The political media strategists recently summoned by the nation’s TV station executives to offer their thoughts on 2014 advertising toed the pro-broadcast line up until they were invited to offer some parting advice. Stop gouging our issue groups by charging them twice as much as you charge our candidates, suggested Guy Harrison of Republican media firm OnMessage Inc. If you keep it up, he...
In bad midterm-election years, members of a president's party often find the political climate challenging. In some ways, it is like a swimmer encountering riptides or facing strong undertows. The degree of the danger varies from location to location, and in many cases, weak swimmers struggle in this environment; occasionally, even an Olympic-level swimmer perishes. In 2010—President Obama's...
Primary season ended with a bang on Tuesday when 35-year-old Marine veteran Seth Moulton upset Democratic Rep. John Tierney (MA-06) in the Massachusetts primary. How did polls miss it, just as they missed Majority Leader Eric Cantor's loss? One common thread this year has been that just about every voter who has woken up undecided on election day has voted for the "change" candidate. In...
Massachusetts: Attorney General Martha Coakley won the September 9 Democratic primary with 42 percent of the vote to 36 percent for state Treasurer Steve Grossman and 21 percent for Donald Berwick, the former administrator of the Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services. Coakley faces former Harvard Pilgrim CEO Charlie Baker in the general election. Baker was the party’s nominee in 2010 and...
As Congress returns to Washington this week for the few remaining legislative days before the midterm elections, lawmakers will compare notes on what they heard and saw back home. They will also share impressions they gleaned about what will happen on Nov. 4. Democrats' assessments will be particularly enlightening, and my guess is that those reports will be about as discouraging as they can...
The hundreds of campaign managers and strategists now trying to keep up in the arms race to make their campaigns more data-driven are ignoring the elephant (or large donkey) in the room that could mean the difference between a balloon drop and a concession speech. The data tells us that there is no better way to save time and money, while increasing our productivity and reach, than to invest...
Now that Labor Day is behind us, the most remarkable thing about this midterm election is how little has changed since Memorial Day. In the closest and most crucial contest, for control of the U.S. Senate, only the race in Kansas looks fundamentally different than it did three months ago. Strategists in both parties have been asking, "What's the matter with Kansas?" The Democratic nominee's...
Back in the 2002 and 2004 elections, we heard a lot about so-called "Security Moms." Once focused almost exclusively on domestic issues like education, crime, and the economy, the priorities of these "Soccer Moms" shifted in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Instead of pocketbook issues, they were focused on peace of mind. They wanted a president who could keep the country...
The start of fall brings prediction time—the kind of predictions you get held to, as opposed to the predictions you lob earlier in the year that might be forgotten. Having assembled a few predictions for a September 9 talk at the Television Bureau of Advertising’s Forward conference, I might as well double down by providing them here. About $2.3 billion was spent on local broadcast TV in...
The 2014 Political Environment
Updated September 17, 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.Read 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.
Election Day Countdown
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Charlie Cook's Column
How Awful Will It Be?September 16, 2014
In bad midterm-election years, members of a president's party often find the political climate challenging. In some ways, it is like a swimmer encountering riptides or facing strong undertows. The degree of the danger varies from location to location, and in many cases, weak swimmers struggle in this environment; occasionally, even an Olympic-level swimmer perishes. In 2010—President Obama's...Read more »
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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 »