The media’s recent coverage of the potential government shutdown over the past few weeks has been genuinely overcaffeinated. The truth is that if a deal had not been reached last weekend, we would have seen something more like a government slowdown. Over the years, the impact of these periodic but unfortunate incidents—the federal government has shut down five times in the past 25 years—has been…
One of the biggest and most frequent mistakes in politics is for a party to misread its mandate. When it happens, independent and swing voters get angry and punish a candidate or a party on Election Day. Because American politics is a zero-sum game, punishing one party means rewarding the other party—even when the latter is not necessarily deserving of support. Frequently, the party that benefits…
On March 1, 2006, one day after considering the late Anna Nicole Smith's final appeal to win a share of her deceased husband's vast estate, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of LULAC v. Perry - the Texas redistricting case that ultimately upheld the GOP's controversial mid-decade gerrymander. The irony of this case coupling was not lost on Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank, w…
Until recently, Republicans were taking solace in a number of things as they looked forward to 2012. For one, Republicans knew that the party not holding the White House rarely suffered large House and Senate losses in presidential reelection years. In fact, the only time that has happened in recent history was to Republicans in 1964 when Lyndon Johnson won the White House a year after the assass…
BRUSSELS—One can certainly understand why Europeans are further along in the conversation about governments’ mounting debt loads than Americans are. Sovereign-debt crises in Greece, Ireland, and Portugal (with several other countries not far behind) have dominated the news in Europe for more than a year. In the United States, we are used to deficit scolds holding forth on the op-ed pages and on t…
It’s always interesting to watch the disconnect between conversations on the Sunday morning public-affairs programs and the nightly cable-news talk shows with journalists and politicians and activists getting worked into a frenzy over an issue or event that the public doesn’t have strong feelings about. Sometimes, the elites may be ahead of the conversation and public opinion will follow. At oth…
The Cook Political Report has launched its 2012 Redistricting Scorecard page, where you can keep score of the number of seats each state will draw, who will draw them, each district’s ideal population, and the number of seats we estimate each party will gain or lose in each state due to redistricting alone. The page also features links to each state’s detailed redistricting preview, complete with…
Tim Pawlenty’s announcement that he is setting up a 2012 presidential campaign exploratory committee makes the former Minnesota governor the first major GOP contender to take the big step, although others will undoubtedly follow over the next several months. Haley Barbour, Mitt Romney, and Newt Gingrich appear virtually certain to run and will signal as much before too long, although Romney is un…
What happens when politicians who have grown accustomed to the luxury of choosing their voters are forced to cede redistricting authority to a group of amateur citizen commissioners? Terrified incumbents are about to find out.
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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