While supporters of the 10 current Republican candidates for president are holding their breath, waiting to see what impact the entry of former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., will have on their favorite contenders, many others are simply asking how he will do. The trail to the presidency is not an easy one, and any individual who shies away from rigorous work should seriously reconsider entering th…
In five weeks, the presidential campaigns must close their books on the second quarter and begin preparing their reports to the Federal Election Commission on fundraising, spending, and cash-on-hand. Although it would be an exaggeration to say that this will be a make-or-break moment for any of the campaigns, their second-quarter reports will be important windows into how well each has been able t…
Samuel Johnson wrote, "Second marriages are the triumph of hope over experience." As the 2008 presidential campaign unfolds, a curiously large number of voters in each of the two major parties seem to be banking more on hope than experience. Romantic idealism is hardly new in American politics, but the picture this cycle looks a bit more dramatic than usual. Within the Democratic Party, national…
Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel's (R) recent remark on CBS' "Face the Nation" that he would consider running on an independent presidential ticket with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) is intriguing because they complement each other so well. Friends say Bloomberg could easily drop a billion on a presidential campaign without missing it too much. Bloomberg offers up the executive experience t…
The war in Iraq is probably the biggest single variable that will influence the outcome of the 2008 presidential and congressional elections. It is likely to be a more important factor than whom each party nominates for president or how the parties fare at candidate recruitment and fundraising. And Iraq will be a liability for Republican candidates, just as it was last year. The 2006 election mat…
Analyzing politics can be viewed as a science or as an art. Likewise, presidential campaigns can be evaluated objectively, based on quantitative measurements, or subjectively, based on judgment, experience, and intuition. Neither way is perfect, but all too often people look at elections entirely through a subjective prism, and they can sometimes end up drawing rather odd conclusions. Fundraising…
Perhaps the most extraordinary thing about this anything-but-ordinary election season is that in the wake of a monumental midterm election, the 2008 congressional elections have already been eclipsed by the unfolding presidential campaign, despite Democrats' narrow margins in the House and particularly in the Senate. A big reason for the lack of attention on House and Senate races is that many of…
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
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 »
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 »