Exports supported 11.3 million U.S. jobs in 2013. This is an increase of 1.6 million since 2009. Learn about the fight for jobs, supported by exports, from the CNH Industrial Digital Trade Toolbox and CNH Industrial’s Joseph Samora.
The CNH Industrial Digital Trade Toolbox includes a tool so you can make your voice heard in the fight for jobs that are supported by exports. Visit www.cnhindustrialtrade.com and click on the “Write to your Congressperson” link to help support the re-authorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) before its authorization expires on September 30. In 2013, Ex-Im helped to finance $37 billion in U.S. export sales, supporting approximately 205,00-0 export-related American jobs.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the May Jobs report this morning, saying:
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 217,000 in May, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in professional and business services, health care and social assistance, food services and drinking places, and transportation and warehousing.
To learn more, read the Forbes ongoing story, "Jobs Report: U.S. Economy Added 217K Jobs In May, Unemployment Remains Unchanged At 6.3%" by Maggie McGrath.
After extensive consultation with our state partners, BIPAC members, state, and local employers and business organizations with operations and employees in these states and districts, BIPAC has issued its next round of candidate endorsements in four U.S. Senate and ten U.S. House races. Each of these candidates are the broad consensus choice of the business community both nationally and at the local level and each are very competitive or highly significant races. If your organization has not been involved on behalf of these candidates to date, we would urge you to consider these as top priority candidates for the business community.
BIPAC will be working with our membership, local business organizations, and our state partners to educate employees in these states and districts on issues important to creating a pro-growth economic climate, how the candidates stand on those issues, and working to create a powerful business-driven grassroots Get Out The Vote effort in each of these races.
We strongly encourage you to join BIPAC and the local business community in each of these races in supporting these candidates as the clear favorite to provide a pro-growth, prosperity and jobs oriented economic climate.
If you have affiliates or employees in these states or districts and would like to join BIPAC's business-driven employee education and GOTV efforts here, please contact Bo Harmon at 202-776-7462.
Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colorado)
Primary Election: June 24
Rep. Cory Gardner is challenging incumbent Senator Mark Udall (D). Gardner has largely cleared the primary field and has been a friend to the business community in the House. There are few races featuring a greater contrast between the candidates in terms of their orientation towards supporting pro-growth economic policies. Gardner scored 100% on BIPAC's 112th Congress voting record and is working closely with employers in Colorado to expand their operations and create a more comfortable operating environment. Polling shows this race to be a toss-up at this point, so your engagement is important. www.corygardnerforsenate.com
Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)
Primary Election: June 3
State Senator Joni Ernst is running in Iowa's open Senate seat. Ernst is running in a crowded GOP primary and needs to get 35% of the vote in the primary to avoid a convention. Ernst has earned 100% on the Iowa Prosperity Project's 2011 State Senate voting record and 90% on the 2012 State Senate voting record. She has consolidated support within Iowa's business community over the last month and has attracted support from across the ideological spectrum. Both the US Chamber of Commerce AND the Senate Conservatives Fund, typically opposed to each other, are BOTH advertising on her behalf to help avoid a convention selection which would make the candidate selection process completely unpredictable. She is endorsed for both the primary and general elections. www.joniforiowa.com
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia)
Primary Election: May 13 > See Results
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito is running in the open West Virginia Senate seat. Capito scored 100% on BIPAC's 112th Congress voting record. She faces Democratic nominee Secretary of State Natalie Tennant in the general election. Polling shows Capito with a double digit lead, making this seat a prime opportunity to move from adverse to business as it was when held by Rockefeller to pro-business as it would be with Capito. www.capitoforsenate.com
Rep. Steve Daines (R-Montana)
Primary Election: June 3
Rep. Daines is running against Senator John Walsh (D). Walsh was appointed to the seat in February, after Senator Baucus resigned to become Ambassador to China. Daines is a pro-business candidate who was been endorsed by BIPAC and the U.S. Chamber in 2012 when running for the at large Congressional seat and has proven to be a strong advocate for the business community during his time in the House. While Baucus was accommodating to some pro-business opportunities, Daines offers the best chance to make this seat reliably pro-business in its orientation. www.stevedaines.com
Don Beyer (D-Virginia 8)
Primary Election: June 10
Don Beyer is seeking the Democratic nomination for the open seat in this safe Democratic seat. Beyer, former Lieutenant Governor and car dealership owner, faces several candidates in the primary. Beyer has won the first straw poll in the district and is considered the frontrunner. He demonstrated a welcomed propensity to working with the business community to solve problems and grow the economy during his time as Lt. Governor. With the primary quickly approaching, getting involved with the Beyer campaign during the primary is important. www.friendsofdonbeyer.com
Carlos Curbelo (R-Florida 26)
Primary Election: August 26
Miami-Dade School Board Member Carlos Curbelo is challenging Rep. Joe Garcia (D) in this toss up race. While the general election is expected to be highly competitive, Curbelo also has to make it through a GOP primary featuring former member of Congress David Rivera who lost the seat to Garcia in 2012 following a campaign finance scandal very similar to the one Garcia now faces himself. Curbelo is the frontrunner, and has been endorsed by Jeb Bush, Lincoln Diaz-Balart and most of the Miami area business community. www.carloscurbelo.com
Bob Dold (R-Illinois 10)
Primary Election: March 18 > See Results
Former Rep. Bob Dold is challenging Rep. Brad Schneider (D). This is a rematch from the 2012 race where Dold lost to Schneider by less than 3,500 votes. Rep. Dold scored 82% on BIPAC's 112th Congress voting record while Schneider has not been a friend during his time in Congress. BIPAC's state partner, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce has also endorsed Dold and is working with BIPAC and local businesses in the district to support his return to Congress. www.doldforcongress.com
Mike Coffman (R-Colorado 6)
Primary Election: June 24
Rep. Mike Coffman faces a competitive general election with likely Democratic nominee former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff. This toss up race is a top Democratic target for 2014. Coffman is a good business ally in the House and scored 95% on BIPAC's 112th Congress voting record. During Romanoff's campaign for U.S. Senate last election, he positioned himself distinctly to the left of current Democratic Senator Michael Bennett and actively opposed many key priorities of the Colorado business community. This is one of the most competitive districts in the country and one of the clearest distinctions between a pro-jobs, pro-prosperity consensus building candidate in Coffman and a hard left avowed opponent of the business community. www.coffmanforcongress.com
Andy Tobin (R-Arizona 1)
Primary Election: August 26
House Speaker Andy Tobin is looking to unseat Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D). This is a tossup seat that Kirkpatrick lost in her 2010 reelection bid and won back in 2012. Tobin is a small business owner who has the backing of the local business community, such as the Arizona Restaurant Association. Other Republican candidates include State Rep. Adam Kwasman, and rancher Gary Kiehne. www.andytobin.com
Swati Dandekar (D-Iowa 1)
Primary Election: June 3
Former state legislator Swati Dandekar is running in Rep. Braley's open seat in Iowa 1. This is a safe Democratic seat and the competitive race will be in the Democratic primary. Dandekar has a good working relationship with the business community in Iowa and has been endorsed by John Deere and Rockwell International, two major employers in IA 1. Another leading candidate in the primary is State House Speaker Pat Murphy who has a long legislative record of actively opposing the business community and pro-growth policies. Should Murphy win, he would be very adversarial. www.swatidandekarforcongress.com
Richard Tisei (R-Massachusetts 6)
Primary Election: September 9
Former State Senator Richard Tisei is challenging Rep. John Tierney (D) in a rematch of the 2012 race. The 6th district is Democratic at the Presidential level but was carried by Republicans for Senate and Governor. Tierney barely won in 2012 and remains vulnerable after past ethics troubles. Tierney scored 4% on BIPAC's 112th Congress Voting record and is not a business friendly candidate. Tierney also faces a primary challenger, veteran Seth Moulton in a late primary which make this an even better opportunity to replace him with a business-oriented advocate. www.tiseiforcongress.com
Eric Swalwell (D-California 15)
Primary Election: June 3
Freshman Rep. Eric Swalwell is running for re-election. In 2012, Swalwell defeated incumbent Rep. Pete Stark (D) in the general election. During his brief tenure in Congress, Swalwell has impressed the business community in California and nationally for his willingness to seek consensus solutions and actively bring all sides together for productive legislation. Many BIPAC members with operations in the district are strongly supporting Swalwell's reelection who faces a Republican and Democrat in the June open primary. www.swalwellforcongress.com
Mike Bost (R-Illinois 12)
Primary Election: March 18 > See Results
State Rep. Mike Bost is running to unseat freshman Rep. Bill Enyart (D). This is a competitive race with the district being split pretty evenly between Democrat and Republican. Bost has a background in small business, having worked for Bost Trucking, owned by his father and uncle. He has a 79% (2011-2012) and 100% (2009-2008) rating from the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Legislative Ratings. www.bostforcongress.com
Colin Peterson (D-Minnesota 7)
Primary Election: August 12
Rep. Colin Peterson is running for re-election in a tough race. A member of the Blue Dog Coalition, he was first elected in 1990 and is currently the top Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee. Peterson scored 86% on BIPAC's 112th Congress voting record. www.petersonforcongress.com
NOTE: BIPAC will continue to endorse candidates as consensus emerges in primary and general elections amongst its members and the local business community in favor of particular candidates.
Sasse in NE, Mooney in WV-2. Tea Party supported candidates who have demonstrated an ability to build coalitions win the two biggest profile races of this primary day.
Senate: Former Bush Administration official Ben Sasse won the GOP Senate primary to replace retiring Senator Mike Johanns (R). Sasse, considered the frontrunner, had been leading in the polls in this five way primary. His two biggest threats were banker Sid Dinsdale and former State Treasurer Shane Osborn. What started as a two way battle between Sasse and Osborn developed into a three way race in the last days of the election, as self-funder Sid Dinsdale picked up steam. Sasse was backed by national conservative groups, including the Club for Growth and Senate Conservatives Fund while "establishment" support split between Sasse, Dinsdale and Osborn. This will likely be seen as a victory for tea-party oriented groups, but Sasse has demonstrated an ability to work with a broader coalition and is expected to do so in the Senate. The general election is not considered competitive.
House: Not much is expected to change in Nebraska's three Congressional seats. Rep. Lee Terry easily beat a primary challenge from electronics businessman Dan Frei, whose campaign never really took off. Terry is the most vulnerable Nebraska Congressman, he only won by 2 points in 2012. With the current national climate and a midterm election however, he is favored to win. Terry will face state Sen. Brad Ashford (D) in the general.
Senate: The nominees for the open West Virginia Senate seat have become official, with Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R) and Secretary of State Natalie Tennant (D) easily capturing their nominations. Neither one faced a competitive primary. West Virginia is one of the Republicans best chances at a pickup, with Sen. Rockefeller (D) retiring. This coal state is trending red and Capito has had a solid lead in the polls. If she can keep her current momentum, Capito has a good shot at taking the seat.
House: With Rep. Capito running for Senate, her open seat in 2nd Congressional district attracted the attention of seven Republican candidates. In such a crowded field, no one candidate was considered the frontrunner, though former Maryland State Senator Alex Mooney and former U.S. International Trade Commissioner Charlotte Lane were among the more well-known candidates. Mooney won with 35 percent of the vote, almost 13 points ahead of the next closest candidate. Mooney was supported by the Senate Conservatives Fund and other tea-party oriented groups, but like Sasse in Nebraska, has demonstrated an ability to work well with a wide variety of constituencies. Democrats had their own two way primary as well, with former state party chair Nick Casey winning with almost 60 percent of the vote. Mooney is the favorite going into the general election, but this could shape up to be a competitive race. In the 3rd district, Rep. Rahall (D) showed some vulnerability by giving up 35% of the primary vote to Richard Ojeda, who was running against Rahall's coal platform. He will need to consolidate his base to hold off a strong challenge from state Sen. Evan Jenkins who did not have a primary on the Republican side. Rep. Rahall is considered one of the most vulnerable Democratic incumbents in 2014. Romney won the 3rd district with 65 percent of the vote.
The cost of elections is increasing. Swing districts and voters are decreasing. Billions of dollars are being spent to target a smaller and smaller number of voters. The business community has an advantage in elections that no one else has. They are a trusted, credible communication source to these voters. As the cost per vote increases dramatically, employers are in a unique position to impact elections at very low cost.
The 2014 elections are projected to be the most expensive midterms to date. Each election cycle, the cost of elections increases substantially. In 1998, candidates, parties and outside groups spent $1.6 billion total on Congressional races. By 2012, that figure more than doubled to $3.7 billion and is expected to rise again in 2014.
Counterintuitively, while election spending increases each cycle, there are fewer swing seats and competitive races taking place. According to the Cook Political Report Partisan Voter Index, there were 164 swing seats in the House in 1998. By 2013, that had dropped to 90. Even fewer, maybe 20-30, are actually competitive.
It isn't just the reduced number of competitive seats, there are fewer and fewer swing voters available to be persuaded in the competitive elections that DO exist. BIPAC uses a formula to determine the number of true swing voters in a given state or district. Over the last eight years, we take the lowest performance of ANY Republican and the lowest performance of ANY Democratic candidate and assign that low-water mark as a partisan baseline. We estimate the number of votes likely to be cast in 2014 and subtract the percentage that is base Republican and base Democratic and are left with the number of real swing votes in a state. You can see from the chart below that a very small number of votes are actually at play in the most competitive Senate races. In several states, the swing voters represent less than 20% of expected turnout. Only 13% of expected voters in NC are swing, 12% in GA, 18% in AK and 12% in CO. More money may be pouring into races, but there are increasingly fewer voters to persuade.
With approximately $4 billion to be spent in 2014 to impact elections, how can the business community play the most effective role in electing pro-business, pro-prosperity candidates? Educate your members and employees on the elections and how they will affect your company and their job. Employers are the most credible source for information, followed distantly by political parties and labor unions. Research has shown that employer-provided information was useful to helping voters make their voting decisions and it also made them more likely to vote. As the cost per vote skyrockets, employers, unique among those trying to impact elections, have a low cost alternative to traditional campaign tactics, such as TV advertising, with the additional benefit of being enormously more effective in shaping elections.
Today we continue our 4 part series in which BIPAC will analyze the upcoming 2014 House crossover districts. House crossover districts are the congressional districts where the U.S. Representative and the presidential candidate voted for by that district are of opposite parties. There are currently 26 House crossover districts or 26 House members whose district voted for the presidential candidate of the opposite party. There are 15 incumbent Republicans serving in districts President Obama won and 9 incumbent Democrats serving in districts Mitt Romney won. This series will analyze the incumbents, the districts and potential challengers as the political landscape for 2014 continues to evolve and take shape.
To see the full list of House crossover districts visit the BIPAC portal here.
Jeff Denham (R, CA-10)
Rep. Denham is currently serving in his second term and besides his agriculture and military background, is known around town for a very specific issue – making sure federal office space is being used efficiently. Denham ran in the newly created 10th district in 2012, which leaned more Democratic than Denham’s old district, giving Democrats hope at switching the seat. All together, about $12 million dollars was spent on the race, showing how significant it was to both parties. Expect the same in 2014, especially since recent polls show that Denham may be facing backlash for the government shutdown. Right now, Denham’s most formidable opponent appears to be beekeeper and farmer Michael Eggman (D). Eggman has been part of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) effort, Jumpstart, which supports promising candidates for 2014.
Bill Young (R, FL-13)
Rep. Young passed away on October 18, 2013, setting up a special election for the remainder of his term. The moderate Republican with a seat on the Appropriations Committee would have been a tough competitor in 2014, but a special election gives Democrats a much better chance at the seat that went to President Obama in 2008 and 2012. Several potential candidates from both parties are now being mentioned for the seat. Expect this to be a major focus for both parties.
John Kline (R, MN-2)
2012 was one of Rep. Kline’s most competitive elections. He was running in a more competitive district after redistricting and faced a credible challenger, Mike Obermueller (Democratic-Farmer-Labor). However, Kline was able to draw on his reputation for working in a bipartisan manner and experience as Chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee to beat Obermueller by over 8 pts. Kline already has challengers for 2014, including Obermueller, who is running again. Kline will be hard to beat, especially with his fundraising numbers; he already has over a million in the bank.
Scott Rigell (R, VA-2)
Currently in his second term, Rep. Rigell is known in Virginia for his pragmatic positions. The 2nd district leans more Republican after redistricting and has a large military presence. Because of this, Rigell has made sure to cater his positions, such as speaking out on sequestration. Due to his more centrist approach, Rigell will be seeing challengers from both sides in 2014. He already has a primary challenger, Kevin Meynardie (R) and on the Democratic side, retired naval officer and former Pentagon official Suzanne Patrick (D) has announced.
Ron Barber (D, AZ-2)
Rep. Barber was first elected to congress in the special election to succeed his boss, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D). In 2012, Barber won a full term to the 2nd district, beating Retired U.S. Air Force combat pilot Martha McSally (R) by less than one point. The 2nd district was drawn more Democratic after redistricting and Barber asserted himself as an independent voice in the House, voting with Republicans on issues important to the 2nd district, such as border control. McSally has already announced she will be running again in 2014, setting up what could be another competitive race.
Nick Rahall (D, WV-3)
Rep. Rahall has served in the U.S. House since 1977. While Rahall has easily won most of his elections, his margins of victory have gotten smaller as West Virginia becomes more conservative. In 2012, the moderate Democrat had to run against an unpopular President Obama in the state, but was able to prevail with strong fundraising numbers and support of the coal industry. Rahall already has a challenger for 2013, state Sen. Evan Jenkins (R). Jenkins was a Democrat, but switched parties to run against Rahall.
The 2014 elections are fast approaching and the decision by former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer not to run for U.S. Senate has put Republicans in a much better position to win control of the chamber. However, the past few cycles have shown that the greatest challenge facing both parties – but particularly Republicans – is recruiting quality candidates. In 2014, Democrats need to find candidates who can win in conservative states like South Dakota, Montana and West Virginia. Republicans need to find credible challengers who can take on vulnerable, incumbent Democrats in red states like Arkansas, North Carolina and Alaska.
So what’s the status of the candidate recruitment process? How are the parties faring in recruiting top tier candidates? Now that second quarter fundraising reports have been filed, a clear picture is beginning to take shape. The chart below lists formally announced Senate candidates as well as snapshots of their fundraising abilities. Several candidates do not have amounts to report because they announced their campaigns just recently or else the FEC hasn’t posted second quarter totals yet. Fundraising amounts do not equate victory or defeat, but they do convey interest, legitimacy and illustrate that there is some level of support.
There are two significant takeaways from these charts. First, the available fundraising numbers posted by incumbents and declared candidates are impressive and do convey legitimacy. For example, Senator Mitch McConnell’s fundraising numbers are extremely high, explaining his ability to deter primary challengers thus far. The same is true for vulnerable Democratic senators. The second takeaway, and perhaps the most striking, is the lack of Democratic candidates recruited in open seats. Only two of the seven open seats have strong Democratic candidates: Michigan and Iowa. Democrats have yet to find candidates in Montana (reelected a Democratic senator in ’12), West Virginia (2 Democratic senators and a Democratic governor), Georgia, and Nebraska.
Furthermore, the only declared Democratic candidate in South Dakota doesn’t have the name recognition or credibility of the likely Republican nominee – former Governor Mike Rounds. Overall, the biggest challenge Republicans have faced in recent cycles is recruiting strong candidates who can win general elections. At this point, they’ve been fairly successful at finding solid candidates to fill open seats and take on vulnerable Democrats. There is still time for Democrats to find candidates in open seat contests, but the first filing deadline for a congressional primary is December 9th – just over four months away. As more days fall off the calendar, the more challenging it will be for new candidates to jump in the race.
Summer is on our doorstep and we are nearly to the halfway point of 2013. The races for 2014 are beginning to take shape as federal legislators determine whether they will run for reelection or hang up their hats to begin a life of retirement, relaxation or their next professional adventure. The open seats created by U.S. Senators deciding to leave are also creating open seats in the House because Representatives are trying to run for the newly open Senate seats. Because open seats create the most opportunity for change in party control, competitiveness and unpredictability, we have created a 2014 overview of all the current open seats up in the House for next year’s election.
U.S. House of Representatives: 9 Open Seats (5 R, 4 D)
Iowa 1: Rep. Bruce Braley (D) is running for Senate to replace Sen. Tom Harkin (D) creating an open seat. Braley has represented this district since 2006. Barack Obama won this district 55.9% to Romney’s 42.3% illustrating that this is a fairly Democratic district. Several individuals have shown interest in running which means we can expect to see very crowded primaries for both parties. The individuals leading the pack today are Iowa state Rep. Pat Murphy (D) who was Speaker of the legislature from 2007 to 2011 (Murphy announced in Feb.), former television anchor and state Senator Liz Mathis (D), businessman Rod Blum (R) who narrowly lost the primary for this seat last year with 47% of the vote, and former Cedar Rapids Mayor Paul Pate (R) who has the best name ID out of all the candidates. The filing deadline is not until next spring and of all the open House seats, this one is the least partisan, but as of today, D’s still have an advantage.
Georgia 10: Rep. Paul Broun (R) is running for Senate to replace Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R) creating an open seat. This seat is very conservative and Broun has represented the district since 2006. Mitt Romney won this seat with 62.5% of the vote in 2012, but a third of all residents are minorities, and those demographics are expected to grow in coming years so you can expect to see the dynamics of this district evolve. Two individuals have announced their intentions to run – state Rep. Donna Sheldon (R), the chairwoman of the GOP Caucus, and Jody Hice (R), radio host and Southern Baptist pastor. This seat should easily stay in Republican hands and most of the action will be seen in the primary.
West Virginia 2: Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R) is running for Senate to replace Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D) creating an open seat. Capito has represented this conservative district since 2000 and Mitt Romney won the district with 60% of the vote. There are a number of candidates from both parties interested in this seat. Although the district leans Republican, it is not out of the question for a strong Democrat to make this competitive. The top contenders so far are Nick Casey (D), former state Democratic Chair, state Sen. Eric Wells (D) -his wife is Sec. of State Natalie Tennant who has been mentioned to run for Senate- and state Sen. Herb Snyder (D). On the Republican side, numerous names have been mentioned but the names at the top are House Minority Leader Tim Armstead (R), Senate Minority Leader Mike Hall (R), former state Republican Party Chairman Mike Stuart (R) and state Delegates Eric Nelson (R), Patrick Lane (R) and Steve Harrison (R).
Louisiana 6: Rep. Bill Cassidy (R) recently announced he is running for the Senate in a challenge to current Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu, creating an open seat in Louisiana’s 6th Congressional District. Cassidy has represented this very Republican district since 2008. President Barack Obama lost this district by 34 points in 2012, making this a very attractive seat for local conservatives. The district includes Baton Rouge and surrounding suburbs. Most of the contenders for the seat are state representatives or state senators, but also considering the seat is former Rep. Jeff Landry (R) who lost in a member vs. member election last year. The only catch is that he does not technically live in the district.
Georgia 1: Another Congressman from the Georgia Delegation, Rep. Jack Kingston (R), is also running for Chambliss’ open seat, creating another open seat. Kingston has served in the 1st District since 1993. The district leans Republican, and voted for Romney with 56% of the vote in 2012. There are currently three candidates, state Sen. Buddy Carter (R), Darwin Carter (R), a businessman who worked in President Reagan’s administration, and David Schwarz (R), a Republican consultant and former Kingston staffer.
Georgia 11: Rep. Phil Gingrey (R) is also running for Saxby Chambliss’ (R) open senate seat. Gingrey has served in the 11th District since 2003. With Romney and Gingrey both winning over 60% of the vote in this district in 2012, it is safe to say this is a red seat. Several Republicans have already announced their candidacy for the open seat, including businesswoman Tricia Pridmeore (R) who previously worked in Gov. Nathan Deal’s administration, former House Rep. and federal prosecutor Bob Barr (R), state Sen. Barry Loudermilk (R) and state House Majority Whip Edward Lindsey (R).
Hawaii 1: For the past few months, it was unclear if Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) would challenger Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) or Sen. Brian Schatz (D) in the 2014 elections. Abercrombie did not follow Sen. Inouye’s dying wish to appoint Hanabusa to the Senate, and instead chose his Lieutenant Governor, Schatz. Hanabusa has decided to challenge Schatz in the Democratic Primary, officially creating an open seat in Hawaii’s 1st District. The district is extremely Democratic and voted overwhelmingly for Obama in 2012. A crowded Democratic primary is expected to replace Hanabusa, but right now there is only one declared candidate, Councilman Stanley Chang (D).
Michigan 14: Rep. Gary Peters (D) is running for Senate to replace retiring Sen. Carl Levin (D) creating an open seat in Michigan’s congressional delegation. The 14th District leans far to the left. President Obama won the district with over 80% of the vote last year with black voters making up just under 60% of the district’s constituents. Several Democrats have said they are interested in the race including former U.S. Rep. Hansen Clarke (D) and state Rep. Rudy Hobbs (D) – both have officially declared. One Republican has been mentioned, the 2010 and 2012 Republican nominee, businessman, and tea party activist John Hauler (R).
Pennsylvania 13: Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D) is challenging Gov. Tom Corbett (R) for the governor’s mansion in 2014. This is the only open seat in the House in which the incumbent member is not running for the U.S. Senate. Schwartz was first elected to this district that covers the northern corner of Philadelphia in 2004. This is a left leaning district that President Obama won in 2012 with 66% of the vote. Several candidates are interested in the Democratic Primary including state Rep. Brendan Boyle (D), physician and activist Valerie Arkoosh (D), state Sen. Daylin Leach (D) and former U.S. Rep. Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky (D). No candidates have announced on the Republican side.
Click here for 2014 Open Seat Outlook: Senate
May is almost over and we are nearly to the halfway point of 2013. The races for 2014 are beginning to take shape as federal legislators determine whether they will run for reelection or hang up their hats to begin a life of retirement, relaxation or their next professional adventure. In Congress, most attention is focused on the U.S. Senate because of the increasing potential for Republicans to win control of the chamber next year. Currently Democrats hold 53 seats, Republicans hold 45 and two Independents caucus with the Democrats. In order for Republicans to gain control of the Senate, they need to pick up at least six seats currently held by Democrats. Already, six Democrats have announced their retirement creating open seats. Open seats create the best opportunity for pick-ups by opposing parties because candidates don’t have to unseat incumbents who typically have more fundraising and party support than challenger candidates.
U.S Senate: 8 Open Seats (6D, 2R)
Georgia: Saxby Chambliss (R)
Sen. Saxby Chambliss, currently serving his second term, has announced that he is sick of partisan politics and will not be seeking a third term. He was also one of the more vulnerable Republicans up in 2014 and was expected to face a primary challenger from the right. This is traditionally a conservative seat, but a contentious Republican primary could make this more competitive. Currently there are four Republican candidates vying for the nomination-Reps. Paul Broun (R), Phil Gingrey (R) and Jack Kingston (R), and Secretary of State Karen Handel (R). There are no declared Democratic challengers yet. Rep. John Barrow (D) has declined to run, though Michele Nunn (D), daughter of former GA Senator Sam Nunn, could potentially enter. Georgia is a conservative state, but an ugly Republican primary could create an opportunity for a credible Democrat.
Iowa: Tom Harkin (D)
Currently serving in his fifth term, 73 year old Sen. Tom Harkin has cited age as his primary reason to retire. The frontrunner on the Democratic side is Rep. Bruce Braley (D), from Iowa’s 1st Congressional District, who has been endorsed by Harkin. On the Republican side, several Republican potentials have all declined to run, including Lt. Gov Kim Reynolds (R), Rep. Tom Latham (R) and Rep. Steve King (R), leaving the race wide open. Harkin’s departure leaves the Chairmanship of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions open, assuming the Democrats keep control of the Senate.
Michigan: Carl Levin (D)
After 34 years in office, the current Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Carl Levin has announced his retirement. Rep. Gary Peters (D) has announced his Senate candidacy and is not expected to face any serious Democratic competition. There are no declared candidates on the Republican side yet, but Reps. Mike Rogers (R) and Justin Amash (R) have both been floated as potentials.
Montana: Max Baucus (D)
Sen. Baucus is the most recent Senator to announce his retirement from the Senate. He has served six terms and is chair of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, but was expected to face a tough race in 2014 – Montana is a red leaning state that went to Romney in 2012. This may be a difficult seat for Democrats to hold on to, though they are currently courting Brian Schweitzer (D), a popular former Governor. Possible Republican candidates include Rep. Steve Daines (R), former Rep. Denny Rehberg (R) and former Gov. Marc Raicot (R).
Nebraska: Mike Johanns (R)
The least senior Senator on this list, Sen. Mike Johanns has announced his retirement after serving only one term in the Senate. This seat is expected to stay Republican. Candidates include current Gov. Dave Heineman (R) who is term limited, and all three Nebraska Congressmen, Reps. Jeff Fortenberry (R), Adrian Smith (R) and Lee Terry (R).
New Jersey: Frank Lautenberg (D)
89 year old Sen. Frank Lautenberg has decided it is finally time to retire. Just as Nebraska is a safe Republican seat, New Jersey is expected to stay in Democratic hands. Newark Mayor Corey Booker (D) garnered a lot of attention when he announced his intention to run for the seat before Lautenberg’s decision to retire, but he could face a formidable primary challenger in Rep. Frank Pallone (D).
South Dakota: Tim Johnson (D)
This was an expected retirement; Sen. Tim Johnson suffered a brain hemorrhage in 2006 and is still recuperating. This does, however, give Republicans another shot at gaining a seat. South Dakota trends red and Romney carried it in 2012. It also appears that top tier Democrats will not be running for the seat, including Former Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D) and Johnson’s son, Brendan Johnson (D). The potential Democratic candidate right now is Rick Weiland (D), former aide and friend of former Sen. Tom Daschle. On the Republican side, possible candidates are former Gov. Mike Rounds (R) and Rep. Kristi Noem (R). Johnson’s departure also leaves the Chairmanship to the Senate Banking Committee available, assuming the Democrats can keep control of the Senate.
West Virginia: Jay Rockefeller (D)
Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s retirement from the Senate gives the Republicans another good chance at a seat pickup – Romney won West Virginia by 27 points. The five term Senator is also another long-serving Senator giving up a chairmanship, this time on the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. Rep. Shelly Moore Capito (R) has already announced her candidacy and seems to have the Republicans rallying around her. There are no announced Democratic candidates yet, but names being floated include attorney Nick Preservati (D), a pro coal businessman, state Supreme Court of Appeals Justice Robin Davis (D) and Secretary of State Natalie Tennant (D).
Below is the current list of open seats for 2014 due to term limits, retirements and legislators running for Senate.
Senate (6: 2 R, 4 D)
There is a time for politics and a time for governing. The time for politics is over the time for governing is upon us.