Obviously, a great deal has happened over the last year to affect the political situation for President Obama and congressional Democrats. Serious mistakes and miscalculations by Democrats on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue created some of these problems, while others were problems that were not necessarily of Democrats' making. Arguably, however, the series and sequence of events that laid the…
Having given himself "a good, solid B-plus" for his first year in office and declaring he would "rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president," President Obama has a lot of people, even in his own party, wondering what on earth constitutes a good performance to his way of thinking. Jimmy Carter is the only president in over a century who failed to win re-election…
Whenever someone asks if the 2010 midterm elections will be "another 1994" it makes me roll my eyes. No two election years are alike -- the causes, circumstances and dynamics are always different to anyone who takes more than a casual look. But 1994, and for that matter 2006, were "nationalized" elections, elections where overarching national dynamics often trump candidates, campaigns, local poli…
Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown's victory in Tuesday's special election for the Senate should serve as an air-raid siren for the Democratic Party. Warnings began sounding last summer, and by now it seems impossible for Democrats to deny that something has gone terribly wrong for their party. In the year since President Obama's inauguration, their celebration has turned into a nightmare. To b…
Honorable and intelligent people can disagree over the substance and details of what President Obama and congressional Democrats are trying to do on health care reform and climate change. But nearly a year after Obama's inauguration, judging by where the Democrats stand today, it's clear that they have made a colossal miscalculation. The latest unemployment and housing numbers underscore the foll…
The terms "gruesome" and "psychologically devastating" come to mind when thinking about the political developments over the last six weeks for Democrats. Last week was a particularly bad one by any standard. In a matter of a few hours last Tuesday, Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota and Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter unexpectedly announced their decisions not to seek re-election, and Michigan Lt. Gov.…
In the world of economics, a virtuous circle is created when a series of positive events triggers a self-perpetuating pattern of other good occurrences -- a positive feedback loop, in other words. A vicious circle, of course, is just the opposite and appears to be what Democrats are caught in these days. Over the past five weeks, four House Democrats in difficult districts have announced their in…
It’s been apparent since the start of the election cycle that Dodd was the most vulnerable incumbent facing re-election this year. His political injuries are largely self-inflicted and range from his failed bid for the Democratic presidential nominee in 2008 to questions about his stewardship of the Senate Banking Committee and to questions about mortgages he received from the now-defunct Country…
It's easy to overstate the events of a single 12-hour period with regards to an election that is ten months in the future. However, Tuesday's developments have served to perpetuate a vicious cycle that began last month with the retirement announcements of four House Democrats in endangered districts and the party switch of a fifth. These latest developments are occurring as part of a larger tren…
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
Hostile Swing Voters Spell Trouble for House RepublicansFebruary 28, 2017
The two-thirds of Republicans in the House who have never served when the GOP held majorities in the House and Senate alongside a GOP president can be forgiven for not remembering the last time they were similarly situated. It was 2006, and they lost 30 seats in the House. When Democrats were last in that situation, it was 2010 and they lost 63 House seats. When one party...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 »