I went to Iowa last weekend to check out the GOP field. Yes, it’s still very early in the process. And, yes one dinner featuring eleven potential candidates and 1,200 or so GOP voters can’t tell you who’s going to win in February. Even so, I find these events – bracketed by smaller meet-and-greets between candidates and voters - to be a useful exercise. You can’t predict how a race will end,...
The field for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination is as flat as any in modern memory—pretty remarkable for a party that usually has a fight but almost invariably ends up nominating whoever's turn it is. While nomination trial-heat polling tells us very little this early, there are some poll questions that are better measurements of at least where these candidates are starting out,...
The 2014 GOP wave stopped short of the West Coast. But if that's not disappointing enough for Golden State Republicans, they could be in an even bigger hole if the Supreme Court invalidates the work of citizen-led redistricting commissions in a ruling on a case originating in Arizona. The decision is expected within a month, and Sacramento Democrats are already designing plans to add even more...
Indiana: Republicans are currently favored to hold on to this seat being vacated by Sen. Dan Coats at the end of this Congress. Eric Holcomb, Coats’ former chief of staff and a former state party chair, was the first to announce his candidacy and has Coats’ endorsement. U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman recently announced that he would also seek the GOP nod. Several other candidates are actively...
Tuesday's 13-candidate, nonpartisan special election to replace the late GOP Rep. Alan Nunnelee couldn't have gone better for Republican Trent Kelly, a regional prosecutor and Iraq veteran. Kelly earned one of the two June 2 runoff slots with just 16 percent of the vote. But even better, the other slot went to Democrat Walter Zinn, a former aide to the mayor of Jackson who raised just $11,500...
The battle for control of the Senate is finally underway and if early indications are correct, Republicans can be no more confident that they will keep the majority in the next Congress than Democrats could have been at this point in 2013.
Former Democratic U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold announced this morning that he will try to win back the seat he lost in 2010 to then-political newcomer Ron Johnson. Johnson has proven himself to be a staunch conservative, which may well cause him problems in a presidential election year where the composition of the electorate won't be as friendly to Republicans as it was in the 2010 midterm...
Every presidential election is a response to the current president, even when the current president isn’t seeking re-election. If people don't like the guy in the White House, it’s almost impossible for a member of his party to be elected to succeed him. Even when voters are happy with their incumbent president, it’s not always a guarantee of success for the party’s nominee. Voters are often...
This week brings the upfronts, when television networks roll out their programming wares for advertisers and the industry contemplates its fragmenting future. "TV" used to be shorthand for both content and the device on which the content was viewed. Now TV means either network-produced content viewed live or time-shifted on any manner of devices, or that 50-inch screen on which you watch...
In 2014, a good political environment, a weakened Democratic President and several open Democratic-held seats in red states combined to give Senate Republicans a nine-seat gain and the majority. The 2016 cycle looks very different cycle for Republican, as the tables are turned. Republicans will defend 24 seats to just 10 for Democrats. Of those 24 seats, President Obama carried the states of five of them in 2012 by at least five points, and carried two more by one and three points. Neither party may be helped by open seats as we suspect there won’t be many retirements this cycle, particularly compared to the last three cycles. Democrats need five seats – or four if they retain the White House – to take back the majority. It’s still very early, but winning back the majority may prove more challenging than it looks today.
The current House breakdown is 245 Republicans and 188 Democrats, with two vacancies. Thanks to President Obama's standing and the GOP's natural midterm turnout advantages, Republicans gained 13 seats in 2014, and if they win upcoming special elections in New York's 11th CD and Mississippi's 1st CD, they will win their largest number of seats since 1928. Democrats are likely to bounce back somewhat in the presidential cycle of 2016. But given how well sorted-out the House has become, winning the 30 seats they need for a majority looks like an unrealistic goal today. Today, our outlook is a Democratic gain in the 5-15 seat range.
The 2016 cycle will host 15 gubernatorial contests, including three races in 2015, and 12 in 2016, including the special election in Oregon. Democrats are defending nine seats to six for Republicans. The most interesting races of 2015 will be the open seats in Kentucky and Louisiana. In 2016, the marquis contests will be the open seat in Missouri and in North Carolina where GOP Gov. Pat McCrory is seeking a second term. With so few seats on the ballot, neither party is likely to make significant gains or sustain big losses.
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Charlie Cook's Column
The Field Is FlatMay 19, 2015
The field for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination is as flat as any in modern memory—pretty remarkable for a party that usually has a fight but almost invariably ends up nominating whoever's turn it is. While nomination trial-heat polling tells us very little this early, there are some poll questions that are better measurements of at least where these candidates are starting out,...Read more »
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