There was once a time when filling a vacancy in the U.S. Senate was pretty clear cut. When a vacancy occurred either as a result of a death or resignation, the Governor of that state appointed a successor to fill the seat for the remainder of the term or until the next federal general election. In recent years, some states have tinkered with these laws, creating untold complications for the Gov…
Gallup’s mea culpa this week and yet another release of 2016 trial heats reminds us that the biggest threat to the health of public opinion polling may not be shrinking response rates or the rising cost of dialing cellphones, but our growing addiction to its results. Some news organizations are considering using Survey Monkey. These organizations in the past would have scoffed at the idea of…
If and when Republicans gain a modest number of House and Senate seats in November 2014, the Beltway set may be tempted to interpret the results as a sixth-year itch rebuke of President Obama on everything from IRS/DOJ/Benghazi to rocky implementation of the Affordable Care Act. To do so would be to ignore simple demographic...
Good economic times are good for incumbents. After all, voters are more apt to look for change in tough times than they are in good ones. Significant economic anxiety contributed to the "wave" elections of 2008 and 2010. In 2012, the economy improved just enough to help President Obama win re-election. This year, Americans’ confidence in the economy is as strong as it's been in years. If t…
Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann's decision not to seek reelection in 2014 makes her the first member of the House to announce an outright retirement next year. Four Democrats and five Republicans have announced bids for other offices, bringing the total number of open seats to ten, zero of which are between D+5 and R+5 in our Partisan Voter Index. Bachmann's retirement enhances Republicans' chan…
Henny Youngman, the late borscht belt comedian, told hundreds of politically incorrect jokes. One of them was his response when asked, “How’s your wife?” “Compared to what?” he’d say. Many women find the joke tasteless, but it can be a useful framework for thinking about national politics. Americans may not be ecstatic about President Obama and his policies, but compared with the Republicans,…
Alaska: By any measure, first-term Democratic Sen. Mark Begich is among the most vulnerable incumbents seeking re-election next year. He hails from a heavily Republican state that gave President Obama 43 percent of the vote last year. Begich won the seat in 2008 with just 48 percent of the vote, defeating an embattled Republican incumbent by just 3,953 votes. But, Begich...
We have been asked more than once over the past two weeks to grade each party on their success in recruiting Senate candidates this cycle. So far, we give them an incomplete.The Democratic and Republicans campaign committees don’t get that grade because they haven’t done the work. Instead, it is simply too early in the cycle to assess their performance fairly. After all, the firs…
Florida's 2nd District is exactly the kind of district House Democrats need to win in order to take back the House in 2014. At a PVI of R+6, there are only five House Democrats who represent districts more Republican than FL-02. Then again there aren't many Republicans sitting in marginal seats, so FL-02 is the kind of GOP-leaning "reach" district Democrats need to put in play. Hugging the…
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
No Easy Wins for GOP Lawmakers Under TrumpJune 23, 2017
For congressional Republicans in the new norm of the Trump presidency, nothing is easy, and everything is hard. Raising the debt ceiling in order to keep the government from defaulting on its debt is normally easy; now it is hard. Passing an omnibus budget bill to simply keep the government operating (forget the idea of passing the full battery of 12 appropriations...Read more »
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