Politics just doesn't get much more colorful and fascinating than it does in my home state of Louisiana. The latest escapade began when former Democratic Sen. John Breaux signaled that he is quite interested in going home to run for governor this year. That is, if Gov. Kathleen Blanco, also a Democrat, steps aside. The conventional wisdom in the state is that Blanco can't get re-elected. Even mos…
State legislatures are falling all over themselves these days to move their states' presidential primaries up to February 5, making for one very Super Tuesday. Nine states, including Missouri, are set to hold their primaries on that date. At least 11 more, including such major prizes as California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New York, and Texas, may do so as well, raising the prospect that as ma…
Just as baseball fans tend to be hooked on statistics -- and the more arcane the better -- political aficionados often look to historical precedents and analogous situations for clues of future events, whether truly applicable or not. All in all, it's not a bad thing, as long as one does not become a prisoner of history. But this presidential campaign might be so different that many past patterns…
Part of me hated to see Barack Obama jump into the presidential race. Don't get me wrong: I have nothing against the senator from Illinois. But I had a theory about how the contest for the Democratic nomination would play out, and I worried that Obama's entry could complicate things. My theory was that the race would largely be a referendum on Hillary Rodham Clinton and on whether her party think…
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
Two Special Elections Add Suspense to MidtermsApril 25, 2017
Two congressional special elections in as many weeks make clear that while the Republican Party is not in a free fall, things are not copacetic, either. Republican state Treasurer Ron Estes won last week’s special election in Kansas’s 4th District to fill the vacancy created by Mike Pompeo’s nomination to head the CIA, but his 5-point victory was far short of the...Read more »
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