News that the NRCC has decided to pass on further involvement in the May 7 special election in South Carolina's 1st CD - in effect, relegating former Gov. Mark Sanford to "Todd Akin land" - moves the race from Lean Republican to Toss Up. Sanford, who apparently did not tell national Republicans he is headed to family court two days after the election on charges of trespassing his ex-wife's home in…
In this town, it should go without saying that the best policy isn’t always the best politics. But, sometimes we need a reminder of just why it is so very hard to get what many see as “common sense” solutions out of Congress. Getting in the way of “Grand Bargains” and gangs of bipartisan working groups is this cold hard reality: short term political gain is rewarded more than long-term strategic…
The “Incredible Shrinking Swing Seat” really does keep shrinking. In August 1997, The Cook Political Report introduced the Partisan Voter Index, an attempt to uniformly measure the competitiveness of all 435 congressional districts by comparing each district’s performance in the two most recent presidential elections with that of the nation as a whole. With the tireless help of Clark Bensen at Po…
Winston Churchill once commanded that a server, “Take away this pudding, it has no theme.” While next year’s midterm elections will certainly have a theme, we don’t yet know what it will be. At this point, there are two competing theories on what theme will dominate the 2014 congressional elections. The one that seems to have become the conventional wisdom is that Republicans will…
Last week, Republican primary voters finalized the match up most media have been rooting for, nominating former Gov. Mark Sanford with 57 percent of the runoff vote to face Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, whose family ties no longer need introduction. Democrats reacted with excitement, pointing to two pre-runoff polls showing Colbert Busch leading Sanford. But with a month to go, operatives...
For the second presidential election in a row, Democrats have an obvious “heir apparent” for the nomination, while Republicans, for the third election in a row, have a crowded field with no obvious first choice candidate. In the olden days, it was Democrats who had the messy and unpredictable primaries, while Republicans dutifully lined up behind the establishment choice. But, the concurrent r…
The viability of television’s business model is being debated this week—in Vegas of course, mecca for the gambling man—but the viability of radio’s business model was a subtext last week at the American Association of Political Consultants’ annual conference. The practitioners roaming the hallways at the “Pollies” have a few billion dollars to spend every two years. Most of that money goes to m…
Pretend for a moment that you are President Obama, his chief of staff, his counselor, or another top adviser. The question before you is how to avoid the fate of so many other second-term presidencies. Dwight Eisenhower’s final four years were marred by a recession, Richard Nixon’s by Watergate. Ronald Reagan had the Iran-Contra scandal. Bill Clinton had Monica Lewinsky and the…
The Cook Political Report is pleased to introduce the new 2014 Partisan Voter Index (PVI) for all 50 states and 435 Congressional districts in the country, compiled especially for the Report by POLIDATA®. First introduced in 1997, the Cook PVI measures how each district performs at the presidential level compared to the nation as a whole. In October 2012, we released new PVI scores for newly redr…
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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– 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
Two Special Elections Add Suspense to MidtermsApril 25, 2017
Two congressional special elections in as many weeks make clear that while the Republican Party is not in a free fall, things are not copacetic, either. Republican state Treasurer Ron Estes won last week’s special election in Kansas’s 4th District to fill the vacancy created by Mike Pompeo’s nomination to head the CIA, but his 5-point victory was far short of the...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 close look at the 2016 election.Download »