Breaking Down the History of US Senate Match-ups
All eyes are going to be on Ohio next year for what could be one of the biggest U.S. Senate races in the country. And it looks like it might be a rematch between incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown and Republican challenger Josh Mandel. Rematches are rare but not unheard of.
In the history of U.S. Senate races nationwide, there have only been 46 times when the same two candidates went head-to-head in two consecutive elections.
Kyle Kondik with the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics notes that’s a small sample size. But he also points out that the challenger in the rematch has only won six times.
“It is pretty common for the person that lost the first matchup to lose the second matchup too.”
However, of those six comeback wins, one happened in Ohio’s only other rematch. In the 70’s, Democrat Howard Metzenbaum lost to Republican Robert Taft Jr. then beat Taft six years later.
Mandel is considered the front-runner for the Republican nomination, but he’s likely to face a tough primary.