In five short days, Democrats are likely to get a sneak preview of what life is like without President Obama at the top of the ticket, and it won't be picturesque. All signs point to a GOP sweep in Virginia, and if Democrats prevail in races for New Jersey governor and Congress in NY-23, they will win with percentages well below Obama's thanks to split opposition. For Democrats, the downside of a…
There are a number of conflicting dynamics and questions that are quite important to understanding next year's critical midterm elections. First, consider the economy. While forecasts are estimating that GDP growth will range from 2.5 percent to as high as 4 percent, virtually all of the projections call for unemployment to reach about 10 percent and linger through the midterms. And yet productiv…
CALIFORNIA CA-01: Mike Thompson (D) – Northern coast: Eureka, Napa Solid Democratic. The Napa Valley's absorption of Bay Area liberalism, Mendocino and Arcata's leftward free-spiritedness, and redistricting have driven this once-marginal coastal district into the ranks of solid Democratic seats. In 2008, President Obama carried this district with more than two thirds of the vote. Meanwhile, Th…
This column has focused, some would say dwelled, for several months on problems congressional Democrats face as the 2010 midterm elections approach. To be sure, the odds are very high that the party will fare worse than the average for post-World War II, first-term, midterm elections, where the majority party typically loses 16 House seats and sees a wash in the Senate. Having heard that ground…
What if someone told you that 17 percent of American adults -- one out of every six civilians -- is unemployed, working part-time but seeking a full-time job, or would like to be employed but has given up the search? That would make the current 9.8 percent unemployment number pale in comparison, right? It also might really get your attention if you were the party in control of the White House and…
Unquestionably, the most memorable phrase of the 1992 presidential contest was "It's the economy, stupid." The slogan grew out of a three-phrase sign that James Carville hung in Bill Clinton's headquarters to keep campaign workers focused: "1) Change vs. more of the same; 2) The economy, stupid; 3) Don't forget health care." Perhaps that sign should be posted in the Obama White House, given that…
Obviously, there are many variables that can drive a political party's fortune in next November's elections, but the economy and jobs dwarf all others. Polls may show a majority of Americans understan…
One of the toughest challenges for a party after it wins a big national election is matching its agenda to voters' desires. So, having ridden a message of change to back-to-back victories, the Democratic Party needed to figure out what kind of change the public actually wanted. In 2006, the key swing voters were weary of a succession of Republican scandals and had lost faith in the Iraq war. Even…
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
How Fake News Undermines DemocracyJanuary 17, 2017
Almost 130 years ago, German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” In a perverse way, BuzzFeed and CNN made President-elect Trump stronger this week.Read more »
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