Mark J. Rozell is Dean of the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University, as well as hold the Hazel Chair in Public Policy. His many books on the American presidency and southern politics include Second Coming: The New Christian Right in Virginia Politics, coauthored with Clyde Wilcox. What follows is the text of an email interview on Virginia politics today.
If Democrats want to make a play for the House majority, they would need to capitalize on all the Republican retirements they possibly can. The problem is, of the 46 open seats and two vacant seats, only 30 are held by Republicans and all but 12 of those are safe Republican seats.
This presidential race seems to have stabilized at a point where the probability of Hillary Clinton beating Donald Trump is very high, but the margin is tough to predict—as is the rate of voter turnout.
Republicans and the Trump campaign — facing severe polling, staff and advertising disadvantages — might be tempted to point to party voter registration trends as a sign of life and evidence of an underrated ground effort. On Monday, a Politico analysis concluded that “at least one ray of hope for a turnaround” is that Republicans are “winning [the] registration race” in the key states of...
Georgia has voted Republican for president in seven of the last eight elections. Is it, as polls indicate, a tossup state? If so, what has happened to bring this about? If not, what are the polls missing?
With just under three months to go in election 2016, some things, specifically the Electoral College math, look much clearer. Clinton not only has a decided lead, but she has a deeper, wider path to 270 than Trump does. Then there’s the stuff that makes the election look less stable - the constant campaign staff shuffling by Trump and the never-ending drip, drip, drip of Clinton’s emails.
The conventional wisdom holds that the worse a presidential candidate does, the more likely his or her party’s down-ballot candidates will do. Whether you believe that the winning party’s candidates benefit from coattails or that the losing party suffers from depressed turnout, you have a pretty good chance of being right. But a third factor, especially this year, could come into play:...
To survive a potentially large loss at the top of the ticket, many House Republicans will need to win over not just ardent supporters of Donald Trump - many of whom might have considered themselves Democrats decades ago - but also traditional Republican voters who may be considering abandoning their party's presidential nominee for the first time. A new memo sheds light on which districts these...
Republican Sen. Richard Burr is no stranger to competitive races and it seems that his bid for a third term will be no exception. North Carolina is no longer a lock for Republicans and GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump is causing problems for some Senate incumbents. The passage of H.B. 2, the so-called bathroom bill, and GOP Gov. Pat McCrory’s difficult re-election race have added more...
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 246 Republicans, 188 Democrats and one vacancy. In 2014, thanks to President Obama's standing and the GOP's natural midterm turnout advantages, Republicans picked up 13 seats, winning their largest share of seats since 1928. In 2016, Democrats were already poised to bounce back amid higher presidential turnout, but the prospect of the broadly unpopular Donald Trump as the Republican nominee could put even more GOP seats in jeopardy. Still, given Republicans' redistricting advantages and how well sorted-out the House has become, it would be very difficult for Democrats to net the 30 seats they need for a majority. Today, our outlook is a Democratic gain of 5-15 seats, with substantially larger gains possible if the top of the GOP ticket appears headed for a landslide defeat in November.
The 2016 cycle will host 12 gubernatorial contests, including the special election in Oregon. Democrats are defending eight seats to four for Republicans. The marquis contests will be the Democratic-held open seats in Missouri, New Hampshire and West Virginia, 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
Predicting Turnout in an Unpredictable RaceAugust 26, 2016
This presidential race seems to have stabilized at a point where the probability of Hillary Clinton beating Donald Trump is very high, but the margin is tough to predict—as is the rate of voter turnout.Read more »
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