Indiana Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh’s stunning announcement Monday that he would not seek a third term in November put yet another Democratic-held seat at serious risk. It also turned up the volume on speculation that Democrats’ Senate majority may be at risk.
An observation that strikes a strong chord with a great many people these days is that although Democrats in Washington have certainly performed poorly enough over the past year to deserve being thrown out of power, congressional Republicans have done virtually nothing to deserve being thrown back into power. The GOP's eight years in the White House and six years in control of Congress were certai…
In today's hurry-up world, we're often told, "Early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable." A more forgiving notion is, "Better late than never." And President Obama and congressional Democrats must hope that the attention they're finally paying to the econ-omy will help put voters in a forgiving mood by November. Democrats' prospects continue to worsen. GOP former Sen. Dan Coats'…
Over the course of the last 12 months, the prospects that Republicans would pick up Senate seats in November have gone from non-existent to a probability that the GOP will seriously cut into Democrats’ 59-seat majority. A slew of recruiting successes last year in their own open seats and in Democratic-held seats began to improve Republicans’ prospects. The national political environment has also…
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…
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
GOP Divisions Doomed Health Care BillJuly 25, 2017
The collapse of the Senate Republican health care bill isn’t all that complicated and shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Like some bad marriages, you can chalk it up to “irreconcilable differences.” The Senate Republican Conference includes very conservative members who to their marrow believe in minimalist government, especially when it involves health care. But it also includes senators...Read more »
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