As early as the summer of 2009 there were growing warning signs that Democrats might face a tough midterm election this year. President Obama's job approval rating among the key bloc of independent voters, which was in the 60s before Memorial Day of last year, dropped to the 50s over the course of the summer and into the 40s around Labor Day. That number has hovered around 38-40 percent over the l…
Over the summer, the "macro" national diagnostic indicators have pointed toward very large Republican gains but only now can we look race-by-race, a micro-political approach, and see the district level data to say that the House has reached the tipping point. For the first time, our internal race-by-race model estimates a GOP gain of over 40 seats. We are revising our House forecast to a Republica…
For much of this year, it seemed a near mathematical impossibility that Republicans could score the 10-seat net gain needed to flip the Senate, which is split between 59 Democrats (including two independents who caucus with Democrats and largely vote with the party) and 41 Republicans. As recently as six weeks ago, I wrote in a CongressDailyAM column that a GOP win was "certainly possible" but "s…
At some point in every election cycle, the outlook for the Senate begins to look more like a mathematical equation and less like a collection of individual races. With 61 days to go before the election, we’ve now hit that point. With the Senate divided 59 Democrats to 41 Republicans, Republicans would need a net gain of 10 seats to take the majority. Just three months ago, it was much more diff…
Labor Day is almost here and Democrats are still waiting for the cavalry to arrive. An exhaustive scan of the horizon reveals no rescuers and none of the things Democrats badly need to save them from tough midterm election losses on Nov. 2. There are few signs of any meaningful recovery, and indeed there is more talk of a double-dip recession, plunging the country back into economic trouble betwe…
Today, by our count, there are a whopping 32 Democratic incumbents who have trailed GOP challengers in at least one public or private poll. At this point in 2006, there were only 11 Republican incumbents who trailed in at least one public or private poll, yet 22 went on to lose. It happens every time there is a wave: as challengers get better known and voters start to zero in on their choices, the…
As we knew would be the case for months, a financial upper hand represents Democrats’ best hope of hanging onto the House in the final ten weeks before Election Day. While the NRCC has caught up to the DCCC in dollars raised on a monthly basis and is in a much better position than it was two years ago, the DCCC will still have tens of millions more dollars to funnel into independent expenditures t…
Just over a year ago, a Democratic congressional leadership staffer who had sat in on a number of closed-door meetings between President Obama and Democratic members of Congress told me something to the effect of, "I know this isn't true and sounds naïve, but listening to the president in these meetings, you'd think he really doesn't care if he gets re-elected or not." While I acknowledge that so…
Ratings Changes AR-02 OPEN (Snyder) Lean R to Likely R FL-25 OPEN (Diaz-Balart) Likely R to Lean R NY-29 VACANT (Massa) Lean R to Likely R The Open Seat Landscape Before the big wave of 1994 crashed ashore, a wave of retirements created 31 Democratic open seats, 25 of which were in competitive districts. Republ…
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
No Easy Wins for GOP Lawmakers Under TrumpJune 23, 2017
For congressional Republicans in the new norm of the Trump presidency, nothing is easy, and everything is hard. Raising the debt ceiling in order to keep the government from defaulting on its debt is normally easy; now it is hard. Passing an omnibus budget bill to simply keep the government operating (forget the idea of passing the full battery of 12 appropriations...Read more »
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