Vice President Joe Biden is the most popular person in Washington these days. That’s right, the guy who spilled the beans on gay marriage and got caught telling a big bleep*%^ing swear word on national television is now being lauded by many in the DC for being the only real grown up in town. Where President Obama and Speaker John Boehner are no longer on speaking terms, Biden is the "McConnel…
Just about anyone who follows baseball has seen a game where all the close calls seem to go one way, benefiting one team at the expense of the other. So it is with the public’s view of the fiscal-cliff debacle that marked the end of the 112th Congress. Neither party should take much comfort from the outcome, when negotiators narrowly averted a fall off the cliff. From the people’s vantage point,…
The most striking aspect of TV advertising about gun rights and gun control lately has been its absence. In an election cycle punctuated by three mass shootings that killed 24 people and wounded 75, President Obama didn’t air a single campaign ad on the subject. Compare that silence on the airwaves during the campaign with all the confabs, talk of “executive action” and imminent proposals coming…
After covering eight presidential and seven midterm election campaigns, I still manage to learn new things or come to view things differently. For many years, I have been fixated on independent voters as the political equivalent of the holy grail. But now I believe voters who describe themselves as moderates are certainly just as important—and perhaps more important—than those who call themselves…
The Cook Political Report is proud to announce that Elizabeth Wilner is joining the Report as Contributing Editor and will write regularly about political and advocacy advertising and the use of consumer marketing research in political campaigns. Wilner’s contributions will feature advertising data gathered by her firm, the highly respected Kantar Media Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG), where…
Big Data did a cannonball into the political pool in 2012. President Obama’s re-election campaign aggressively—and ultimately, highly successfully—fused its internal polling with a wealth of consumer research to more directly connect polling to advertising, field, and ultimately, turnout. Among the ripple effects: Obama’s targeting trumped Republicans’ spending; analytics-enhanced polling gained…
All seven states with only one House seat have experienced at least one turbulent, competitive House race in the past decade. That's surprising, given that none of these small states - Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming - are particularly competitive between the parties at the presidential level. In 2012, both Montana and North Dakota featured open seat c…
Three days after the election, an e-mail arrived in my in-box from a veteran Democratic media consultant who cut many an ad for the more conservative elements of his party. Like other armchair pundits, he marveled at the ease of President Obama’s reelection and Democrats’ against-the-odds pickups in the Senate but couldn’t fathom how they could have simultaneously “blown it” in the House. In part…
Our team is proud to announce that ABC News Political Director Amy Walter has been named National Editor of The Cook Political Report. Walter is a fantastic addition to the publication and the high quality analysis we are committed to providing to subscribers. In her new role, she will provide regular analysis of the issues, trends and events that shape the political environment. Her weekly colu…
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 Week That Could Revive TrumpMay 25, 2017
Last week, it was the role of Russia in the 2016 campaign that dominated the news; this week, with President Trump on his first overseas trip and largely sticking to his script, it’s more likely to be the substantive challenges facing congressional Republicans that will move to center stage in Washington.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 »