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2013 United States Senate elections

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2013 United States Senate elections

← 2012 June 25, 2013 – October 16, 2013 2014 →

2 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate
51 seats needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
Harry Reid official portrait 2009 (cropped).jpg
Sen Mitch McConnell official (cropped).jpg
Leader Harry Reid Mitch McConnell
Party Democratic Republican
Leader's seat Nevada Kentucky
Seats before 52 46
Seats after 53 45
Seat change Increase 1 Decrease 1
Popular vote 1,383,730 1,118,764
Percentage 54.7% 44.2%
Seats up 1 1
Races won 2 0

  Third party
Party Independent
Seats before 2
Seats after 2
Seat change Steady
Popular vote 14,233
Percentage 0.5%
Seats up 0
Races won 0

2013 United States Senate special election in Massachusetts2013 United States Senate special election in New Jersey2013 United States senate election results.svg
About this image
Results of the elections:
     Democratic gain
     Democratic hold
     No election

Majority Leader before election

Harry Reid

Majority Leader after election

Harry Reid

There were two special elections to the United States Senate in 2013; ordered by election date:

(linked to summaries below)
Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral
(Class 2)
Mo Cowan Democratic 2013 (Appointed) Interim appointee retired.
New senator elected June 25, 2013.
Democratic hold.
New Jersey
(Class 2)
Jeffrey Chiesa Republican 2013 (Appointed) Interim appointee retired.
New senator elected October 16, 2013.
Democratic gain.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Congressional Elections: Crash Course Government and Politics #6


Hi, I'm Craig and this is Crash Course Government and Politics, and today we're going to talk about what is, if you ask the general public, the most important part of politics: elections. If you ask me, it's hair styles. Look at Martin Van Buren's sideburns, how could he not be elected? Americans are kind of obsessed with elections, I mean when this was being recorded in early 2015, television, news and the internet were already talking about who would be Democrat and Republican candidates for president in 2016. And many of the candidates have unofficially been campaigning for years. I've been campaigning; your grandma's been campaigning. Presidential elections are exciting and you can gamble on them. Is that legal, can you gamble on them, Stan? Anyway, why we're so obsessed with them is a topic for another day. Right now I'm gonna tell you that the fixation on the presidential elections is wrong, but not because the president doesn't matter. No, today we're gonna look at the elections of the people that are supposed to matter the most, Congress. Constitutionally at least, Congress is the most important branch of government because it is the one that is supposed to be the most responsive to the people. One of the main reasons it's so responsive, at least in theory, is the frequency of elections. If a politician has to run for office often, he or she, because unlike the president we have women serving in Congress, kind of has to pay attention to what the constituents want, a little bit, maybe. By now, I'm sure that most of you have memorized the Constitution, so you recognize that despite their importance in the way we discuss politics, elections aren't really a big feature of the Constitution. Except of course for the ridiculously complex electoral college system for choosing the president, which we don't even want to think about for a few episodes. In fact, here's what the Constitution says about Congressional Elections in Article 1 Section 2: "The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states, and the electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislature." So the Constitution does establish that the whole of the house is up for election every 2 years, and 1/3 of the senate is too, but mainly it leaves the scheduling and rules of elections up to the states. The actual rules of elections, like when the polls are open and where they actually are, as well as the registration requirements, are pretty much up to the states, subject to some federal election law. If you really want to know the rules in your state, I'm sure that someone at the Board of Elections, will be happy to explain them to you. Really, you should give them a call; they're very, very lonely. In general though, here's what we can say about American elections. First stating the super obvious, in order to serve in congress, you need to win an election. In the House of Representatives, each election district chooses a single representative, which is why we call them single-member districts. The number of districts is determined by the Census, which happens every 10 years, and which means that elections ending in zeros are super important, for reasons that I'll explain in greater detail in a future episode. It's because of gerrymandering. The Senate is much easier to figure out because both of the state Senators are elected by the entire state. It's as if the state itself were a single district, which is true for states like Wyoming, which are so unpopulated as to have only 1 representative. Sometimes these elections are called at large elections. Before the election ever happens, you need candidates. How candidates are chosen differs from state to state, but usually it has something to do with political parties, although it doesn't have to. Why are things so complicated?! What we can say is that candidates, or at least good candidates, usually have certain characteristics. Sorry America. First off, if you are gonna run for office, you should have an unblemished record, free of, oh I don't know, felony convictions or sex scandals, except maybe in Louisiana or New York. This might lead to some pretty bland candidates or people who are so calculating that they have no skeletons in their closet, but we Americans are a moral people and like our candidates to reflect our ideals rather than our reality. The second characteristic that a candidate must possess is the ability to raise money. Now some candidates are billionaires and can finance their own campaigns. But most billionaires have better things to do: buying yachts, making even more money, building money forts, buying more yachts, so they don't have time to run for office. But most candidates get their money for their campaigns by asking for it. The ability to raise money is key, especially now, because running for office is expensive. Can I get a how expensive is it? "How expensive is it?!" Well, so expensive that the prices of elections continually rises and in 2012 winners of House races spent nearly 2 million each. Senate winners spent more than 10 million. By the time this episode airs, I'm sure the numbers will be much higher like a gajillion billion million. Money is important in winning an election, but even more important, statistically, is already being in Congress. Let's go to the Thought Bubble. The person holding an office who runs for that office again is called the incumbent and has a big advantage over any challenger. This is according to political scientists who, being almost as bad at naming things as historians, refer to this as incumbency advantage. There are a number of reasons why incumbents tend to hold onto their seats in congress, if they want to. The first is that a sitting congressman has a record to run on, which we hope includes some legislative accomplishments, although for the past few Congresses, these don't seem to matter. The record might include case work, which is providing direct services to constituents. This is usually done by congressional staffers and includes things like answering questions about how to get certain government benefits or writing recommendation letters to West Point. Congressmen can also provide jobs to constituents, which is usually a good way to get them to vote for you. These are either government jobs, kind of rare these days, called patronage or indirect employment through government contracts for programs within a Congressman's district. These programs are called earmarks or pork barrel programs, and they are much less common now because Congress has decided not to use them any more, sort of. The second advantage that incumbents have is that they have a record of winning elections, which if you think about it, is pretty obvious. Being a proven winner makes it easier for a congressmen to raise money, which helps them win, and long term incumbents tend to be more powerful in Congress which makes it even easier for them to raise money and win. The Constitution give incumbents one structural advantage too. Each elected congressman is allowed $100,000 and free postage to send out election materials. This is called the franking privilege. It's not so clear how great an advantage this is in the age of the internet, but at least according to the book The Victory Lab, direct mail from candidates can be surprisingly effective. How real is this incumbency advantage? Well if you look at the numbers, it seems pretty darn real. Over the past 60 years, almost 90% of members of The House of Representatives got re-elected. The Senate has been even more volatile, but even at the low point in 1980 more than 50% of sitting senators got to keep their jobs. Thanks, Thought Bubble. You're so great. So those are some of the features of congressional elections. Now, if you'll permit me to get a little politically sciencey, I'd like to try to explain why elections are so important to the way that Congressmen and Senators do their jobs. In 1974, political scientist David Mayhew published a book in which he described something he called "The Electoral Connection." This was the idea that Congressmen were primarily motivated by the desire to get re-elected, which intuitively makes a lot of sense, even though I'm not sure what evidence he had for this conclusion. Used to be able to get away with that kind of thing I guess, clearly David may-not-hew to the rules of evidence, pun [rim shot], high five, no. Anyway Mayhew's research methodology isn't as important as his idea itself because The Electoral Connection provides a frame work for understanding congressman's activities. Mayhew divided representatives' behaviors and activities into three categories. The first is advertising; congressmen work to develop their personal brand so that they are recognizable to voters. Al D'Amato used to be know in New York as Senator Pothole, because he was able to bring home so much pork that he could actually fix New York's streets. Not by filling them with pork, money, its money, remember pork barrel spending? The second activity is credit claiming; Congressmen get things done so that they can say they got them done. A lot of case work and especially pork barrel spending are done in the name of credit claiming. Related to credit claiming, but slightly different, is position taking. This means making a public judgmental statement on something likely to be of interest to voters. Senators can do this through filibusters. Representatives can't filibuster, but they can hold hearings, publicly supporting a hearing is a way of associating yourself with an idea without having to actually try to pass legislation. And of course they can go on the TV, especially on Sunday talk shows. What's a TV, who even watches TV? Now the idea of The Electoral Connection doesn't explain every action a member of Congress takes; sometimes they actually make laws to benefit the public good or maybe solve problems, huh, what an idea! But Mayhew's idea gives us a way of thinking about Congressional activity, an analytical lens that connects what Congressmen actually do with how most of us understand Congressmen, through elections. So the next time you see a Congressmen call for a hearing on a supposed horrible scandal or read about a Senator threatening to filibuster a policy that may have significant popular support, ask yourself, "Is this Representative claiming credit or taking a position, and how will this build their brand?" In other words: what's the electoral connection and how will whatever they're doing help them get elected? This might feel a little cynical, but the reality is Mayhew's thesis often seems to fit with today's politics. Thanks for watching, see you next week. Vote for me; I'm on the TV. I'm not -- I'm on the YouTube. Crash Course: Government and Politics is produced in association with PBS Digital Studios. Support for Crash Course US Government comes from Voqal. Voqal supports nonprofits that use technology and media to advance social equity. Learn more about their mission and initiatives at Crash Course is made by all of these nice people. Thanks for watching. That guy isn't nice.

Massachusetts (Special)

2013 United States Senate special election in Massachusetts

← 2008 June 25, 2013 2014 →
Ed Markey, Official Portrait, 112th Congress 2 (cropped).jpg
Gabriel e gomez (cropped).jpg
Nominee Ed Markey Gabriel E. Gomez
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 645,429 525,307
Percentage 54.7% 44.5%

U.S. senator before election

Mo Cowan

Elected U.S. Senator

Ed Markey

Senator John Kerry (D) resigned.
Senator John Kerry (D) resigned.
Senator Mo Cowan (D) was appointed to continue the term until this election.
Senator Mo Cowan (D) was appointed to continue the term until this election.

A special election was held June 25, 2013 to fill the Class 2 seat for the remainder of the term ending January 3, 2015.

The vacancy that prompted the special election was created by the resignation of Senator John Kerry, in order to become U.S. Secretary of State.[1] On January 30, 2013, Governor Deval Patrick chose his former Chief of Staff Mo Cowan to serve as interim U.S. Senator. Cowan declined to participate in the election. A party primary election was held April 30 to determinate the nominees of each party for the general election. The Massachusetts Democrats nominated congressman Ed Markey, while the Massachusetts Republicans nominated Gabriel E. Gomez, a businessman and former Navy SEAL.

The special primary elections took place on April 30. Democratic Congressman Ed Markey and Republican businessman Gabriel E. Gomez won their respective primaries.

Massachusetts Democratic special primary[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Ed Markey 311,219 57.0
Democratic Stephen Lynch 230,335 43.0
Massachusetts Republican special primary[2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Gabriel Gomez 96,276 51.0
Republican Michael J. Sullivan 67,918 36.0
Republican Daniel Winslow 24,630 13.0
Massachusetts special election[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Edward Markey 642,988 54.71% Decrease11.11
Republican Gabriel Gomez 525,080 44.53% Increase13.54
Twelve Visions Party Richard Heos 4,518 0.39% n/a
Write-ins and Blank 4,495 0.38% n/a
Majority 120,122 10.18%
Turnout 1,179,781
Democratic hold Swing Decrease 11.1

New Jersey (Special)

2013 United States Senate special election in New Jersey

← 2008 October 16, 2013 2014 →
Cory Booker, official portrait, 114th Congress.jpg
Steve Lonegan by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Nominee Cory Booker Steve Lonegan
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 740,742 593,684
Percentage 54.9% 44.0%

U.S. senator before election

Jeffrey Chiesa

Elected U.S. Senator

Cory Booker

Jeffrey Chiesa (R) was appointed to continue until this election.
Jeffrey Chiesa (R) was appointed to continue until this election.

A special election was held October 16, 2013 to fill the Class 2 seat for the remainder of the term ending January 3, 2015. The vacancy resulted from the death of five-term Democrat Frank Lautenberg on June 3, 2013.[4] In the interim, the seat was held by Republican Senator Jeffrey Chiesa, who was appointed on June 6, 2013 by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to serve until the elected winner was sworn in.[5] At the time of his appointment, Chiesa, then New Jersey's Attorney General, announced that he would not be a candidate in the special election.[6]

Following Lautenberg's death, there was a great deal of speculation and controversy over when a special election would or could be scheduled, but the following day, June 4, 2013, Christie announced that the primary would take place on August 13, 2013, and the special election on October 16, 2013.[7] Christie was criticized for scheduling a separate election for Senate when a gubernatorial election was already taking place in November. In the primary elections, the Republicans nominated former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan and the Democrats nominated Newark Mayor Cory Booker.[8] Booker led in every opinion poll and the race was called for him at approximately 9:45pm EDT on October 16, 2013. Booker resigned as Mayor of Newark and was sworn in on October 31, 2013 to become the junior U.S. senator from New Jersey.

The special primary elections took place on August 13. Former Republican Mayor of Bogota Steve Lonegan and Democratic Mayor of Newark Cory Booker won their respective primaries.[8] They faced off against six Independent/Third Party candidates in the October 16, 2013 general election.

New Jersey special Republican primary election[9]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Steve Lonegan 103,280 80.09%
Republican Alieta Eck 25,669 19.91%
Total votes 128,958 100.00%
New Jersey special Democratic primary election[9]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Cory Booker 216,936 59.17%
Democratic Frank Pallone 72,584 19.80%
Democratic Rush D. Holt Jr. 61,463 16.76%
Democratic Sheila Oliver 15,656 4.27%
Total votes 366,639 100.00%
New Jersey special election[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Cory Booker 740,742 54.92% -1.11%
Republican Steve Lonegan 593,684 44.02% +2.07%
Independent Edward C. Stackhouse, Jr. 5,138 0.38% N/A
Independent Robert Depasquale 3,137 0.23% N/A
Independent Stuart David Meissner 2,051 0.15% N/A
Independent Pablo Olivera 1,530 0.11% N/A
Independent Antonio Nico Sabas 1,336 0.10% N/A
Independent Eugene M. LaVergne 1,041 0.08% N/A
Total votes '1,348,659' '100.0%' N/A
Democratic gain from Republican


  1. ^ "Senate votes to confirm Kerry as secretary of state". Reuters. January 29, 2013. Retrieved January 29, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "2013 Massachusetts Senate Special Election Primaries". April 30, 2013.
  3. ^ Massachusetts Election Statistics, 2014 (Report). Commonwealth of Massachusetts Elections Division. 2014. Archived from the original on December 31, 2017. Retrieved October 9, 2016.
  4. ^ Blake, Aaron (June 3, 2013). "Sen. Frank Lautenberg dead at 89". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on June 5, 2013. Retrieved June 3, 2013.
  5. ^ Blake, Aaron (June 6, 2013). "Christie to appoint Jeff Chiesa to Senate". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
  6. ^ Zernike, Kate; Santora, Marc (June 6, 2013). "Christie Picks New Jersey's Attorney General to Be Interim Senator". The New York Times. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
  7. ^ "Writ of Election" (PDF). June 4, 2013.
  8. ^ a b "New Jersey Senate Election: Cory Booker Wins Democratic Primary". August 13, 2013.
  9. ^ a b "2013 New Jersey Senate Special Election Primaries". August 13, 2013.
  10. ^ "Official List Candidates for US Senate - For SPECIAL GENERAL ELECTION FOR US SENATE 10/16/2013 Election" (PDF). New Jersey Secretary of State. October 28, 2013. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
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