Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin’s decision to retire at the end of this Congress after serving five terms has created an opening for Republicans in this swing state. With the primary behind them, Republicans are positioned to make the most of that opportunity. State Sen. Joni Ernst took 56 percent to win the nomination on June 3. If no candidate had gotten 35 percent of the vote, the nomination...
Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper has watched his political fortunes rise and fall during his first term. A year ago, he might have been among the most vulnerable incumbents up for re-election after suffering losses on some of his biggest priorities. Then polling taken earlier this year indicated that his position had improved. It helped that Republicans had a crowded field of...
Maryland: The real contest for the open seat in this solidly blue state was the June 24 Democratic primary. Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown won the five-way race with 51 percent, followed by Attorney General Doug Gansler with 24 percent and state Rep. Heather Mizeur with 22 percent. Businessman Larry Hogan, who served as Secretary of Appointments in the Ehrlich Administration, won the...
For all of House Democrats' intractable problems this cycle, it must be said that they have done a decent job limiting retirements in marginal seats. There are just 16 open Democratic seats compared to 27 open Republican seats, which flies in the face of the theory that Democrats, glum about their prospects of taking back the House, are heading for the exits en masse. Of the 16 open...
A National Journal story headlined "Darrell Issa Subpoenas Top Obama Political Aide" caught my eye over the weekend. It seems that House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa wants to hear this week from David Simas, director of the White House Office of Political Strategy and Outreach. In a letter to White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, Issa expressed...
Back in 2006, Democrats were happy to have Hillary Clinton on the trail with them, but freshman Senator Barack Obama was the real hot ticket as a Democratic surrogate. Fresh off his successful 2004 convention speech and Senate victory, he provided Democratic voters with a message they were hungry for. The top surrogate for Republicans that year wasn't Pres. George W. Bush, whose approval...
Not everyone loves the smell of napalm in the morning. Among the results of the first comprehensive look at the role of TV programming in the 2014 air wars, CMAG has found that airings of political ads during early morning and late-night TV are the least likely to be negative. Political spots aired during primetime TV are most likely to be negative, followed by “prime access,” the hour just...
Not everyone should watch the documentary Getting Back to Abnormal, to be aired on PBS next week. If you are someone who loves visiting New Orleans for the great food, terrific jazz, and unparalleled nightlife, or for the unique history and architecture, and you don’t want that idyllic image complicated in any way, you should probably avoid the film. However, if you are up for a strong dose of...
The 2014 Political Environment
Updated July 21, 2014 | As the 2014 midterm election cycle begins to take shape, the Cook Political Report has identified several metrics worth monitoring between now and Election Day.
- Right Direction/Wrong Track Polling
- Presidential Job Approval Ratings
- Consumer Confidence/Consumer Sentiment
- ACA/Obamacare: Public Approval
- Party Affiliation
- Democratic/Republican Party Favorability Ratings
- The Generic Congressional Ballot Test
Also: "What It Takes:" 2014 House and Senate MathRead full report »
The current Senate line-up is 53 Democrats, 45 Republicans, and two independents that caucus with Democrats. There are 36 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 15 seats, only one of which is in a state that President Obama carried in 2012. Republicans have also successfully expanded the playing field of vulnerable Democratic-held seats, increasing their chances of winning the majority. Republicans are on track to pick up between four and six seats; it is more likely than not that the number will be at the higher end of – and may exceed – that range.
The current House breakdown is 234 Republicans, 199 Democrats, and two Democratic vacancies. Democrats need a net gain of 17 seats to reach a majority in 2014. Because the House is well sorted-out, large shifts or a change in partisan control of the House are unlikely. In large part because of President Obama's standing and the GOP's midterm turnout advantages, we would estimate a Republican gain of between two and 12 House seats if the election were held today.
The current line up of the nation’s Governors is 29 Republicans and 21 Democrats. There are 36 contests in 2014. Of these 36 races, 22 are held by Republicans and 14 by Democrats. Republicans have far more exposure to losses. Of the GOP’s 22 seats, President Obama easily carried seven 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. While a favorable political landscape should help Republicans in the Senate and the House, it won’t be as helpful in gubernatorial contests. As such, Democrats are likely to gain between two and four seats.
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- 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
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Charlie Cook's Column
Darrell Issa Stars as Captain Louis RenaultJuly 18, 2014
A National Journal story headlined "Darrell Issa Subpoenas Top Obama Political Aide" caught my eye over the weekend. It seems that House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa wants to hear this week from David Simas, director of the White House Office of Political Strategy and Outreach. In a letter to White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, Issa expressed...Read more »
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Elizabeth Wilner, Contributing Editor
The Cook Political Report Partisan Voting Index (PVI)
The 2014 Partisan Voting Index
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The Rhodes Cook Letter
In the latest issue of the Rhodes Cook Letter, Rhodes takes a look at the 2014 primary season ahead of November's midterm elections.Download »