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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

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Biden reviews U.S. arms deals with Saudi Arabia and UAE

Trump struck several large arms deals with Mohammed bin Salman (L) and Saudi Arabia. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

The Biden administration has put on hold two big arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates which were approved in the final weeks of the Trump administration, a State Department official told Axios.

Why it matters: The sales of F-35 jets and attack drones to the UAE and a large supply of munitions to Saudi Arabia will be paused pending a review. That signals a major policy shift from the Trump era, and may herald sharp tensions with both Gulf countries.

Trump supporter found with pipe bombs accused of plot to attack Democrats

Five improvised explosive devices that the FBI says "were fully operational and could cause great bodily harm or injury if handled improperly." Photo: FBI/Justice Department

The FBI believes California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and the Bay Area headquarters of Twitter and Facebook were targets of a man facing federal explosives charges, according to a criminal complaint.

Driving the news: Prosecutors charged Ian Benjamin Rogers after finding weapons including five pipe bombs, 49 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition following a Jan. 15 search of his Napa County home and auto repair business. His alleged goal was to ensure former President Trump remained in office.

7 hours ago - Health

Fauci: COVID vaccine rollout needs to prioritize people of color

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci highlighted the need to address racial disparities in the COVID-19 vaccination process, per an interview with The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

What he’s saying: "I think that's the one thing we really got to be careful of. We don't want in the beginning ... most of the people who are getting it are otherwise, well, middle-class white people."