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GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Since 1982, Republican incumbents have been defeated at twice the rate of Democrats in over 600 Senate races, according to research by Nicholas Goedert, political science professor at Virginia Tech.

Why it matters: This new analysis on incumbent resiliency could give hope to Democrats, who are defending 10 Senate seats in states Trump won this cycle. But more research needs to be done to figure out the nuanced reasons why this pattern has happened.

The other side: As Goedert writes, "The allocation of two Senate seats regardless of state population, giving disproportionate power to small states, seems naturally stacked against the Democratic Party."

Between the lines: Open seats are traditionally easier to flip than those with an incumbent. Republicans have won 60% of open Senate seats in that same time — even when Democrats held it previously.

By the numbers: Of the 238 seats with a Democratic incumbent, a Democrat only lost 19 of them (8% turnover rate). For the 249 held by Republicans, the GOP lost 39 seats (a 16% turnover).

  • Goedert also found a 3-point difference in vote share between Democratic and Republican incumbents over the last three decades.
  • The 611 races analyzed includes six elections for each Senate seat, as well as a handful of special elections.
  • Republicans won 30 of the 67 open seats previously held by Democrats; Democrats flipped just 14 of the 57 previously held by the GOP.

What to watch: The 2018 election and whether those 10 red-state Democrats can follow this trend.

Go deeper

AP: Justice Dept. rescinds "zero tolerance" policy

A young girl waves to onlookers through the fence at the US-Mexico border wall at Friendship Park in San Ysidro, California in Nov. 2018. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden's acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson issued a memo on Tuesday to revoke the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy, which separated thousands of migrant children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border, AP first reported.

Driving the news: A recent report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz emphasized the internal chaos at the agency over the implementation of the policy, which resulted in 545 parents separated from their children as of October 2020.

Biden picks up his pen to change the tone on racial equity

Vice President Harris looks on as President Biden signs executives orders related to his racial equity agenda. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

President Biden is making a down payment on racial equity in a series of executive orders dealing with everything from private prisons to housing discrimination, treatment of Asian Americans and relations with indigenous tribes.

The big picture: Police reform and voting rights legislation will take time to pass in Congress. But with the stroke of his pen, one week into the job Biden is taking steps within his power as he seeks to change the tone on racial justice from former President Trump.

Most Senate Republicans join Rand Paul effort to dismiss Trump's 2nd impeachment trial

Photo: Joshua Roberts-Pool/Getty Images

Forty-five Senate Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, supported an effort to dismiss former President Trump's second impeachment trial.

Why it matters: The vote serves as a precursor to how senators will approach next month's impeachment trial, making it highly unlikely the Senate will vote to convict. The House impeached Trump for a second time for "incitement of insurrection" following events from Jan 6. when a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol.