Is it possible for Democrats to lose the White House and still gain seats in the U.S. Senate? Possible, but not likely. In the 15 cycles in which the incumbent party has lost the White House since 1860, on only three occasions was that party able to make gains in the nation’s upper legislative chamber: in 1884 (GOP +4), 1960 (GOP +1), and 2000 (DEM +4). The Democratic Party’s outlook is currently rosy about holding its six-seat advantage in the U.S. Senate next week due in part to the stumbles of Republican nominees in Missouri and Indiana, a stronger than expected run by Heidi Heitkamp in the conservative state of North Dakota, and an apparent late surge by former Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey in Nebraska.


  1. Nikoli Orr on January 28, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    In retrospect, “Cosmic Bob” Kerrey ceded any sort of electoral appeal in his native state when he moved away to “Big Apple” on a full-time basis; the Cornhusker State seemed to matter less to Kerrey, and vice versa (yes, there were other factors at work in his eventual lopsided loss).

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