United States Senate elections, 2014
Those elected to the U.S. Senate on November 4, 2014 in the 33 regular elections will commence serving six-year terms on January 3, 2015.
2014 marks 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.
As of July 2013, seven senators had announced they would not be running for re-election. In comparison, ten incumbent senators did not run for re-election in 2012 and twelve did not run for re-election in 2010.
The following table displays the partisan composition of the U.S. Senate heading into the 2014 elections.
In 2014, Republicans would need to pick up six seats currently held by Democrats in order to gain a majority.
Three incumbent Democratic U.S. Senators (Max Baucus of Montana, Tim Johnson of South Dakota and Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia) have announced that they are not running for re-election in 2014, and the GOP is considered a favorite to pick up the seats they are leaving vacant. Three other states with Democratic U.S. Senators up for re-election in 2014 (Alaska, Arkansas and North Carolina) are generally considered to have GOP-leaning electorates.
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.
|U.S. Senate Partisan Breakdown|
|Party||As of March 2014||After the 2014 Election|
As of July 15, 2013, seven senators have announced they will not be running for re-election in 2014:
|Jay Rockefeller||Democratic||West Virginia|
|Max Baucus||Democratic||U.S. Ambassador to China|
|Tim Johnson||Democratic||South Dakota|
- Mary Landrieu (LA) had raised $1.2 million and had $3.5 million cash on hand
- Mark Pryor (AK) had raised $1.9 million and had $3.4 million cash on hand
- Kay Hagan (NC) had raised $1.6 million and had $2.7 million cash on hand
- Mark Begich (AK) had raised $948,000 and had $1.5 million cash on hand
|U.S. Senate predictions|
|Prediction from:||Month||Solid D||Likely D||Lean D||Tossup||Lean R||Likely R||Solid R|
|Cook Political Report||July 1, 2013||6||5||6||3||1||3||11|
|Rothenberg Political Report||June 28, 2013||12||1||1||5||2||2||12|
|Sabato's Crystal Ball||June 27, 2013||7||3||3||5||2||3||11|
New York Times
According to an analysis by Nate Silver of The New York Times, Democrats are looking at a tough road ahead of them in the U.S. Senate in 2014. Democrats hold 21 of the 35 seats up for election in 2014, and there are more Democratic controlled seats that lean Republican than Republican seats that lean Democratic.
Additionally, Democrats could suffer from a lower voter turnout of their base due to the fact that 2014 is a midterm election and President Obama will not be on the ballot.
However, Republicans need to take six seats in order to gain control of the Senate, a large gain that will be difficult to accomplish even in a favorable environment. Based on the data below, at this very early stage Republicans are expected to be able to pick up four or five seats.
The table below lists the initial race ratings overview for the 35 senate seats up for election in 2014 as of February 2013.
|The New York Times Race Ratings -- U.S. Senate|
|Month||Solid D||Likely D||Lean D||Tossup||Lean R||Likely R||Solid R|
|February 20, 2013||6||7||3||4||0||4||11|
|July 15, 2013||8||4||3||3||0||4||13|
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 are: Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia. Going into the 2014 election, all seven seats are held by Democrats.
Issues heading into 2014
- See also: Gang of Eight
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. 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).
On June 27, 2013 in a late afternoon vote, the Senate voted to approve the immigration reform bill, Senate Bill 744. The bill passed by a vote of 68-to-32, with 14 Republicans voting in favor.
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.
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. 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.
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). 
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.
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:
- Senate Conservatives Fund "2014 Senate Races"
- Roll Call "Inside the 2014 Senate Races"
- Public Policy Polling "US Senate 2014"
- Politico, "Brian Schweitzer move aids GOP in battle for Senate", July 13,2013
- Salon.com "The House GOP can’t be beat: It’s worse than gerrymandering," January 13, 2013
- Politico "Red-state Democrats raise millions" Accessed April 18, 2013
- The New York Times, "Can Republicans Win the Senate in 2014?," February 20, 2013
- The New York Times "Can Republicans Win the Senate in 2014?," February 20, 2013
- The New York Times "Can Republicans Win the Senate in 2014?," February 20, 2013
- Fiscal Times "7 Senate Seats Most at Risk—Hint: They’re All Blue" Accessed February 15, 2013
- ABC News "Who Are the Gang Of 8 in Senate Immigration Debate?" Accessed May 7, 2013
- Washington Post "Gang of Eight immigration plan: Reality-based legislating" Accessed May 7, 2013
- NY Times "Immigration Overhaul Passes in Senate" Accessed June 27, 2013
- CNN "Senate passes sweeping immigration bill" Accessed June 27, 2013
- Politico "Behind closed doors, Boehner pushes immigration action" Accessed July 10, 2013
- Politico "Harry Reid needles John Boehner over Hastert rule" Accessed July 8, 2013
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- The Hill, "Senate Democrats see farm bill, rural voters as key to 2014 election," Accessed June 6, 2013
- USA Today, "House passes farm bill; strips out food-stamp program," accessed July 15, 2013
- Senate.gov "U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 111th Congress - 1st Session," accessed July 15, 2013
- Washington Post "Saxby Chambliss retiring in 2014," January 25, 2013
- USA Today "Iowa Sen. Harkin will not seek re-election," January 26, 2013
- Washington Post.com "Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) won’t seek re-election in 2014" March 8, 2013
- NY Times.com "Republican Senator From Nebraska Won’t Run in 2014" accessed February 18, 2013
- NJ.com "Frank Lautenberg will not seek re-election next year," February 14, 2013
- Washington Post "AP sources: South Dakota Sen. Johnson won’t seek re-election; 5th Democratic senator to retire" accessed March 28, 2013
- USA Today, "Rockefeller's retirement sparks battle for Senate seat," January 11, 2013