The February 2013 issue of "The Rhodes Cook Letter" continues to look at last fall's election, with a shift in focus from the White House to Congress.
Watching the current state of dysfunction in D.C. these days, it's easy to romanticize the seemingly functional role played by the nation’s Governors. Washington is about process. State Capitols are about progress. While members of Congress focus on what they haven't done (raised taxes, cut Medicare etc), Governors emphasize what they have done (built roads, opened schools, etc.).…
The old Gramm-Rudman trick of scaring the two parties into compromising on fiscal policy by making the alternative politically unbearable for both has failed. Here come Democratic strategists talking up using sequestration’s $1.2 billion in cuts against Republicans in defense-dependent districts in 2014. They may want to look into how well that worked for Republicans in 2012. In some of the bi…
Sometimes, silence really is golden. In politics, taking the path of highest visibility isn’t always the smartest way to do things. This week presented two good examples of that principle being violated, one by a Democrat and the other by a Republican. As we watch President Obama stumping for comprehensive immigration reform, the question arises: Does his high-visibility association with this…
In both Illinois's safely Democratic 2nd CD and Missouri's safely Republican 8th CD, the identities of the next member of Congress look much clearer than they did a month ago. But the same can't be said for South Carolina's coastal 1st CD, where a jumbled stampede of colorful Republicans and Democrats' consolidation around a candidate with star power have set the scene for a dramatic and unpredict…
While Washington may be fully engaged in sequestration theater, lots of American moms are too busy with their lives to pay much attention. Terms like “chained CPI,” “Bowles-Simpson,” and “CR” are getting thrown around Washington with impunity. But, this isn’t the language that moms speak around their kitchen tables. American moms are more worried about filling up their gas tank than the defi…
Democrats face twin struggles as they seek to retake the House majority they lost in 2010. First, the chamber has largely sorted itself out. With 96 percent of Democratic House members representing districts carried by President Obama and 94 percent of Republican House lawmakers representing districts won by Mitt Romney, each party pretty much has the seats God intended. The House simply doesn’t…
A long scroll through 2012's fourth quarter House FEC filings, newly available on CookPolitical.com, yields some eye-popping nuggets. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann spent $25.5 million - much of it on direct mail fundraising - to win reelection in what should be a safe Republican seat by just 4,296 votes. And Utah Republican Mia Love, whom several late public and private polls showed leading Dem…
Don’t be surprised if the barometric pressure in Washington’s atmosphere and the blood pressures of many Beltway denizens shoot up this week. As emotional, important, and timely as the debates over immigration and gun control are, the increasing likelihood that budget sequestration will, in fact, kick in March 1 is just now starting to sink in. As veteran lobbyist and appropriations guru Billy…
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
GOP Divisions Doomed Health Care BillJuly 25, 2017
The collapse of the Senate Republican health care bill isn’t all that complicated and shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Like some bad marriages, you can chalk it up to “irreconcilable differences.” The Senate Republican Conference includes very conservative members who to their marrow believe in minimalist government, especially when it involves health care. But it also includes senators...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 »