United States Senate elections, 2016

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2016 U.S. Senate Elections

Election Date
November 8, 2016

U.S. Senate Elections by State
BattlegroundsPrimaries
Alabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Florida • Georgia • Hawaii • Idaho • Illinois • Indiana • Iowa • Kansas • Kentucky • Louisiana • Maryland • Missouri • Nevada • New Hampshire • New York • North Carolina • North Dakota • Ohio • Oklahoma • Oregon • Pennsylvania • South Carolina • South Dakota • Utah • Vermont • Washington • Wisconsin

U.S. House Elections by State
BattlegroundsPrimaries
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 to the U.S. Senate were held on November 8, 2016. A total of 34 of the 100 seats were up for regular election. Those elected to the U.S. Senate in the 34 regular elections on November 8, 2016, began their six-year terms on January 3, 2017.

Control of the Senate was up for grabs again in 2016. In order to take the chamber back, Democrats needed to gain five seats in 2016, but they fell short, picking up only two seats. Ultimately, Republican senators proved to be far less vulnerable than predicted. Some reasons for the predicted vulnerability are as follows. The majority of seats up for election were held by Republican incumbents, many of whom were freshmen who were swept into office in the Tea Party wave of 2010. Additionally, the Senate election coincided with a presidential election, which has been a boon to Democratic candidates in the past decade. Democrats had made gains in the Senate in the last two presidential elections, while they had suffered losses in the years between.[1]

Donald Trump's election to the presidency had a significant impact on the elections for U.S. House. The success of Trump at the top of the ticket led to smaller Republican losses in the Senate than expected. There were also several U.S. senators who ran for president in 2016. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) all ran presidential campaigns.[2] Of those senators who ran for president, only Rubio and Paul were up for re-election in 2016. Rubio ultimately sought re-election to the U.S. Senate after his presidential campaign ended, while Paul sought both the presidency and re-election simultaneously.

The unexpected death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on February 13, 2016, placed even greater importance on the 2016 Senate elections. Confirmation of a new Supreme Court justice requires 60 votes in the Senate, giving the Republican-controlled Senate the ability to deny any nominee chosen by President Barack Obama. Several Republican senators, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, declared that the next president should have the responsibility of appointing the new justice. McConnell said in a statement, "The American people‎ should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President."[3]

Appointment and confirmation of the replacement justice will be left to the newly elected president and Senate in 2017. This put increased pressure on both parties to win the Senate in 2016, as the chamber has the ability to confirm or deny the next president's nominees. This also raised the issue of Republican obstructionism in some battleground states. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said of the issue, "I believe that many of the mainstream Republicans, when the president nominates a mainstream nominee, will not want to follow Mitch McConnell over the cliff. The American people don't like this obstruction. When you go right off the bat and say, 'I don't care who he nominates, I am going to oppose him,' that's not going to fly."[3][4]

HIGHLIGHTS
  • The Democratic Party gained two seats in 2016, resulting in a 52-48 majority for Republicans. The two independent members of the Senate are included in the Democratic totals, as they caucus with Democrats.
  • The Republican Party proved to be far less vulnerable than initially predicted. Most battleground races featuring a Republican incumbent were much less competitive than anticipated.
  • Only two incumbent senators lost their re-election bids: Mark Kirk (IL) and Kelly Ayotte (NH)
  • Election results

    Heading into the election, the Republican Party held the majority in the U.S. Senate. Republicans held 54 Senate seats while the Democrats had 44 Senate seats. Two seats were held by independents, who caucus with the Democratic Party. The Republicans won the Senate majority in the 2014 midterm elections when they gained nine seats and lost none. Republicans maintained their majority following the 2016 elections, losing only two seats and ending with 52.

    U.S. Senate Partisan Breakdown
    Party As of November 2016 After the 2016 Election
         Democratic Party 44 46
         Republican Party 54 52
         Independent 2 2
    Total 100 100

    There were 24 Republican seats and 10 Democratic seats up for re-election. In 2016, the Democratic Party failed to pick up the five seats in the Senate in order to regain the majority they lost in 2014. The majority of the Republican incumbents up for re-election in 2016 were first elected in 2010 during the Tea Party movement.[5] The below map displays the seats up for re-election in 2016 and the party that held the seat. Click a state to find out more.

    United States Senate election in Nevada, 2016United States Senate election in California, 2016United States Senate election in Oregon, 2016United States Senate election in Washington, 2016United States Senate election in Washington, 2016United States Senate election in Oklahoma, 2016United States Senate election in Kansas, 2016United States Senate election in South Dakota, 2016United States Senate election in North Dakota, 2016United States Senate election in Colorado, 2016United States Senate election in Arizona, 2016United States Senate election in Utah, 2016United States Senate election in Idaho, 2016United States Senate election in Wisconsin, 2016United States Senate election in Iowa, 2016United States Senate election in Missouri, 2016United States Senate election in Arkansas, 2016United States Senate election in Louisiana, 2016United States Senate election in Pennsylvania, 2016United States Senate election in Kentucky, 2016United States Senate election in Ohio, 2016United States Senate election in Indiana, 2016United States Senate election in Illinois, 2016United States Senate election in North Carolina, 2016United States Senate election in Florida, 2016United States Senate election in Florida, 2016United States Senate election in South Carolina, 2016United States Senate election in Georgia, 2016United States Senate election in Alabama, 2016United States Senate election in Alaska, 2016United States Senate election in Alaska, 2016United States Senate election in Alaska, 2016United States Senate election in Alaska, 2016United States Senate election in Alaska, 2016United States Senate election in Alaska, 2016United States Senate election in Alaska, 2016United States Senate election in Alaska, 2016United States Senate election in Hawaii, 2016United States Senate election in Hawaii, 2016United States Senate election in Hawaii, 2016United States Senate election in Hawaii, 2016United States Senate election in Hawaii, 2016United States Senate election in Hawaii, 2016United States Senate election in Connecticut, 2016United States Senate election in Vermont, 2016United States Senate election in Maryland, 2016United States Senate election in New York, 2016United States Senate election in New York, 2016United States Senate election in New Hampshire, 2016Senate 2016 Elections Map.png

    Battlegrounds

    This table shows what happened in each of the nine Senate battleground races.

    United States Senate Battleground Results
    State Incumbent Winner Partisan switch? Margin of victory
    Florida Republican Party Marco Rubio Republican Party Marco Rubio No 7.7%
    Illinois Republican Party Mark Kirk Democratic Party Tammy Duckworth Yes 15.1%
    Indiana Republican Party Dan Coats Republican Party Todd Young No 9.7%
    Missouri Republican Party Roy Blunt Republican Party Roy Blunt No 2.8%
    Nevada Democratic Party Harry Reid Democratic Party Catherine Cortez Masto No 2.4%
    New Hampshire Republican Party Kelly Ayotte Democratic Party Maggie Hassan Yes 0.1%
    North Carolina Republican Party Richard Burr Republican Party Richard Burr No 5.7%
    Pennsylvania Republican Party Pat Toomey Republican Party Pat Toomey No 1.4%
    Wisconsin Republican Party Ron Johnson Republican Party Ron Johnson No 3.4%

    Margin of victory

    The margin of victory for each race is calculated by examining the percentage difference between the two candidates who received the most votes. If the race was uncontested, the margin of victory is listed as 100%. Some quick facts:

    • The average margin of victory was 22.1 percent. This is very close to the average of 22.6 percent in 2014.
    • The average margin of victory in battleground races was 5.37%.
    • The party of the winner had virtually no effect on the margin a race was won by. The average MOV for victorious Republicans was 22.13 percent, while Democratic victors averaged a MOV of 22.06 percent.
    • The closest race was in New Hampshire, where challenger Maggie Hassan (D) defeated incumbent Kelly Ayotte (R) by 0.1 percent of the vote.

    The following table displays the closest Senate races in the country in 2016.

    United States Senate Closest Races
    State Winner Margin of Victory Total Vote Top Opponent
    New Hampshire Democratic Party Maggie Hassan 0.1% 738,620 Kelly Ayotte
    Pennsylvania Republican Party Pat Toomey 1.4% 6,051,856 Katie McGinty
    Nevada Democratic Party Catherine Cortez Masto 2.4% 1,108,294 Joe Heck
    Missouri Republican Party Roy Blunt 2.8% 2,802,641 Jason Kander
    Wisconsin Republican Party Ron Johnson 3.4% 2,947,345 Russ Feingold

    Margin of victory data for all 34 Senate races is displayed in the following table.

    Retired incumbents

    The following senators did not seek re-election in 2016.

    • Democratic Party 3 Democrats
    • Republican Party 2 Republicans
    Name:Party:Current office:
    Barbara BoxerElectiondot.png Democratic California
    Barbara MikulskiElectiondot.png Democratic Maryland
    Dan CoatsEnds.png Republican Director of National Intelligence
    David VitterEnds.png Republican Louisiana
    Harry ReidElectiondot.png Democratic Nevada

    Battleground races

    See also: U.S. Senate battlegrounds, 2016

    Senate 2016 Elections Map-updated.png

    This table displays the criteria used to determine competitiveness in more specific detail. It gives ranges for each criterion and the competitiveness associated with each. Each state was analyzed using this as a baseline to determine competitiveness.

    Color Key
    Color Margin of Victory (MOV) Presidential MOV % Term in office Open seat? Cook rating
    Purple – most competitive 0.0-4.9 0.0-4.9 1 Yes Toss-up
    Orange – very competitive 5.0-7.9 5.0-7.9 N/A N/A Lean D/R
    Green – competitive 8.0-10.0 8.0-10.0 2 N/A Likely D/R
    Senate winners labeled this color indicate that the party of the winner is different from the party of the presidential winner of the state in 2012

    The following races are those that were expected to be the closest in 2016.

    Most competitive 2016 Senate elections
    State Incumbent's party Senate MOV 2014 Senate MOV 2012 Senate MOV 2010 Presidential MOV 2012 Presidential MOV 2008 Incumbent term in office Open seat? Cook rating
    Florida Republican N/A 13.0 D 19.0 R ✓0.88 ✓2.82 1 No Toss-up
    Illinois Republican 10.8 D N/A 1.6 R ✓16.87 ✓25.14 1 No Lean D
    Indiana Republican N/A 5.8 R 14.6 R −10.2% ✓1.03 1 Yes Toss-up
    Missouri Republican N/A 15.7 D 13.6 R -9.38 -0.13 1 No Toss-up
    Nevada Democratic N/A 1.2 R 5.7 D ✓6.68 ✓12.49 5 Yes Toss-up
    New Hampshire Republican 3.3 D N/A 23.5 R ✓5.58 ✓9.61 1 No Toss-up
    North Carolina Republican 1.5 R N/A 11.8 R -2.04 ✓0.33 2 No Toss-up
    Pennsylvania Republican N/A 9.1. D 2.0 R ✓5.39 ✓10.32 1 No Toss-up
    Wisconsin Republican N/A 5.6 D 4.9 R ✓6.94 ✓13.90 1 No Lean D
    • Both the 2012 and 2008 presidential MOV have either "✓" or "-" before the number. The "✓" indicates the state went in favor of the winner, in both years this was President Obama. The "-" indicates the state favored the Republican who lost in each election, Romney in 2012 and McCain in 2008.

    The following races were all expected to be at least somewhat close, but they were not considered among the most competitive races.

    Races to watch
    State Incumbent's party Senate MOV 2014 Senate MOV 2012 Senate MOV 2010 Presidential MOV 2012 Presidential MOV 2008 Incumbent term in office Open seat? Cook rating
    Arizona Republican N/A 3 R 24.2 R -9.06 -8.52 5 No Lean R
    Ohio Republican N/A 6.0 D 18.3 R ✓2.98 ✓4.59 1 No Toss-up
    • Both the 2012 and 2008 presidential MOV have either "✓" or "-" before the number. The "✓" indicates the state went in favor of the winner, in both years this was President Obama. The "-" indicates the state favored the Republican who lost in each election, Romney in 2012 and McCain in 2008.


    Outside race ratings

    The following table compares Ballotpedia's battleground ratings with the most recent race ratings from The Cook Political Report, Sabato's Crystal Ball, and The Rothenberg and Gonzales Political Report.

    U.S. Senate race ratings comparison
    State Ballotpedia Cook[6] Sabato[7] Rothenberg[8]
    Alabama Safe R Solid R Safe R Safe R
    Alaska Safe R Likely R Safe R Safe R
    Arizona Competitive R Lean R Likely R R Favored
    Arkansas Safe R Solid R Safe R Safe R
    California Safe D Solid D Safe D Safe D
    Colorado Safe D Likely D Safe D Safe D
    Connecticut Safe D Solid D Safe D Safe D
    Florida Battleground Lean R Lean R Lean R
    Georgia Safe R Likely R Safe R Safe R
    Hawaii Safe D Solid D Safe D Safe D
    Idaho Safe R Solid R Safe R Safe R
    Illinois Battleground Lean D Likely D Lean D
    Indiana Battleground Toss-up Toss-up Pure Toss-up
    Iowa Safe R Likely R Safe R Safe R
    Kansas Safe R Solid R Safe R Safe R
    Kentucky Safe R Solid R Safe R Safe R
    Louisiana Safe R Solid R Likely R Safe R
    Maryland Safe D Solid D Safe D Safe D
    Missouri Battleground Toss-up Toss-up Pure Toss-up
    Nevada Battleground Toss-up Toss-up Pure Toss-up
    New Hampshire Battleground Toss-up Toss-up Pure Toss-up
    New York Safe D Solid D Safe D Safe D
    North Carolina Battleground Toss-up Toss-up Pure Toss-up
    North Dakota Safe R Solid R Safe R Safe R
    Ohio Competitive R Lean R Safe R R Favored
    Oklahoma Safe R Solid R Safe R Safe R
    Oregon Safe D Solid D Safe D Safe D
    Pennsylvania Battleground Toss-up Lean D Pure Toss-up
    South Carolina Safe R Solid R Safe R Safe R
    South Dakota Safe R Solid R Safe R Safe R
    Utah Safe R Solid R Safe R Safe R
    Vermont Safe D Solid D Safe D Safe D
    Washington Safe D Solid D Safe D Safe D
    Wisconsin Battleground Toss-up Lean D Toss-up/Tilt D

    Presidential coattails

    Of the states that had Republican senators up for election, the senators’ average win was 3.2 percent higher than President-elect Donald Trump’s average win, according to preliminary vote totals.[9] Trump's average win was 55.4 percent, while Republican senators' average win was 58.6 percent.

    In Ballotpedia’s battleground races and races to watch, Republican Senators John McCain (Ariz.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Richard Burr (N.C.), Pat Toomey (Pa.), and Ron Johnson (Wis.) ran ahead of Trump. Trump ran ahead of Senator-elect Todd Young (Ind.) and Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.).

    Trump lost Illinois, Nevada, and New Hampshire, and the Republican candidates also lost their races in those states. Senator Mark Kirk ran ahead of Trump in Illinois, Trump ran ahead of Rep. Joe Heck in Nevada, and Sen. Kelly Ayotte ran ahead of Trump in New Hampshire.

    Missouri Senator Roy Blunt saw the biggest coattails effect from Trump. Trump won 57.1 percent of the vote, while Blunt won 49.4 percent. In Ohio, Trump saw the largest reverse coattails from Senator Rob Portman, who won the state with 58.3 percent of the vote. Trump earned 52.1 percent of the vote in Ohio.

    A full breakdown of the presidential and Senate races appears below.

    *Ballotpedia identified the highlighted races as battleground races and races to watch. The vote percentages are from CNN and will be updated after the final results are released.

    2016 Republican Presidential and Senate election results
    State Presidential candidate vote % Senate candidate vote % Vote % Difference
    Alabama Donald Trump Incumbent Richard Shelby
    Totals 62.9% Approveda 64.2% Approveda Shelby +1.3%
    Alaska Donald Trump Incumbent Lisa Murkowski
    Totals 53.3% Approveda 43.8% Approveda Trump +9.5%
    Arizona Donald Trump Incumbent John McCain
    Totals 49.5% Approveda 53.4% Approveda McCain +3.9%
    Arkansas Donald Trump Incumbent John Boozman
    Totals 60.4% Approveda 59.8% Approveda Trump +0.6%
    Florida Donald Trump Incumbent Marco Rubio
    Totals 49.1% Approveda 52.1% Approveda Rubio +3.0%
    Georgia Donald Trump Incumbent Johnny Isakson
    Totals 51.4% Approveda 55.1% Approveda Isakson +3.7%
    Idaho Donald Trump Incumbent Mike Crapo
    Totals 59.0% Approveda 66.0% Approveda Crapo +7.0%
    Indiana Donald Trump Todd Young
    Totals 57.2% Approveda 52.2% Approveda Trump + 5.0%
    Iowa Donald Trump Incumbent Chuck Grassley
    Totals 51.7% Approveda 60.1% Approveda Grassley +8.4%
    Kansas Donald Trump Incumbent Jerry Moran
    Totals 57.2% Approveda 62.4% Approveda Moran +5.2%
    Kentucky Donald Trump Incumbent Rand Paul
    Totals 62.5% Approveda +57.3% Approveda Trump +5.2%
    Louisiana Donald Trump Multiple Republican candidates
    Totals 58.1% Approveda (Race not called) -
    Missouri Donald Trump Incumbent Roy Blunt
    Totals 57.1% Approveda 49.4% Approveda Trump +7.7%
    North Carolina Donald Trump Incumbent Richard Burr
    Totals 50.5% Approveda 51.1% Approveda Burr +0.6%
    North Dakota Donald Trump Incumbent John Hoeven
    Totals 64.1% Approveda 78.6% Approveda Hoeven +14.5%
    Ohio Donald Trump Incumbent Rob Portman
    Totals 52.1% Approveda 58.3% Approveda Portman +6.2%
    Oklahoma Donald Trump Incumbent James Lankford
    Totals 65.3% Approveda 67.7% Approveda Lankford +2.4%
    Pennsylvania Donald Trump Incumbent Pat Toomey
    Totals 48.8% Approveda 48.9% Approveda Toomey +0.1%
    South Carolina Donald Trump Incumbent Tim Scott
    Totals 55.6% Approveda 61.2% Approveda Scott +5.6%
    South Dakota Donald Trump Incumbent John Thune
    Totals 61.5% Approveda 71.8% Approveda Thune +10.3%
    Utah Donald Trump Incumbent Mike Lee
    Totals 45.5% Approveda 67.4% Approveda Lee +21.9%
    Wisconsin Donald Trump Incumbent Ron Johnson
    Totals 47.9% Approveda 50.2% Approveda Johnson +2.3%
    California Donald Trump No Republican on the ballot
    Totals 33.3% Defeatedd No Republican on the ballot -
    Colorado Donald Trump Darryl Glenn
    Totals 44.8% Defeatedd 45.8% Defeatedd Glenn +1.0%
    Connecticut Donald Trump Dan Carter
    Totals 41.6% Defeatedd 35.3% Defeatedd Trump +6.3%
    Hawaii Donald Trump John Carroll
    Totals 30.1% Defeatedd 22.2% Defeatedd Trump +7.9%
    Illinois Donald Trump Incumbent Mark Kirk
    Totals 39.4% Defeatedd 40.2% Defeatedd Kirk +0.8%
    Maryland Donald Trump Kathy Szeliga
    Totals 35.3% Defeatedd 36.4% Defeatedd Szeliga +1.1%
    Nevada Donald Trump Joe Heck
    Totals 45.5% Defeatedd 44.7% Defeatedd Trump +0.8%
    New Hampshire Donald Trump Incumbent Kelly Ayotte
    Totals 47.2% Defeatedd 47.9% Defeatedd Ayotte +0.7%
    New York Donald Trump Wendy Long
    Totals 37.5% Defeatedd 27.5% Defeatedd Trump +10.0%
    Oregon Donald Trump Mark Callahan
    Totals 41.3% Defeatedd 33.9% Defeatedd Trump +7.4%
    Vermont Donald Trump Scott Milne
    Totals 32.6% Defeatedd 33.0% Defeatedd Milne +0.4%
    Washington Donald Trump Chris Vance
    Totals 37.7% Defeatedd 39.2% Defeatedd Vance +1.5%
    Totals Trump's average win: 55.4% Republican senators' average win: 58.6% Republican senators +3.2%

    Campaign issues

    The following section describes public policies that arose during the 114th Congress that became divisive issues on the campaign trail.

    Presidential race

    Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were ascribed negative attributes and were strongly opposed by certain demographics. Due to the unpopularity of these presidential candidates, many congressional candidates sought to tie their opponent to the top of his or her party's ticket.

    Compromise

    USA Today and Suffolk University released a poll on February 1, 2015, that showed that most Americans wanted to see more compromise between the White House and Congress. Of the adults polled, 76 percent stated that they wanted President Obama (D) to compromise more with Congress. To the same degree, 72 percent of polled adults stated they wanted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) to compromise more with President Obama. By party affiliation, 71 percent of Democrats and 82 percent of Republicans said they wanted President Obama to compromise. For Senator McConnell, 87 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of Republicans wanted him to compromise.[10]

    Affordable Care Act

    Obamacare was one of the dominant issues in the 2014 election and it remained a prominent issue in 2016. The nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation conducted multiple polls on opinions regarding Obamacare. In January 2015, 40 percent of participants viewed Obamacare favorably while 46 percent viewed it unfavorably. Another poll also showed that 50 percent of participants felt that it was important to continue the debate over Obamacare. Additionally, 45 percent of participants argued that the debated had gone far enough and the country should focus on other issues. Voters who wanted more debate over Obamacare were more likely to be opposed to the legislation. Those who wanted to focus more on other issues were evenly split in their support of Obamacare.[11]

    Supreme Court and judiciary

    The unexpected death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on February 13, 2016, caused the Supreme Court appointment to fill the vacancy to become an election issue. Confirmation of a new Supreme Court justice requires 60 votes in the Senate, allowing the Republican-controlled Senate to deny any nominee chosen by President Barack Obama. Several Republican senators, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, declared that the next president should have the responsibility of appointing the new justice. McConnell said in a statement, "The American people‎ should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President."[3]

    This raised the issue of Republican obstructionism in battleground states. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said of the issue, "I believe that many of the mainstream Republicans, when the president nominates a mainstream nominee, will not want to follow Mitch McConnell over the cliff. The American people don't like this obstruction. When you go right off the bat and say, 'I don't care who he nominates, I am going to oppose him,' that's not going to fly."[3][12]

    Immigration

    The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a program established by executive action on June 15, 2012, that allows undocumented individuals who were brought to the United States as children to receive relief from being deported for a period of time if they meet certain criteria. That action was followed by the Deferred Action for Parents of U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), which was announced on November 20, 2014, shielding the undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents from deportation.[13]

    Both programs came under fire in the presidential race, prompting the call for immigration reform. Securing the southern border with Mexico was also a major facet of the immigration issue.

    Iran nuclear deal

    See also: Iran nuclear agreement, 2015

    The P5+1 and the European Union, also known as the E3+3, reached an agreement with Iran regarding the development of its nuclear program on July 14, 2015.[14] The deal limits Iran's nuclear development in exchange for sanctions relief.[15]

    President Barack Obama and the majority of congressional Democrats lauded the deal, while Republicans largely opposed the deal.

    Campaign committees

    NRSC

    See also: National Republican Senatorial Committee

    The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) is a national political organization that focuses on electing Republicans into the U.S. Senate. The NRSC official website states:

    The National Republican Senatorial Committee is the only national organization solely devoted to electing Republicans to the U.S. Senate. The NRSC provides invaluable support and assistance to current and prospective Republican U.S. Senate candidates in the areas of budget planning, election law compliance, fundraising, communications tools and messaging, research and strategy.[16][17]

    The current chair is Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker, while the executive director is Ward Baker. Senators Dean Heller (Nev.), Tom Cotton (Ark.) and Joni Ernst (Iowa) serve as vice-chairs.[18]

    Wicker said in a statement, "Holding our majority will be no easy task, but we have assembled a staff that comes from all corners of the country with extensive experience in winning hard-fought campaigns,. These individuals will draw upon their previous experiences, which will help all of our campaigns as we work toward holding our Republican majority in the Senate."[18]

    DSCC

    See also: Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

    The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) is a national political organization solely devoted to electing Democrats to the U.S. Senate. The DSCC official website states:

    The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is the only organization solely dedicated to electing a Democratic Senate. From grassroots organizing to candidate recruitment to providing campaign funds for tight races, the DSCC is working hard all year, every year to elect Democrats to move our country forward.

    We're already hard at work to take back the Senate from the Republicans in 2016 and give the next Democratic president a Democratic Senate to work with. We’re fighting to protect our Democratic champions, and we’re recruiting outstanding candidates across the nation to challenge obstructionist Republicans.

    Our success depends on our large network of grassroots supporters. We encourage dedicated Democrats to get educated, engaged and involved. Supporting the DSCC is one of the most effective steps you can take to help Democrats succeed -- and take back the Senate in 2016.[19][17]

    The current chair is Montana Senator Jon Tester. Colorado Senator Michael Bennet served as the previous chair in the 2014 election cycle.[20]

    Campaign finance

    After major candidates declare their election bids, they submit campaign finance reports to the Federal Election Commission monthly. The latest figures are shown here.

    DSCC and NRSC

    The NRSC and the DSCC are the two principal political groups that raise funds to elect congressional candidates. The monthly fundraising figures for each committee throughout the 2016 election cycle are displayed in the table below.

    DSCC and NRSC monthly fundraising
    Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee National Republican Senatorial Committee
    Report Receipts Expenditures Cash on hand Debt Receipts Expenditures Cash on hand Debt
    Pre-General $7,671,405 $26,506,442 $9,451,267 $4,874,341 $9,963,007 $11,525,203 $10,745,974 $18,000,000
    October 2016 $18,961,824 $24,727,463 $28,286,304 $4,885,087 $30,582,624 $30,145,471 $12,308,170 $15,500,000
    September 2016 $8,531,469 $5,790,900 $34,051,943 $4,895,519 $6,453,897 $18,391,878 $11,871,018 $0
    August 2016 $7,550,155 $5,239,426 $31,311,375 $4,906,039 $4,156,722 $6,732,807 $23,808,999 $0
    July 2016 $8,615,293 $3,394,613 $29,000,646 $4,916,977 $6,526,968 $4,061,691 $26,385,084 $0
    June 2016 $7,177,846 $4,327,770 $23,779,966 $4,927,559 $5,277,446 $2,940,231 $23,919,807 $0
    May 2016 $6,135,207 $4,418,524 $20,929,890 $4,938,538 $4,279,583 $2,698,346 $21,582,592 $0
    April 2016 $8,247,122 $4,240,290 $19,213,208 $4,949,068 $6,158,856 $2,366,149 $20,001,356 $0
    March 2016 $6,189,828 $4,554,120 $15,206,377 $5,843,300 $4,803,627 $2,443,743 $16,208,649 $0
    February 2016 $5,794,776 $3,026,705 $13,570,668 $7,853,820 $3,881,567 $1,728,701 $13,848,765 $0
    Year-End $5,122,972 $4,434,118 $10,802,598 $8,357,872 $2,950,954 $2,520,839 $11,695,898 $0
    December 2015 $15,097,196 $14,617,106 $10,113,743 $10,107,872 $2,769,864 $1,808,779 $11,265,784 $0
    November 2015 $3,842,114 $3,429,118 $9,633,603 $10,620,834 $2,332,317 $1,896,335 $10,304,698 $0
    October 2015 $4,195,205 $3,778,422 $9,220,607 $11,783,630 $2,905,718 $2,905,718 $9,868,716 $0
    September 2015 $3,296,604 $3,708,043 $8,803,824 $12,946,388 $2,604,068 $2,224,471 $8,001,096 $0
    August 2015 $3,768,052 $3,448,388 $9,215,263 $14,109,109 $3,293,488 $2,155,025 $7,621,499 $0
    July 2015 $5,590,141 $4,496,832 $8,895,599 $15,271,793 $4,058,499 $3,884,614 $6,483,036 $0
    June 2015 $3,583,716 $3,400,797 $7,802,289 $16,434,440 $4,529,788 $3,222,919 $6,309,152 $2,000,000
    May 2015 $3,794,834 $3,327,627 $7,619,370 $17,597,049 $4,211,784 $4,465,644 $5,002,282 $3,500,000
    April 2015 $5,261,976 $3,628,245 $7,152,162 $18,759,622 $4,881,679 $3,943,807 $5,256,142 $6,000,000
    March 2015 $4,336,327 $1,431,790 $5,518,432 $20,026,324 $3,785,939 $3,551,848 $4,318,270 $8,000,000
    February 2015 $4,460,934 $2,760,538 $2,613,894 $20,042,990 $2,459,111 $1,080,720 $4,084,179 $10,000,000

    Prior elections

    DSCC and NRSC yearly fundraising
    Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee National Republican Senatorial Committee
    Year Total Receipts Total Expenditures Total Receipts Total Expenditures
    2014 $168,323,299 $169,219,761 $128,278,250 $128,953,251
    2012 $145,906,974 $144,850,609 $117,045,850 $113,783,377
    2010 $129,543,440 $129,086,443 $112,299,229 $112,528,479
    2008 $162,791,453 $162,558,225 $94,424,743 $93,786,078
    2006 $121,376,959 $121,670,095 $88,812,386 $89,717,855

    Presidential impact

    Presidential elections have a significant impact on congressional elections, the most obvious effect being increased voter interest and participation. In the last two decades, presidential elections have led to roughly 15 to 20 percent higher turnout rates than in the corresponding midterm.[21] The following chart shows the disparity between voter turnout in presidential elections and midterms.

    Voter turnout comparison.JPG

    In the past decade, presidential elections have benefited the Democratic Party, while midterms have helped Republicans. The Democratic Party gained an average of 5 senate seats in the last two presidential elections, and the Republican Party picked up an average of 7.5 seats in the last two midterms.[22]

    Past partisan breakdowns
    Year Democrats Republicans Independents[23] Net change
    2014 44 54 2 +9 R
    2012 53 45 2 +2 D
    2010 51 47 2 +6 R
    2008 57 41 2 +8 D
    2006 49 49 2 +5 D

    Filing deadlines by state

    The table below lists the 2016 congressional primary dates and filing deadlines for each state.[24]

    See also

    Footnotes

    1. United States House of Representatives History, Art & Archives, "Election Statistics," accessed September 4, 2015
    2. Politico, "16 in '16: The new battle for the Senate," December 29, 2014
    3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 NPR, "Scalia's Death Will Cast A Long Shadow Across This Year's Senate Races," February 15, 2016
    4. Los Angeles Times, "In search for Scalia's successor, Obama may see GOP opposition as incentive to select a liberal," February 14, 2016
    5. ABC News, "Tea Party Class of 2010: Where Are They Now?" May 30, 2013
    6. The Cook Political Report, "2016 Senate Race Ratings," accessed November 6, 2016
    7. Sabato's Crystal Ball, "2016 Senate," accessed November 6, 2016
    8. The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report, "Senate Ratings," accessed November 6, 2016
    9. CNN, "Election Results," accessed November 9, 2016
    10. USA Today, "Poll: Americans want compromise between Congress & Obama," February 1, 2015
    11. Kaiser Family Foundation, "Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: January 2015," January 28, 2015
    12. Los Angeles Times, "In search for Scalia's successor, Obama may see GOP opposition as incentive to select a liberal," February 14, 2016
    13. NPR, "As 2016 Elections Loom, So Does A Possible End To DACA," January 3, 2016
    14. The Guardian, "Iran nuclear deal reached in Vienna," July 14, 2015
    15. Wall Street Journal, "Iran, World Powers Reach Nuclear Deal," July 14, 2015
    16. National Republican Senatorial Committee, "About," accessed January 22, 2015
    17. 17.0 17.1 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributable to the original source.
    18. 18.0 18.1 Roll Call, "Exclusive: NRSC Names Senior Staffers," January 4, 2015
    19. Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, "About," accessed January 22, 2015
    20. Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, "Jon Tester to serve as DSCC chair," November 13, 2014
    21. United States Election Project, "Voter Turnout," accessed September 6, 2015
    22. United States Senate, "Party Division in the Senate, 1789-Present," accessed September 6, 2015
    23. Independents caucus with the Democratic party
    24. Federal Election Commission, "2016 Preliminary Presidential and Congressional Primary Dates," accessed September 21, 2015


    For information about public policy issues in the 2016 elections, see: Public policy in the 2016 elections!