Senior Democratic operatives' claim to Politico that Hillary Clinton may hire as many as "1,000 data geeks, techies and digital gurus" to staff her presidential campaign has inspired some mockery. "Dumbfoundedly laughable," tweeted Republican analytics expert Alex Lundry. The Washington Post's Philip Bump wondered, "What exactly are they doing that, say, 500 people couldn't?"
There are as many ways to look at presidential nomination contests as there are political aficionados. A few weeks ago, I wrote about my preferred method for understanding the GOP race: treating it like the NCAA basketball tournament. According to this scheme, the Republican race consists of four brackets - the Establishment bracket; the Secular/Conventional Conservative bracket; the Tea...
This morning, Illinois Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth announced she will challenge GOP Sen. Mark Kirk in 2016. Although Illinois's Senate race is likely to be highly competitive, Democrats are in very strong position to hold Duckworth's seat. In 2012, state Democrats redrew Duckworth's seat in the northwest Chicago suburbs to be heavily Democratic. The seat is now nearly majority non-white and...
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid announced this morning via email to supporters that he will not seek re-election next year. Despite some signs that he would be the most vulnerable Democrat on the ballot this cycle, Reid has insisted for months that he intended to seek another term. However, an accident in January that caused a serious eye injury caused Reid to reassess what would have been...
Could the Supreme Court help House Democrats hit the jackpot in California next year? The prospect of a Golden State mid-decade redistricting, dependent on the outcome of a much-watched Arizona case, makes Republicans nervous. However, an exhaustive mapping simulation reveals a Democratic gold rush of seats is extremely unlikely.
The front-page headline in The Washington Post said it all: "Democrats in key states ask: Where is Hillary?" Putting aside the simple facts that the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary are both 10 months away and that Hillary Clinton is not expected to officially enter the race before next month, this headline says so much more. In fact, it telegraphs the coming story line.
Many are looking at the 2016 GOP primary in the same way they look at recent congressional GOP primaries: a contest between the Tea Party or very conservative forces versus the traditional conservative/establishment forces. At the House and Senate level, of course, the candidate who corralled the support of the Tea Party segment of the party has often been successful in toppling the...
Republican Sen. Dan Coats of Indiana announced today that he will not seek a second term next year, creating the first open seat of the cycle for Republicans and only the third to date. Coats' decision was not entirely unexpected as rumors had been circulating for several months that he was thinking about retiring. The Republican bench in the state is pretty deep. Most of the seven GOP...
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
Republican BracketologyMarch 31, 2015
There are as many ways to look at presidential nomination contests as there are political aficionados. A few weeks ago, I wrote about my preferred method for understanding the GOP race: treating it like the NCAA basketball tournament. According to this scheme, the Republican race consists of four brackets - the Establishment bracket; the Secular/Conventional Conservative bracket; the Tea...Read more »
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