In August of last year, Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple announced that he would not seek a second full term, setting off the race to replace him.
This open seat where Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid is retiring after five terms is Republicans’ best opportunity to pick up a Democratic-held seat. Reid hopes he anointed his successor when he threw his support to former state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, who pulled just nominal primary opposition and won the nomination with 81 percent. The Republican field quickly solidified...
Amid Hillary Clinton's rising numbers, House Democrats have also benefited from a small string of favorable developments. This week's primaries in NV-03 and NV-04 couldn't have turned out much better for the DCCC, which got pretty much all the candidates it wanted. And although Republicans are still a solid bet to keep the House, several GOP incumbents continue to be their own worst enemies.
This election year has been rife with conspiracy theories. Most of them, of course, have been peddled by Donald Trump. The most recent - that Trump is somehow going to be denied the nomination in Cleveland - comes from establishment and inside-the-Beltway types who should know better.
The federal government is constipated, according to William G. Howell and Terry M. Moe, two of the country’s leading presidential scholars and the authors of "Relic: How Our Constitution Undermines Effective Government and Why We Need a More Powerful Presidency."
For down ballot races, there is nothing more certain about this election cycle than its uncertainty. This is a cycle without precedent. As the presidential primary contests for both parties demonstrated, history and experience proved only marginally useful in analyzing and trying to predict outcomes.
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. The 2016 cycle looks very different cycle for Republican, as 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 may be helped by open seats as we suspect there won’t be many retirements this cycle, particularly compared to the last three cycles. Democrats need five seats – or four if they retain the White House – to take back the majority. It’s still very early, but winning back the majority may prove more challenging than it looks today.
The current House breakdown is 246 Republicans, 188 Democrats and one vacancy. In 2014, thanks to President Obama's standing and the GOP's natural midterm turnout advantages, Republicans picked up 13 seats, winning their largest share of seats since 1928. In 2016, Democrats were already poised to bounce back amid higher presidential turnout, but the prospect of the broadly unpopular Donald Trump as the Republican nominee could put even more GOP seats in jeopardy. Still, given Republicans' redistricting advantages and how well sorted-out the House has become, it would be very difficult for Democrats to net the 30 seats they need for a majority. Today, our outlook is a Democratic gain of 5-15 seats, with substantially larger gains possible if the top of the GOP ticket appears headed for a landslide defeat in November.
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
Trump Needs a Trick of Fates to WinJune 24, 2016
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