President Obama’s analytics-driven victory in 2012 generated enough bragging rights to power the launch of at least eight new Democratic consulting firms that leverage Big Data and wonk up the ranks of three national advocacy campaigns. On the Republican side, the fallout also has inspired several new consultancies as well as some serious reconfiguring among the party’s data set.
Will the factors which dominated the 2012 elections continue to play a major role in 2014? Will Republicans’ issues with minority, female, young, and moderate voters persist? Or will the historical pattern of second-term presidents running into problems push the outcome in the opposite direction? Finally, will the Affordable Care Act (otherwise known as “Obamacare”) become a liability...
The good news for President Obama and his administration is that all the controversies swirling around the White House have not had a significant impact on his job-approval ratings. The bad news is that, like so many other second-term administrations, Obama’s may end up spending so much of its last four years fighting fires and fending off congressional inquiries that it gets little else done. Ev…
In analyzing a president’s political strengths and weaknesses, we often focus disproportionately on overall job approval ratings and, to a lesser extent, on ratings concerning the president’s handling of specific issues, such as the economy or foreign policy. However, it is also helpful to look at public attitudes toward a president’s personal characteristics and how they change after several ye…
The June 25 special election to finish the remainder of former Democratic U.S. Sen. John Kerry’s term is just 12 days away. Two weeks ago, we moved this race to Toss Up based on polling, particularly Democratic U.S. Rep. Ed Markey’s less than stellar numbers, and the unpredictable nature of special elections. At the time, we did put a thumb on the scale for Markey. Not all that much has change…
Within a week of Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s death, Republican Gov. Chris Christie set the dates for the special election, and the filing deadline for that election has come and gone. Six candidates filed the necessary petitions to qualify for the August 13 primaries. Four candidates will vie for the Democratic nomination: Newark Mayor Cory Booker, U.S. Reps. Rush Holt and Frank Pallo…
Many people might be surprised to learn that Washington, D.C., which hemorrhaged residents every decade between 1950 and 2000, grew faster between 2010 and 2012 than every state in the nation. But it's not alone. After shedding people the previous decade, big cities such as Chicago, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Memphis, and New Orleans are all now gaining, according to U.S. Cens…
Aside from all of the controversies swirling around President Obama, the Justice Department, the Internal Revenue Service, and the intelligence community, the top political question these days is whether Republicans really have a good shot at picking up a U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts in the June 25 special election. Special elections, with low voter turnout, are often highly volatile and dif…
It isn’t unusual for individuals, organizations, or even political parties to make mistakes, but it is unusual, certainly in Washington, to see anyone own up to them. What is truly extraordinary is for any person or group to conduct, release, and publicize an exhaustive research project detailing what went wrong and why. In the past three months, we have now seen two groups do just that. First…
The 2014 Political Environment
As the 2014 midterm election cycle begins to take shape, the Cook Political Report has identified five metrics worth monitoring.
- Presidential Approval Ratings
- Economic Confidence
- ACA/Obamacare: Public Attitudes
- Party Favorability Ratings
- The Generic Congressional Ballot
The current Senate line-up is 52 Democrats, 46 Republicans, and two independents that caucus with Democrats. There are 35 Senate races on the ballot in 2014. To win the majority, Republicans would have to score a net gain of six seats. Democrats are defending 21 of these seats, including six in states that GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney won easily in 2012, and two more that are in swing states. By contrast, Republicans will defend 14 seats, only one of which is in a state that President Obama carried in 2012. These numbers would suggest that Republicans should be in a position to gain seats this cycle. At this early stage, the odds of Democrats losing seats are far greater than the odds of them gaining seats.
The current House breakdown is 233 Republicans, 201 Democrats, and one vacancy. Democrats need to gain 17 seats to reach a majority in 2014, but the House is well sorted-out, and a net shift of more than five to ten seats in either direction is unlikely. If the election were held today, Republicans would most likely gain between two and seven seats.
The current line up of the nation’s Governors is 30 Republicans and 20 Democrats. There are two races in 2013 – New Jersey and Virginia – and 36 contests in 2014. Of these 38 races, 24 are held by Republicans and 14 by Democrats. Republicans have far more exposure to losses. Of the GOP’s 24 seats, President Obama easily carried eight of these states in 2012, while another three seats are in swing states. Only one of Democrats’ 14 seats is in a state that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried. At this point in the cycle, it appears that Republicans are more likely to lose seats than gain them.
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
Second-Term BluesJune 17, 2013
The good news for President Obama and his administration is that all the controversies swirling around the White House have not had a significant impact on his job-approval ratings. The bad news is that, like so many other second-term administrations, Obama’s may end up spending so much of its last four years fighting fires and fending off congressional inquiries that it gets little else done. Ev…Read more »
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The Rhodes Cook Letter
The last issue of "The Rhodes Cook Letter" explored the idea that the Republicans are the "congressional party." This issue takes a look at the opposite - that the Democrats are the modern day "presidential party." The ongoing round of special congressionDownload »
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