There’s an odd binary mindset these days about the Democrats in 2016. Either the party will stick with their current frontrunner and standard bearer Hillary Clinton, or the base will rebel and promote the more progressive, “edgier” Elizabeth Warren as the nominee. A parent with more than one child can love each of their children equally; differently, yes, but equally nonetheless. So, why is...
President Obama’s data-powered win in 2012 triggered not just an analytics arms race in 2014 but increased questioning of how campaigns approach the biggest line item in their budgets: their TV ad spending. In the latest example, Republican analytics start-up 0ptimus takes aim at a trio of longtime rules of thumb: buy broadcast primetime, news, and football. In all three cases, 0ptimus...
There's an old saying that there are only two ways for an incumbent to run: scared or unopposed. Many incumbents raise money almost continuously—call it paranoid or just cautious—as if a multimillionaire self-funder were poised to announce a challenge at any moment. This year, an unusually large number of seemingly out-of-the-blue challengers came within a whisker of pulling off upsets against...
For House Democrats, Election Night was something close to a nightmare. But ever since then, Democrats have received a steady stream of consolation prizes. A thin silver lining though it might be, nearly all of the too-close-to-call races on Election Night have broken Democrats' way. At one point last week, it looked as if Democrats could lose as many as 18 House seats. Today, it looks like...
Given that Democrats’ majority in the Senate was in serious jeopardy and that there was no realistic chance that they would win a majority in the U.S. House, the nation’s 36 Governors races were supposed to provide a silver lining for Democrats on Election Night. As the votes started coming in, though, it became apparent that the wave that was washing ashore would also drown Democrats’ hopes...
Democrats are now sifting through the rubble of what was their party on election night, examining losses—and even near losses—that seemed fairly inconceivable just a couple of weeks ago. Such epically bad nights rarely have a single cause, and this one was no different. But some factors weighed more heavily than others. No truer words were ever spoken then when President Obama told a...
While there’s still some debate about whether 2014 should be called a “wave” or a “tsunami” or some other sort of nautical disaster, it’s fair to say it looks very similar to the elections of 2006, 2008, and 2010, where one side wins a disproportionate share of the closest races, and party control over Congress and/or the White House switches hands. In every one of these elections, the...
Democrats advertised a lot about outsourcing in 2014. Republicans outsourced a lot of advertising. In the only air war that mattered, the one for control of the Senate, a majority of all Republican general election spots (individual airings of ads) on broadcast TV were sponsored by either outside groups or the NRSC’s independent expenditure arm. According to the below graphic by CMAG’s...
Go ahead and call it a wave. Heading into Election Day at The Cook Political Report, we expected a Republican gain of five to seven Senate seats and noted it was more likely to be on the higher end of that range than the lower. As of now, it looks as if the GOP has gained seven seats, but that could grow to as many as nine once all of the votes are counted in Alaska—which could take a week or...
2014 Midterm Scorecard
36 Races: 21 D-held, 15 R-held
|D Wins||Undecided||R Wins|
Overall SEN Running Total: 46* D, 53 R, 1 undecided (LA-Landrieu)
*includes two Independents who caucus w/Democrats
435 Races: 201 D-held, 234 R-held
|D Wins||Undecided||R Wins|
Undecided House races include AZ-02 (Barber), CA-07 (Bera), and CA-16 (Costa), as well as LA-05 and LA-06, where run-offs are pending
36 Races: 14 D-held, 22 R-held
|D Wins||Undecided||R Wins|
Overall GOV Running Total: 17 D, 31 R, 1 Ind. (AK-Walker), 1 undecided (VT-Shumlin)
Updated 11/18/2014 at 12:40pm
After two disappointing cycles, Republicans have won the majority in the Senate. We had been predicting that Republicans would pick up between four and seven seats, noting that it would likely be on the higher end of that range and might even exceed it. They did exceed it, scoring a net gain of eight seats. The run-off in Louisiana between Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu and GOP U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy could make it nine seats. The new Senate line-up is 53 Republicans, 46 Democrats, including two independents that caucus with the Democrats, and one undecided race.
The current House breakdown is 234 Republicans and 201 Democrats. Thanks to President Obama's standing and the GOP's midterm turnout advantages, Republicans appear to have gained between 12 and 16 seats, depending on several races that are still too close to call and/or pending recounts. If Republicans were to gain 13 seats or more, they would win their largest majority since Herbert Hoover was elected in 1928. This also means Democrats would need to capture at least 29 GOP seats to win a majority in 2016, a very difficult proposition considering the House is very well sorted-out.
The 36 Governors races on the ballot this cycle were supposed to provide Democrats with a silver lining on election night. For much of the cycle, they looked poised to pick up between two and four seats since Republicans had to defend governorships in states President Obama carried easily in 2012. But, Republican incumbents ran very solid races, while Democrats struggled to hold their some of their open seats, including two in very blue states. In the end, Republicans actually picked up seats, defeating Gov. Pat Quinn in Illinois and winning open seats in Arkansas, Maryland, and Massachusetts. The GOP lost Pennsylvania, where Gov. Tom Corbett was running for a second term, and the results of Gov. Sean Parnell's re-election bid in Alaska are pending. The new line up of the nation’s Governors is 31 Republicans and 17 Democrats, with the outcome of two races pending (Alaska and Vermont).
The Cook Political Report is...
- A newsletter that both parties regard as authoritative.
– The New York Times
- The bible of the political community.
– Bob Schieffer, host of CBS News "Face the Nation"
- Perhaps the best nonpartisan tracker of Congressional races.
– David Broder, The Washington Post
Charlie Cook's Column
The Importance of Running ScaredNovember 18, 2014
There's an old saying that there are only two ways for an incumbent to run: scared or unopposed. Many incumbents raise money almost continuously—call it paranoid or just cautious—as if a multimillionaire self-funder were poised to announce a challenge at any moment. This year, an unusually large number of seemingly out-of-the-blue challengers came within a whisker of pulling off upsets against...Read more »
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