The single most important factor that determines where American politics will go over the next two years is how President-elect Barack Obama fares in office. If he makes more than a few strategic or tactical miscues, his honeymoon will be abbreviated and Republicans will have the opportunity to bounce back from two consecutive disastrous elections. If the Obama administration does well, things obv…
Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss easily won Tuesday’s run-off in Georgia, finally setting the race. The incumbent’s solid 58-percent victory can be attributed to the absence of Libertarian Allan Buckley, who siphoned 3.4 percentage points out of the GOP column in the November 4 general election, and Democrats’ inability to replicate the large African-American turnout that they produced last month.…
It's not uncommon for companies, from time to time, to reposition a product. Occasionally, a company might even change direction, completely reorienting its focus and line of brands. Such a marked shift might indicate that the market for a given product has aged, that the long-term prospects for that segment look unfavorable, or perhaps that a more profitable market has been identified. Usually, t…
It has often and quite appropriately been said that campaign skills do not necessarily translate into governing skills, but it is also true that the personal traits one demonstrates day in and day out are enduring. Much of the skepticism, including often in this column, to former Sen. Barack Obama's bid for the presidency was built around what was said to be a thin resume. He began his campaign…
House Editor David Wasserman takes a look at the congressional races that have yet to be called by the Associated Press. While we know the identities of 430 members of the 111th Congress convening in January, five seats still hang in the balance. Their outcomes will determine whether Democrats gain 21, 22, 23, or 24 House seats this year. The Five Seats “TBD” Last week, the Associated Press de…
What did we learn from this election? The results certainly confirmed that Republicans are demoralized. President-elect Obama's vote total -- 66 million -- was about 4 million higher than President Bush's total of four years ago. Sen. John McCain's 58 million tally was about 1 million votes fewer than Sen. John Kerry garnered last time. As expected, overall turnout went up, but much of the gain am…
No American political process brings out politicians’ Machiavellian tendencies quite like redistricting does after each census. The decennial blood sport can summon the most partisan instincts of state legislators, GIS-knowledgeable operatives, and their legions of election attorneys. What other issue would inspire one party’s entire Texas House legislative caucus to flee to Oklahoma in protest?…
It's fascinating that an election as historic and momentous as Tuesday's, one that resulted in the election of the first African-American, indeed the first minority, president in history, is also one of the most complicated and nuanced in memory. Although Sen. Barack Obama won an enormously impressive, 349-plus-electoral-vote victory, Democrats on the other end of the ballot picked up five state…
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.
The Cook Political Report is...
- A newsletter that both parties regard as authoritative.
– The New York Times
- The bible of the political community.
– Bob Schieffer, host of CBS News "Face the Nation"
- Perhaps the best nonpartisan tracker of Congressional races.
– David Broder, The Washington Post
Charlie Cook's Column
The Unfolding Republican NightmareMay 23, 2017
If a Democrat had a nightmare a year ago, it might well look like what happened in last November’s elections. If a Republican had a nightmare on the eve of President Trump’s inauguration, it might well look like the last 118 days. After a presidential campaign that was, start to finish, the strangest in memory, this has been the strangest transition and first four months of...Read more »
More Columns »
Sign up for Charlie’s columns as they are released on NationalJournal.com »
Amy Walter, National Editor
Elizabeth Wilner, Senior Contributing Editor
The Cook Political Report Partisan Voting Index (PVI)
The 2014 Partisan Voting Index
Read More »
The Rhodes Cook Letter
In the latest issue of the Rhodes Cook Letter, Rhodes takes a close look at the 2016 election.Download »