If Clay Aiken couldn't beat Ruben Studdard in 2003, can he beat GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers in 2014? Don't get us wrong: we still believe Ellmers is the overwhelming favorite to win reelection in North Carolina's 2nd CD. Her heavily gerrymandered seat is a scary place for any Democrat and gave President Obama just 41 percent of the vote in 2012. However, those tempted to label Democrat and 2003...
When people suggest that one election will be exactly like another, I recall a lesson my good friend, political economist Tom Gallagher, taught me about historical parallels. Tom would often quote Mark Twain’s line that “history does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” The truth is that while no two elections are truly alike, they can share some similarities, particularly if you don’t look...
Despite a less-than-rosy economy, President Obama won re-election due in large part to the fact that he made the race a referendum on Mitt Romney and his "47 percent" ideology. Two years later, the economy looks better on paper, but voters aren't seeing it. That means Democrats will once again make an election a referendum not on how good things are under Democrats, but how terrible they will...
From the 2004 election cycle through March 31, 2014, Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group has classified more than 50,000 TV ads in races for president on down to local office. This figure excludes the thousands of ballot initiative ads, non-election issue ads, and pre-2004 campaign ads we’ve also classified. Even without them, this interactive “Eye” created by CMAG’s...
The extent to which the politics of the 2016 presidential nomination are already encroaching on the 2014 midterm elections is, indeed, quite something. Establishment Republicans worried about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's political viability now seem to be turning their attention back to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who in turn is not exactly spurning their flirtations. Last week's...
If the Citizens United decision opened up a fire hose of money into the political system, the latest Supreme Court decision removing overall limits on campaign contributions (McCutcheon v. FEC) is more like a garden hose. To be sure, more money will be going into the coffers of campaigns, party committees, and PACs, especially leadership PACs. This is good news for party committees who have...
In 2012, Pennsylvania's Republicans engineered perhaps the most brutally efficient redistricting map in the country: thanks to some creative cartography, the GOP captured 13 of the state's 18 districts, even though Democratic candidates for House won 83,468 more votes than Republicans statewide. Thanks to the national political environment, Republicans appear likely to hold their 13-5 House...
By a quirk of fate, we may be in for some pretty turbulent Senate elections, not only this November but in 2016 and 2018 as well. Majority status could resemble a rubber band as much as anything else. It is entirely plausible that the Senate will tip back into GOP hands in 2014, return to Democrats in 2016, and then flip again to Republicans in 2018. It’s all about how many—and which—seats on...
Among many in the chattering class, Sen. Rand Paul is the GOP frontrunner for president. He’s young. He’s interesting. He’s different. In other words, he’s everything that the last GOP nominee for president wasn’t. That said, the real test of a frontrunner is the ability to stand the test of time and to wear well over the course of a long process. Scratch below the surface of Paul’s appeal,...
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.
The Cook Political Report is...
- 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
Charlie Cook's Column
The Unfolding Republican NightmareMay 23, 2017
If a Democrat had a nightmare a year ago, it might well look like what happened in last November’s elections. If a Republican had a nightmare on the eve of President Trump’s inauguration, it might well look like the last 118 days. After a presidential campaign that was, start to finish, the strangest in memory, this has been the strangest transition and first four months of...Read more »
More Columns »
Sign up for Charlie’s columns as they are released on NationalJournal.com »
Amy Walter, National Editor
Elizabeth Wilner, Senior Contributing Editor
The Cook Political Report Partisan Voting Index (PVI)
The 2014 Partisan Voting Index
Read More »
The Rhodes Cook Letter
In the latest issue of the Rhodes Cook Letter, Rhodes takes a close look at the 2016 election.Download »