Just over a month from now, members of Congress will be returning from their "Summer District Work Period," aka the August recess, ready to take on the legislative items remaining on their agenda as they head toward adjournment sometime in late fall. Politically speaking, however, September is more important than the final months of 2007. That month is when we will begin to see whether an unusuall…
The task of unwrapping mid-year campaign fundraising reports usually reminds only the most wild-eyed election junkies of "Christmas in July." This year, it's congressional Democrats who seem to be having the most summer fun of all. And for good reason: a look at books at the end of the second quarter of 2007 reinforces the idea that being in the majority is the gift that keeps on giving.
After several senior staffers resigned from Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign on Tuesday, many observers wondered, "When will McCain drop out?" The answer probably depends on the definition of "out." The beleaguered Arizona Republican will likely remain a candidate in the technical sense until the end of the year so that he can qualify for federal matching funds and pay off his campaign de…
There aren't many better ways to contemplate the state of American politics than by standing in waders in a couple of feet of chilly water, fly-fishing on a beautiful Canadian stream. The funny thing about the Senate is that with less homogeneous electorates and six-year respites between elections, upsets are more frequent. While total concentration on the delivery and placement of the fly might…
As a dozen-and-a-half presidential candidates crisscross the country trying to vacuum as much money as they can before the June 30 deadline for the second-quarter FEC reporting period, they do so with a flurry of polls that are unquestionably shaping the attitudes of activists, party officials, political reporters and, most importantly, donors. If I were a betting man, my money for the GOP nod wo…
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
No Easy Wins for GOP Lawmakers Under TrumpJune 23, 2017
For congressional Republicans in the new norm of the Trump presidency, nothing is easy, and everything is hard. Raising the debt ceiling in order to keep the government from defaulting on its debt is normally easy; now it is hard. Passing an omnibus budget bill to simply keep the government operating (forget the idea of passing the full battery of 12 appropriations...Read more »
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