In August, Seattle Democrat Pramila Jayapal was the top vote getter in the all-party primary for a U.S. House seat left open by the retirement of Rep. Jim McDermott, who has represented the state of Washington for the last 28 years. Next week, she’ll likely become the first Indian-American woman elected to Congress.
The tightening of the polls in the presidential contest and in Senate races that has occurred over the past few days has extended to the 12 gubernatorial contests on the ballot. Strategists from both parties acknowledge that Republicans are the beneficiaries in most cases. They also note that some of these contests are so close that it wouldn’t take much to push them either way.
Ever since the news broke on Friday that new emails had emerged that could pertain to the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private server, the question on pretty much everyone’s mind has been how it would affect the outcome of the presidential race.
Days after the release of the Access Hollywood tape on October 7, Senate Republican incumbents and challengers saw a drop in support. At the time, the speculation was that the drop was caused by "casual" Republican voters losing interest in the race. It didn't appear that Republicans were recovering and thus we increased the range of Democratic gains to five to seven seats.
A tightening race nationally has also translated into tightening at the state level. States that were trending Trump’s way in September started to slip away from him in early October. Now, with the focus more on Clinton’s emails than on Trump’s debate performances or his Twitter spats, states like Iowa and Ohio are moving back in Trump’s direction.
WISCONSIN: In politics, like most things in life, money talks. In the case of this race between GOP U.S. Sen Ron Johnson and former Democratic U.S. Sen, Russ Feingold money is talking loudly. This contest has been leaning in Democrats' direction, but last Friday Democratic super PAC Senate Majority PAC suddenly made a $2 million investment in the race. Interesting, but...
Marjorie Sarbaugh-Thompson is professor of political science at Wayne State University, where she teaches courses on public administration and public policy. She is the primary author of The Political and Institutional Effects of Term Limits as well as multiple journal articles.
The presidential race may be inducing whiplash, but the House battleground remains relatively stable in the final week. We rate only 40 House races in Lean or Toss Up, and Democrats would need to sweep 35 of them to win control, so Republicans remain overwhelming favorites to hold onto their majority. But there is still plenty of uncertainty about the size of that majority: Democrats could gain...
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. In 2016, 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 has been helped by open seats, particularly compared to the last three cycles. Democrats need five seats – or four if they retain the White House – to take back the majority. Wth two weeks before Election Day, Democrats appear to be on track to pick up between four and six seats.
The 2016 election resulted in a House breakdown of 240 Republicans and 194 Democrats, with one Louisiana seat headed to a December 10 runoff that is very likely to be won by a Republican. Democrats scored a net gain of six seats, a disappointing result for a party that had hoped to pick up more than 15 and cut the GOP's majority in half. Democrats' best hope for a majority in 2018 would be an unpopular President Donald Trump. But given Republicans' redistricting advantages and how well sorted-out the House has become, it could still be very difficult for Democrats to pick up the 24 seats they would need.
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
A Presidency Headed in the Wrong DirectionMarch 28, 2017
Nobody knows where this nascent Donald Trump presidency is going. New administrations start off with an infinite number of potential trajectories, but this one is even more unpredictable than others. Trump could still turn out to be a successful president. As an American, I certainly hope he will. But today at least, it looks more like a “death by a thousand cuts.”Read more »
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In the latest issue of the Rhodes Cook Letter, Rhodes takes a close look at the 2016 election.Download »