stakes game of hot potato. By September 30, the House had voted and sent three resolutions to the Senate that all were struck down. The Senate then sent back a clean resolution stripped of any healthcare defunding language. With Obamacare being the issue-at-hand, Congress was unable to agree on whether a resolution would fund the landmark healthcare law.[33]

In the midst of the government shutdown in October 2013, talks began regarding the need to increase the debt ceiling. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) drafted a proposal that would have addressed both the budget shutdown, through the repeal of the medical device tax, and a plan to increase the debt ceiling through January 2014. Collins explained, "I’m hearing from many Democrats that if there were a way to deal somehow with the debt limit as well as part of this plan that that would be helpful. And obviously time is of the essence."[34] Although her plan was ultimately rejected by Senate Democrats, her framework began a bipartisan effort to draft a resolution. Ultimately, Sens. Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell were able to propose a plan on October 16.[35]

A deal was reached late on October 16, just hours before the debt ceiling deadline. The government reopened.

Polling during the shutdown

Congressional approval rating
Poll Total approve Total disapproveMargin of ErrorSample Size
The Economist/YouGov (September 21-23, 2013)
CBS/New York Times (September 19-23, 2013)
CNN/ORC (September 27-29, 2013)
Gallup (October 3-6, 2013)
AP-GfK (October 3-7, 2013)
AVERAGES 9.8% 81.4% +/-3.8 952.4
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

Approval of own congressmen

During the shutdown, American's disapproval rating of their own congressmen reached new a new high, with almost as many people stating disapproval of their member (43%) to approval (44%). The Gallup poll concluded:

"While members of Congress may continue to argue that problems with the image of the body as a whole is not their fault, and that they are doing nothing more than faithfully representing their particular constituents, it is clear that even their own constituents are less positive about the job they are doing than they were in the past."

For senators up for re-election in 2014, this was be the first election since the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This may have been problematic for Democratic senators who voted in favor of the bill in states where it was no longer popular. Among these senators included:


Sen. Lee letter

In July 2013, Lee authored a letter, which as of August 2013 had been signed by 14 Republican senators, which promised a government shutdown unless the Affordable Care Act was defunded. The senators up for re-election in 2014 who signed the letter were: rollout

See also: website rollout

The open enrollment period ended on March 31, 2014. The penalty, payable to the federal government, for not being enrolled in a health insurance plan by March 31 was either $95 or 1 percent of income, whichever is greater. The White House stated anyone selecting a plan before the deadline would not be subject to the penalty.[37] In March 2014, however, the administration announced that uninsured people were allowed to enroll in plans into April as long as they had a plan selected on the website by March 31.[38]

The rollout date was met with high demand for the website, both by those seeking insurance and those curious to see how the site worked. Attempts to use the website resulted in errors, including:

  • Error messages while creating an account and trying to log in
  • Data transfer problems from the exchange to healthcare providers
  • Errors in price quotes when not logged in
  • Lack of ability to sign up directly through individual insurance providers

In an October 30, 2013, hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius stated, "Hold me accountable for the debacle. I’m responsible."[39]

The first official report from the Obama administration was released November 13, 2013, covering October enrollment numbers. The report stated 26,794 users completed enrollment through the federal exchange. Another 79,391 users were able to enroll in the 15 state exchanges, bringing the total enrollment to 106,185 in October. Prior to rollout, the administration estimated 500,000 would sign up in the first month.[40]

On November 22, 2013, the Obama administration announced an eight-day extension on completing applications for coverage starting January 1, 2014. The deadline to complete the application was moved from December 15 to December 23, 2013. Additionally, the 2014 open enrollment period was pushed back from the original October 15 start date to November 15, 2014, just after midterm elections.[41] On November 25, 2013, the administration announced the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) would be delayed by one year. The program was supposed to be rolled out in October 2013 but was delayed until November 2014. Employers seeking the tax credit before the federal exchange rolls out SHOP in 2014 must use an insurance broker to sign up for eligible plans. The small business program delay did not impact states with state-run exchanges.[42]

On April 10, 2014, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius resigned from her post as a result of the troubled rollout of Obamacare.[43]

Senate Conservative Fund targets

The Senate Conservative Fund targeted Sens. Isakson (R-GA), Graham (R-SC), Alexander (R-TN) and Burr (R-NC) in August 2013 with two weeks of radio ads designed to push Senate Republicans to support Utah's Mike Lee (Utah)'s effort to defund Obamacare.[44]

See also: ISIS insurgency in Iraq and Syria

Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle were in disagreement over the need to pass congressional approval of the administration's air strikes in Iraq as well as any future strikes on ISIS. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Carl Levin (D-MI) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) each stated on September 8, 2014, that gaining congressional approval was not necessary for the actions taken by President Barack Obama, with Levin claiming, "I think the president has an abundant amount of authority to conduct operations. It would be good to have Congress on board. I don’t think the War Powers Act is constitutional. If Congress doesn’t like what he’s doing, we can always cut the money off." Members such as Tim Kaine (D-VA), Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Rand Paul (D-KY) disagreed and continued to push for a vote. Paul argued, "It would show a disregard for the Constitution and for the history of our country."[45]

Congressional leadership did not want to take quick action, bringing a vote to the floor, with one Republican aide stating, "We want to wait and see what he’s going to say to the four leaders and what he’s going to say to the nation. How he lays out his strategy will determine how our guys and members of Congress respond."[46] Reid backed up that sentiment, saying, "Tomorrow the president is addressing the nation. That doesn’t happen very often. On Thursday afternoon we’re having a briefing here from the administration on what’s going on in the Middle East. I’m going to wait and get the facts before I jump off into something that you read on the Internet someplace."[47]

While some members in tighter re-election campaigns were wary of a vote prior to the November elections, Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) came out strongly in favor of the vote, even going so far as threatening to use a procedural workaround if Republican Majority Leader John Boehner did not put a vote on the calendar. McGovern defended his threat, explaining, "We have boots on the ground, even though everybody says we don't want any boots on the ground. We're doing more than just protecting U.S. personnel on the ground. And when I read the newspapers, we're talking about a multi-year commitment. So there's a role for Congress in this, and we need to make sure that we don't … shirk our constitutional responsibility. And I think most people feel that way."[48]

See also: United States Farm Bill 2013

The Senate passed a $1 trillion farm bill in June 2013 to fund both food stamps and farmer subsidies. States heavy in agriculture, including ones that will be competitive in 2014, may turn more favorably to Democratic candidates due to Republican opposition of the bill. The vote was 66-27, with 25 of the 27 nay votes being from Republicans. The two Democratic senators to vote against the bill were Jack Reed (RI) and Sheldon Whitehouse (RI)

The comprehensive bill failed in the House due largely in part to the votes of eight Democratic House members who joined the Republican majority to vote down the measure.[49] Reps. Collin Peterson, John Barrow, Sanford Bishop, Cheri Bustos, Sean Maloney, Mike McIntyre, Bill Owens and Tim Walz were the eight Democratic members who voted to reject the bill.[49] According to analysis by, many of these Democratic members received significant political contributions from agricultural organizations that benefit from crop insurance subsidies.[49]

Upon arrival at the House, the bill was altered by focusing solely on the farm programs and did not include the food stamp program.[50]

State-by-state breakdown

United States Senate Elections Results in 2014
State Incumbent Incumbent Party Incumbent Ran? 2014 Winner Partisan switch?
Alabama Jeff Sessions Ends.png Republican Yes Jeff Sessions No
Alaska Mark Begich Electiondot.png Democratic Yes Pending Pending
Arkansas Mark Pryor Electiondot.png Democratic Yes Tom Cotton Yes
Colorado Mark Udall Electiondot.png Democratic Yes Cory Gardner Yes
Delaware Chris Coons Electiondot.png Democratic Yes Chris Coons No
Georgia Saxby Chambliss Ends.png Republican No David Perdue No
Idaho Jim Risch Ends.png Republican Yes Jim Risch No
Illinois Richard Durbin Electiondot.png Democratic Yes Richard Durbin No
Iowa Tom Harkin Electiondot.png Democratic No Joni Ernst Yes
Kansas Pat Roberts Ends.png Republican Yes Pat Roberts No
Kentucky Mitch McConnell Ends.png Republican Yes Mitch McConnell No
Louisiana Mary Landrieu Electiondot.png Democratic Yes Pending Pending
Maine Susan Collins Ends.png Republican Yes Susan Collins No
Massachusetts Ed Markey Electiondot.png Democratic Yes Ed Markey No
Michigan Carl Levin Electiondot.png Democratic No Gary Peters No
Minnesota Al Franken Electiondot.png Democratic Yes Al Franken No
Mississippi Thad Cochran Ends.png Republican Yes Thad Cochran No
Montana John Walsh Electiondot.png Democratic No Steve Daines Yes
Nebraska Mike Johanns Ends.png Republican No Ben Sasse No
New Hampshire Jeanne Shaheen Electiondot.png Democratic Yes Jeanne Shaheen No
New Jersey Cory Booker Electiondot.png Democratic Yes Cory Booker No
New Mexico Tom Udall Electiondot.png Democratic Yes Tom Udall No
North Carolina Kay Hagan Electiondot.png Democratic Yes Thom Tillis Yes
Oklahoma Jim Inhofe Ends.png Republican Yes Jim Inhofe No
Oregon Jeff Merkley Electiondot.png Democratic Yes Jeff Merkley No
Rhode Island Jack Reed Electiondot.png Democratic Yes Jack Reed No
South Carolina Lindsey Graham Ends.png Republican Yes Lindsey Graham No
South Dakota Tim Johnson Electiondot.png Democratic No Mike Rounds Yes
Tennessee Lamar Alexander Ends.png Republican Yes Lamar Alexander No
Texas John Cornyn Ends.png Republican Yes John Cornyn No
Virginia Mark Warner Electiondot.png Democratic Yes Mark Warner No
West Virginia Jay Rockefeller Electiondot.png Democratic No Shelley Moore Capito Yes
Wyoming Mike Enzi Ends.png Republican Yes Mike Enzi No

See also

External links


  1. The Washington Post, "Republicans have a 77% chance of taking the Senate," accessed May 19, 2014
  2. FiveThirtyEight, "Senate Update: A January Runoff In Georgia Is Getting More Likely," October 23, 2014
  3. Ballot Access News, "For First Time in History, Democrats Won’t Run Anyone for U.S. Senate in Alabama," February 17, 2014
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Politico, "Brian Schweitzer move aids GOP in battle for Senate," July 13,2013
  5., "The House GOP can’t be beat: It’s worse than gerrymandering," January 13, 2013
  6. Politico, "Cotton raises almost $2.3 million — McSally raises $653k — Udall raises $3.1 million — Abbott targets movie-goers — Paul and Perry’s schoolyard brawl," July 14, 2014
  7. 7.0 7.1 Politico, "Red-state Democrats raise millions," accessed May, 2013
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Politico, "Senate cash dash now a marathon," accessed August 1, 2013
  9. 9.0 9.1 Politico, "Red-state Democrats raise millions," accessed April 18, 2013
  10. The Hill, "DSCC tops NRSC in September fundraising," October 13, 2014
  11. The Huffington Post, "Committee To Elect Senate Democrats Has Best 2nd Quarter Fundraising In Its History," July 18, 2014
  12. The Washington Post, "DSCC edges out NRSC in April fundraising," accessed May 19, 2014
  13. Politico, "DSCC outraises NRSC by $1M in October," accessed December 10, 2013
  14. MSNBC, "GOP to donors: Democratic Senate majority is in serious trouble," accessed July 22, 2013
  15. Cook Political Report, "Our Accuracy," accessed December 12, 2011 (dead link)
  16. Cook Political Report, "2014 SENATE RACE RATINGS," June 27, 2013
  17. Cook Political Report, "2014 SENATE RACE RATINGS," August 2, 2013
  18. Cook Political Report, "2014 SENATE RACE RATINGS," October 17, 2013
  19. Cook Political Report, "2014 SENATE RACE RATINGS," December 19, 2013
  20. Cook Political Report, "2014 SENATE RACE RATINGS," February 7, 2014
  21. Cook Political Report, "2014 SENATE RACE RATINGS," February 27, 2014
  22. Cook Political Report, "2014 SENATE RACE RATINGS," March 19, 2014
  23. Cook Political Report, "2014 SENATE RACE RATINGS," April 25, 2014
  24. Cook Political Report, "2014 SENATE RACE RATINGS," August 15, 2014
  25. Cook Political Report, "2014 SENATE RACE RATINGS," September 19, 2014
  26. Cook Political Report, "2014 SENATE RACE RATINGS," October 17, 2014
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 The New York Times, "Can Republicans Win the Senate in 2014?," February 20, 2013
  28. The New York Times, "Can Republicans Win the Senate in 2014?," February 20, 2013
  29. The New York Times, "Can Republicans Win the Senate in 2014?," February 20, 2013
  30. FiveThirtyEight, "FiveThirtyEight Senate Forecast: GOP Is Slight Favorite in Race for Senate Control," March 23, 2014
  31. FiveThirtyEight, "How The FiveThirtyEight Senate Forecast Model Works," September 17, 2014
  32. Fiscal Times, "7 Senate Seats Most at Risk—Hint: They’re All Blue" accessed February 15, 2013
  33. Reuters, "U.S. Senate Republicans start closing ranks on spending bill," accessed September 24, 2013
  34. Politico, "Susan Collins floating fiscal deal," accessed October 10, 2013
  35. Politico, "How Collins budget plan collapsed," accessed October 14, 2013
  36., "U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 111th Congress - 1st Session," accessed July 15, 2013
  37. NBC News, "Obama administration clarifies dates related to health care rollout," October 23, 2013 (timed out)
  38. Fox News, "Surprise, surprise -- ObamaCare deadline extended yet again," March 26, 2014
  39. Washington Post, "Sebelius on health-care law rollout: 'Hold me accountable for the debacle. I'm responsible.'," October 31, 2013
  40. National Journal, "It's Official: Obamacare Enrollment Is Super Low," November 13, 2013
  41. Fox News, "HHS announces small extension for ObamaCare sign-up, bigger delay next year," November 22, 2013
  42. Washington Post, "Obamacare’s online SHOP enrollment delayed by one year," November 27, 2013
  43. New York Times, "Health Secretary Resigns After Woes of," April 10, 2014
  44. The Hill, "Senate Conservatives Fund targets Isakson with latest 'defund ObamaCare' ad," August 22, 2013
  45. The Hill, "ISIS vote divides Senate," September 8, 2014
  46. The Hill, "Leadership hoping to avoid vote on ISIS," September 9, 2014
  47. The Hill, "Reid won’t ‘rush’ ISIS vote in Senate," September 9, 2014
  48. The Hill, "House Dem eyes strategy to force ISIS vote," September 9, 2014
  49. 49.0 49.1 49.2 Open Secrets, "Agribusiness and the Farm Bill: Wayward Dems Benefit from Contributions," accessed July 19, 2013
  50. USA Today, "House passes farm bill; strips out food-stamp program," accessed July 15, 2013