A fellow who oversees lobbying in all 50 states for a major corporation recently told me about a certain Republican U.S. senator up for re-election in 2010, someone generally regarded as fairly conservative who might face a serious challenge from a very conservative fellow Republican. The incumbent has not been tainted by scandal, has never embarrassed himself by making a major mistake, is highly…
Well, the new year has quickly shown us that President-elect Obama's transition is not perfect. Because of a nagging federal "pay-to-play" investigation, Commerce Secretary-designate Bill Richardson, the governor of New Mexico, had to ask last Sunday that he not be formally nominated. The next day found several leading Senate Democrats complaining about the selection of former Clinton White House…
Media coverage of long-term trends and a possible “realignment” in American politics has focused on the divide between red versus blue to the point of excess. In the lead up to last year, how often di…
It would be hard to argue with the premise that Congress has become a largely dysfunctional institution, plagued by partisan rancor. When our nation came together after Sept. 11, 2001, truly a unique period of national unity, President Bush delivered a Sept. 20, 2001, address to a joint session of Congress, with Democrats and Republicans joining together on the steps of the Capitol to sing "God B…
After losing a total of 13 or 14 seats (depending on the outcome in Minnesota) in the nightmarish 2006 and 2008 Senate elections, Republicans must be fantasizing about 2012, when 24 Democratic and just nine Republican Senate seats will be up for grabs. However, Republicans first have to get past the 2010 races that, at first glance, would appear to put the GOP at a disadvantage for a third straig…
In the final stretch going into President Bill Clinton's first midterm election in 1994, Republicans needed a 40-seat gain to capture control of the House. As of now, once the new 111th Congress is sworn in (the count looks likely to be 257 Democrats to 178 Republicans), the GOP will again need a 40-seat net gain to win a majority. In November 1994, Republicans ended up with a net gain of 52 seats…
One of the great things about post-election conferences is that even those of us who watch American politics full-time can gain insights into why the election turned out the way it did. Along with Democratic consultant James Carville and Republican Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia, I hosted such a conference on December 12 at Northern Virginia Community College. And I heard some things that have caused…
With Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss's 57.5 percent to 42.5 percent victory in Georgia's runoff, Minnesota's contest is the only 2008 Senate race that remains undecided. Both Republican incumbent Norm…
It seems entirely appropriate that this tumultuous and unpredictable election year would start coming to a close with the kind of events we have seen in Georgia, Louisiana, Minnesota and Ohio in recent days. In last week's Georgia Senate general election runoff and in the hurricane-delayed Louisiana House races, the lesson learned was that Democrats have difficulty driving enormous black turnout…
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 Loud-Mouthed Fan Becomes Manager of the TeamJanuary 20, 2017
The general parameters are already well known. In November, Americans elected a president who had no government experience of any kind. He was clearly not well-versed in policy issues and had a proclivity to shoot from the hip, saying whatever came to mind, working off of instinct rather than expertise. We have elected outsiders before, but they have been the governor...Read more »
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