Difference between revisions of "United States Congress elections, 2014"

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(After October shutdown)
(After October shutdown)
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A ''USA TODAY''/Princeton Survey Research Poll, taken October 17-21, 2013, came to the following post-shutdown conclusions:  
A ''USA TODAY''/Princeton Survey Research Poll, taken October 17-21, 2013, came to the following post-shutdown conclusions:  
*54% of Americans blamed both parties, 29% blamed solely Republicans and just 12% placed the blame squarely on the Democrats' shoulders.
*54% of Americans blamed both parties, 29% blamed solely Republicans and just 12% placed the blame squarely on the Democrats' shoulders.
*Despite only 4% of Americans believe that Congress would change for the worse if current members were replaced by all new members, 52% of respondents said it made no difference on whether they would vote for their incumbent in the next election.<ref>[http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/10/21/usa-today-poll-shutdown-boost-for-democrats-bane-for-gop/3143281/ ''USA TODAY'', "Poll: Nearly half say replace everyone in Congress," accessed October 22, 2013]</ref>
*Despite only 4% of Americans belief that Congress would change for the worse if current members were replaced by all new members, 52% of respondents said it made no difference on whether they would vote for their incumbent in the next election.<ref>[http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/10/21/usa-today-poll-shutdown-boost-for-democrats-bane-for-gop/3143281/ ''USA TODAY'', "Poll: Nearly half say replace everyone in Congress," accessed October 22, 2013]</ref>
=Government shutdown=
=Government shutdown=

Revision as of 18:48, 5 December 2013



2014 Congress Elections

Election Date
November 4, 2014

U.S. Senate Elections by State
Alabama • Alaska • Arkansas • Colorado • Delaware • Georgia • 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
1 U.S. Senate
1.1 Race ratings
1.1.1 Washington Post
1.2 Campaign finance
1.2.1 April 2013
1.2.2 August 2013
1.2.3 NRSC
2 U.S. House
2.1 Five primaries to watch
2.2 DCCC & NRCC fundraising
2.2.1 First quarter 2013
2.2.2 July 2013
2.2.3 August 2013
2.2.4 August 2013
2.2.5 September 2013
3 Issues heading into 2014
4 See also
5 External links
6 References
A total of 468 seats in the U.S. Congress (33 Senate seats and all 435 House seats) will be up for election on November 4, 2014.

Heading into the election, Democrats control the U.S. Senate while Republicans are the majority in the U.S. House.

As of November 2013, there were seven incumbent senators and 16 representatives who had announced they would not be seeking re-election.

U.S. Senate

See also: United States Senate elections, 2014

The 33 Class II U.S. Senate seats will be up for election. Of those 33 seats, 20 are currently held by Democrats and 13 by Republican senators.

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

Open seats

As of December 2013, seven senators have announced they will not be running for re-election in 2014:

  • Democratic Party 5 Democrats
  • Republican Party 2 Republicans
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
This map shows the Senate seats up for election in 2014. The red and blue colors indicate whether the seat is currently held by a Republican or a Democrat, respectively.

Race ratings

Washington Post

In August 2013 The Washington Post compiled a list of the 10 Senate seats most likely to change control in 2014:[1]

  • Republican Party Georgia: After Michelle Nunn (D) announced her candidacy in July 2013, it greatly increased the chance for Democrats to pick up the seat. On the Republican side, as of August 2013 there already had been five major Republican candidates in the field that could break any which way.[1] Who emerges from that primary will be a huge determining factor when it comes to whether this race is competitive.[1]
  • Democratic Party Iowa: Democratic candidate Bruce Braley seems to be a capable fundraiser and looks set to cruise to his party’s nomination without any trouble.[1] The Republican primary, meanwhile, lacks a clear front-runner. While it features a former Senate aide, a conservative radio host, a former U.S. attorney, a state senator and possibly a retired businessman, Gov. Terry Branstad (R) says he likely won’t endorse in the primary.[1] Democrats have the advantage in this open race as of August 2013, but the political contours of the state suggest it is not out of the question that Republicans can compete there.
  • Democratic Party North Carolina: State house Speaker Thom Tillis (R) has been plagued by headlines about major donors getting seats on the UNC Board of Governors and the money he has received from the gaming industry and received criticism over his decision to launch a Senate campaign while the legislature was still in session.[1] According to Washington Post, none of it means Tillis cannot compete with Sen. Kay Hagan (D), who remains vulnerable.[1] However, his rough start was not the way to begin what promises to be a hard-fought campaign.[1]
  • Republican Party Kentucky: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) drew a self-funding primary challenge running to his ideological right as well as a Democratic challenger in Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.[1] Despite a rocky start for Grimes, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee reportedly will ensure she has a solid team around her to make sure she avoids further rookie mistakes.[1] Polling as of August 2013 suggests it is already a close race.[1] According to the Washington Post, "We think McConnell still is a slight favorite to come back to the Senate in 2015, but his chances got longer over the past month."[1]
  • Democratic Party Alaska: Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell appears to be the favorite, and 2010 nominee Joe Miller is the guy Republicans definitely don’t want. In the middle is the potential wild card, state Natural Resources Commissioner Daniel S. Sullivan — not to be confused with the Anchorage mayor of the same name — who recently deployed to Afghanistan.[1] Treadwell didn’t get off to a fast start, raising just $180,000 in the first six months of 2013, and there is speculation that Sullivan, who is not a candidate yet, could start looking more attractive as an alternative.[1]
  • Democratic Party Arkansas: Rep. Tom Cotton (R) is the rare Republican recruit with the ability to unite the conservative grass roots and the Republican establishment, spelling trouble for Sen. Mark Pryor (D), the Senate’s most vulnerable incumbent, according to the Washington Post.[1] Pryor has already taken criticism over the airwaves from both conservative groups on his right and a leading gun-control organization on his left.[1] When Cotton committed to running, things looked even bleaker for the Democrat.

Campaign finance

April 2013

According to an April 2013 Politico report, incumbent Democrats in red states raised "millions" in the first three months of 2013.[2] The candidates highlighted in the article were:

  • Democratic Party Mary Landrieu (LA) had raised $1.2 million and had $3.5 million cash on hand
  • Democratic Party Mark Pryor (AK) had raised $1.9 million and had $3.4 million cash on hand
  • Democratic Party Kay Hagan (NC) had raised $1.6 million and had $2.7 million cash on hand
  • Democratic Party Mark Begich (AK) had raised $948,000 and had $1.5 million cash on hand[2]

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.[3] The report also found that 2014 may 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.[3]

The incumbents highlighted in the article were:[3]


In July 2013, National Republican Senatorial Committee (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 went on to state that Republicans need to win just three seats in states with incumbent Democratic senators.[4]

U.S. House

See also: United States House of Representatives elections, 2014

All 435 seats of the U.S. House will be up for election.

U.S. House Partisan Breakdown
Party As of 2014 Election After the 2014 Election
     Democratic Party 201 188
     Republican Party 234 247
     Vacancy 0 0
Total 435 435

Ballotpedia's battleground districts

See also: U.S. House battleground districts, 2014
The purple districts on the Census district map are those found to be competitive in Ballotpedia's study.

Five criteria for “most competitive”

A district must have met one or more of the following criteria:

1. If a district had all six quantifiable predictions/results highlighted (Cook, Fairvote, MOV, 2012 presidential, 2008 presidential and incumbent years in office) and four were of the most competitive nature, purple, they automatically made the cut.

19 districts fit in this category.

2. If a district had all six quantifiable predictions/results highlighted (Cook, Fairvote, MOV, 2012 presidential, 2008 presidential and incumbent years in office) and three were of the most competitive nature, purple, at least two were of the intermediate competitiveness (orange) and they had a “special factor” to the competition (outside spending, redistricting) they were added to the list.

Two districts fit into this category.

3. Anomalies: This includes Republicans or Democrats in a district that otherwise trends heavily toward the other party. The district must also have some other qualifying factor, such as a MOV of ten percent or less, an incumbent who has served less than ten years or a competitive 2014 candidate. (UT-04, for example)

Three districts fit into this category.

4. Presidential differences: A district that may not have all the categories highlighted, but has voted for the other party in the most recent presidential election and the numbers are tight for the incumbent (redistricting was also factored in here).

Two districts were considered “Most Competitive” based only on this factor.

5. Recent effects of redistricting: This is relevant to three districts (IL-12, IL-13 and MN-08). Redistricting in the past three years has caused these districts to be extremely tight and have the opportunity for a very close midterm election (the first midterm cycle these new districts will be going through).

Three districts were pushed into the most competitive list because of this, just missing meeting the other criteria listed above.

The 29 "Most Competitive Districts in 2014"

  • Cook's PVI is Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index.[5]
  • FairVote's %D is FairVote.org's 2014 congressional election projections.[6]
  • Both the 2012 and 2008 presidential MOV have either "✓" or "-" before the number. The "✓" indicates the district went in favor of the winner, in both years this was President Obama. The "-" indicates the district favored the Republican who lost in each election, Romney in 2012 and McCain in 2008.

Five primaries to watch

Politico published a list in August 2013 of the five primaries to watch in 2014. They included:[7]

Simpson, a close ally of House Speaker John Boehner, is facing what some are calling his most serious race since he was first elected to the House in 1998.[7]
Attorney Bryan Smith, who has the backing of the anti-tax Club for Growth and RedState founder Erick Erickson, is portraying the incumbent as insufficiently conservative and soft on spending issues.[7] Smith also has the backing of Rod Beck, a former state senator and an influential GOP activist in the state.[7]
Simpson, however, is taking the race seriously, raking in an impressive $306,000 during the second quarter. Smith, meanwhile, suffered an early setback when The Associated Press published a report last week that he had been using a donor’s private airplane to fly to campaign events.
Since 1918, just one Idaho representative has failed to win his party’s nomination before managing to win in the general election.[7]
Shuster’s (R) primary will pit an incumbent against the anti-establishment wing of the party.[7] It’s not the first time Shuster has faced a serious primary. In 2004, he held off Republican challenger Michael DelGrosso, 51 percent to 49 percent.[7]
He must beat challenger Art Halvorson, who has won early endorsements from RedState founder Erick Erickson and the Madison Project, a conservative group that recently ran a 60-second radio ad hammering Shuster for his votes to raise the debt ceiling.[7]
Halvorson, a wealthy commercial real estate developer who has already put $100,000 towards his campaign, has hammered Shuster for his record on spending issues. Travis Schooley, an Army veteran, is also running.[7]
Honda is regarded on Capitol Hill as a well-liked and congenial figure who coasts to victory every other year.[7]
Challenger Ro Khanna, who has taught at Stanford University and works at a Silicon Valley law firm, is tapping a vast network of tech donors to give Honda a surprisingly tough fight in 2014.[7] During the second quarter of 2013, the challenger raised over $1 million and reported having $1.7 million cash on hand — more than four times the amount Honda had.[7] Khanna has built a formidable operation filled with veterans of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns, including Jeremy Bird, Obama’s national field director in 2012, and David Binder, one of the president’s pollsters.[7]
Honda has the president’s endorsement — and the backing of Democratic power brokers such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel.[7] While Khanna is likely to draw support from Silicon Valley’s large Indian-American population, Honda enjoys long-standing ties to the Asian-American community, which makes up nearly half the district.[7]
The race is almost certain to extend beyond the June 3 primary.[7] Under California’s newly implemented “Top-Two” system, the top two finishers advance to the November general election, regardless of their party affiliation.[7]
According to Politico there is no incumbent more likely to lose a primary than DesJarlais, the scandal-plagued sophomore Republican congressman.[7] During the final weeks before the 2012 general election, sworn testimony from his 2001 divorce trial was uncovered in which DesJarlais, a former physician and hospital chief of staff, acknowledged having sexual relationships with patients and even prescribing drugs to one of them.[7] DesJarlais still managed to win re-election in the conservative district.[7]
On August 7, 2013, DesJarlais formally launched his bid for a third term.[7] In 2014, DesJarlais will be confronting several serious primary opponents, including state senator Jim Tracy and state representative Joe Carr.[7] While DesJarlais has raised $160,000 in 2013, Tracy has taken in nearly $740,000 and Carr $305,000.[7]
With Tracy, Carr and several other less-well-known Republican challengers running, there is the possibility that the anti-DesJarlais vote could splinter and allow him to skate by with a plurality of the vote.[7]
Vulnerable after the scandal surrounding his wife, Tierney barely managed to win re-election in 2012.[7] In 2010, Patrice Tierney pleaded guilty to helping her brother file false tax returns in connection with his operation of an illegal offshore casino.[7]
Republicans criticized Tiernery about his wife, alleging that he was fully aware of her conduct.[7] He ultimately defeated Richard Tisei (D) by fewer than 4,000 votes -- or 1 percent of the vote -- in the general election.
Tisei, a former state house minority leader, is likely to run again in 2014.[7] This time, Tierney will have an added obstacle for re-election, a Democratic primary. Seth Moulton, a Harvard-educated former Marine, has launched a campaign to unseat the congressman. He has recruited veteran Democratic strategist Joe Trippi to help with his campaign.[7] Also running is Marisa DeFranco (D), an attorney who ran unsuccessfully for Senate in 2012.[7]

DCCC & NRCC fundraising

First quarter 2013

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) gained an early fundraising advantage in the first quarter of 2013. It outraised the National Republican Congressional Committee $22.6 million to $17.5 million. Party strategists attributed the edge to Democrats' advantage in Internet fundraising and small-dollar donations. Additionally vulnerable Democratic incumbents lead their endangered Republican counterparts in a majority of races.[8]

July 2013

As of July 2013, the DCCC had outraised the NRCC by $6.5 million.[9]

August 2013

According to an Open Secrets report on FEC filings released on August 13, 2013, the DCCC had raised $40.8 million to the NRCC's $34.3 million.[10]

September 2013

The DCCC raised $8.4 million in September compared to the $5.3 million the NRCC raised during the same period. This brought the total raised for 2013 through the third quarter, to $58.2 million for the DCCC compared to the NRCC's $42.6 million. As for cash on hand, the DCCC still had an edge: $21.6 million to NRCC's $15.7 million.[11]

Issues heading into 2014


October 2013

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)
Gallup (November 7-12, 2013)
AVERAGES 10.6% 82% +/-3.92 914.8
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 editor@ballotpedia.org.

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."

After October shutdown

A USA TODAY/Princeton Survey Research Poll, taken October 17-21, 2013, came to the following post-shutdown conclusions:

  • 54% of Americans blamed both parties, 29% blamed solely Republicans and just 12% placed the blame squarely on the Democrats' shoulders.
  • Despite only 4% of Americans belief that Congress would change for the worse if current members were replaced by all new members, 52% of respondents said it made no difference on whether they would vote for their incumbent in the next election.[12]

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 funds the government until December, but strips 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.[13]

In the midst of the government shutdown in October 2013, talks began regarding the impending debt ceiling.

Farm Bill

See also: United States Farm Bill 2013

The farm bill is an expansive piece of legislation that provides funding for commodity programs, conservation, trade, nutrition, credit, rural development, research, forestry, energy, horticulture, organic agriculture, livestock, crop insurance, disaster assistance programs and tax provisions.[14] The farm bill is typically passed every five years. The 2008 Farm bill expired September 30, 2012. Congress extended the 2008 bill for one more year, bringing us to the current controversy over the 2013 Farm Bill.[15]

The vast majority of the farm bill is nutrition--roughly 75% of the total farm bill. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) makes up about 72% of the nutrition budget. Crop insurance is expected to be the next largest budgetary expense.[14]

Nutrition and federal spending are in the cross hairs of the current farm bill debate. Republicans want to see cuts to the food assistance programs and Democrats are concerned with crop insurance fraud.[16] In an effort to push through some type of farm bill, the House has attempted to split food stamps from farm policy and create two separate bills. This is the first time since 1973 that food stamps have been split from farm policy.[17]

If the bill expires on September 30, 2013, effects of not having a new bill would not be seen until December 31, 2013, when the dairy price support program would end. If a new bill is not passed before the current one ends, the program would revert back to 1940's era agriculture laws. Crops would likely not be effected until summer of 2014, when the 2013 crop cycle ends.[18]


See also: United States involvement in Syria

In August 2012, President Obama said the "red line" for U.S. involvement in Syria was the use of chemical or biological weapons.[19] In April 2013, reports surfaced that Syria had used chemical weapons twice in their civil war, but it was not enough for the U.S. to intervene. In June 2013, President Obama authorized sending weapons to Syrian rebels following more reports of small scale chemical weapon attacks.[19]

On August 21, 2013, the Syrian government was accused of a chemical weapons attack on a town in the suburbs of Damascus, killing thousands, including women and children.[19] On September 3, 2013, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Secretary of State John Kerry and General Martin Dempsey met with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to support President Obama's decision to use military force to intervene in the Syrian conflict.[20] The group met with the House Foreign Affairs Committee on September 5.[21]

See also: Gang of Eight

Most recently, the Gang of Eight has been used in reference to immigration reform and includes eight of the most influential Senators, with four from each party.[22][23]

On May 6, 2013, Senators John McCain (R), Chuck Schumer (D), Richard Durbin (D), Robert Menendez (D), Michael Bennet (D), Lindsey Graham (R), Marco Rubio (R) and Jeff Flake (R) unveiled the outlines of their bi-partisan immigration plan.[22][23] The statement of principles was rather broad, but sets forth “four basic pillars”:

  • 1. A “tough but fair path to citizenship . . . .contingent upon securing our borders and tracking whether legal immigrants have left the country as required”;
  • 2. Reform our legal immigration system with a greater eye toward our economic needs;
  • 3. Workplace verification; and
  • 4. Setting up a system for admitting future workers (although the term “guest worker” is not used).[23]

On June 27, 2013, in a late afternoon vote, the Senate voted to approve the immigration reform bill, Senate Bill 744.[24] The bill passed by a vote of 68-to-32, with 14 Republicans voting in favor.[25][24]

Speaker John Boehner told House Republicans in a closed-door meeting on July 10, 2013, that the internal debate over immigration reform is an “important conversation," and that while the House will not take up the Senate-passed bill, members must do something to address the issue.[26]

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) on July 8, 2013, ridiculed the House’s strategy of using the “Hastert rule” to pass legislation and said Speaker John Boehner will eventually have to take up the Senate’s immigration bill.[27] Reid also said Boehner’s adherence to the “Hastert Rule” requiring a majority of Republican caucus votes to move legislation is emblematic of the lower chamber’s dysfunction.[28]

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)

Both Montana and South Dakota, with agriculture being a major industry, will reap the benefits of the bill and also have open seats due to the retirement of Max Baucus (D-MT) and Tim Johnson (D-SD). [29]

The comprehensive bill failed in the House due largely in part to the votes of 8 Democratic House members who joined the Republican majority to vote down the measure.[30] Reps. Collin Peterson, John Barrow, Sanford Bishop, Cheri Bustos, Sean Maloney, Mike McIntyre, Bill Owens, and Tim Walz were the 8 Democratic members who voted to reject the bill.[30] According to analysis by OpenSecrets, many of these Democratic members have received significant political contributions from agricultural organizations that benefit from crop insurance subsidies.[30] Five of the eight are on the House Agriculture Committee--Peterson, Bustos, Maloney, McIntyre, and Walz-- from which agribusiness firms routinely target committee members with sizable contributions.[30]

Upon arrival at the House, the bill was altered by focusing solely on the farm programs and did not include the food stamp program, which will be voted on later. The House and Senate will now need to draft a final bill through conference committee.[31]

For senators up for re-election in 2016, this will be the first election since the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This may be problematic for Democratic senators who voted in favor of the bill in states where it is no longer popular. Among these senators include:


Sen. Lee letter

In July 2013, Sen. Mike 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 are:

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 Mike Lee's effort to defund Obamacare. [33]

House Republicans passed a bill, the Student Success Act, on July 19, 2013, to reduce the federal role in public education and outline their vision for a national educational policy to replace the No Child Left Behind law.[34][35] The measure would give state and local governments greater powers to determine how best to improve schools and would sharply reduce federal involvement in education matters.[35]

It marks a significant departure from No Child Left Behind, the 2002 law that set federal goals for academic achievement and penalties for schools that fell short of those goals, as well as prescriptions for steps states must take to improve failing schools.[34]

No Democrats supported the bill, which passed by a 221 to 207 margin, with 12 Republicans voting with the Democrats against the measure.[36] It marked the first time in a dozen years that either chamber of Congress approved a comprehensive bill to update federal education law.[34]

The House bill is said to have no chance of moving through the Democratic-led Senate as it is written, and President Obama has threatened to veto it.[35] The Senate committee overseeing education has completed work on its own measure that would give states greater flexibility in writing their own plans to improve schools. However, unlike the Republican proposal that passed the House, that bill would allow the education secretary to retain approval power over those proposals.[35] Full Senate consideration of the measure is unlikely to happen before the fall of 2014.[35]

See also


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 Washington Post, "The Fix’s top 10 Senate races of 2014," accessed August 9, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 Politico "Red-state Democrats raise millions" Accessed April 18, 2013
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Politico "Senate cash dash now a marathon" Accessed August 1, 2013
  4. MSNBC, "GOP to donors: Democratic Senate majority is in serious trouble," accessed July 22, 2013
  5. The Cook Political Report, "Introducing the 2014 Cook Political Report Partisan Voter Index," accessed November 5, 2013
  6. FairVote, "FairVote Releases Projections for the 2014 Congressional Elections," accessed November 5, 2013
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 7.15 7.16 7.17 7.18 7.19 7.20 7.21 7.22 7.23 7.24 7.25 7.26 7.27 7.28 7.29 Politico, "5 House primaries to watch," Accessed August 8, 2013
  8. The Hill, "Democrats gain early fundraising edge," April 22, 2013
  9. Politico, "DCCC memo rallies Dems for 2014," August 1, 2013
  10. Open Secrets, "Parties," accessed August 13, 2013
  11. The Washington Post, "Democrats sweep September fundraising," accessed October 21, 2013
  12. USA TODAY, "Poll: Nearly half say replace everyone in Congress," accessed October 22, 2013
  13. Reuters, "U.S. Senate Republicans start closing ranks on spending bill," accessed September 24, 2013
  14. 14.0 14.1 Izaak Walton League of America, "What is a Farm Bill?", accessed September 17, 2013
  15. National Farmers Union, "2013 Farm Bill", accessed September 17, 2013
  16. New York Times, "Fraud Used to Frame Farm Bill Debate", accessed September 17, 2013
  17. National Journal, "Fight Over Food Stamps Dominates Farm Bill", accessed September 19, 2013
  18. University of Illinois Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, "2013 Farm Bill Update - July 2013", accessed September 17, 2013
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Miami Herald, "Timeline of key events in Syrian uprising," September 4, 2013
  20. U.S. News and World Reports, "John Kerry, Chuck Hagel Pitch Syrian Strike to Congress," September 3, 2013
  21. Huffington Post, "House Syria Hearing: John Kerry, Chuck Hagel Going Before Foreign Affairs Committee," September 4, 2013
  22. 22.0 22.1 ABC News "Who Are the Gang Of 8 in Senate Immigration Debate?" Accessed May 7, 2013
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Washington Post "Gang of Eight immigration plan: Reality-based legislating" Accessed May 7, 2013
  24. 24.0 24.1 NY Times "Immigration Overhaul Passes in Senate" Accessed June 27, 2013
  25. CNN "Senate passes sweeping immigration bill" Accessed June 27, 2013
  26. Politico "Behind closed doors, Boehner pushes immigration action" Accessed July 10, 2013
  27. Politico "Harry Reid needles John Boehner over Hastert rule" Accessed July 8, 2013
  28. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named hastert
  29. The Hill, "Senate Democrats see farm bill, rural voters as key to 2014 election," Accessed June 6, 2013
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 Open Secrets "Agribusiness and the Farm Bill: Wayward Dems Benefit from Contributions" Accessed July 19, 2013
  31. USA Today, "House passes farm bill; strips out food-stamp program," accessed July 15, 2013
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  36. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named students