The midsummer doldrums are hardly new in American politics and this year is surely no exception. If it weren't for Sen. Joe Lieberman's surprisingly aggressive Democratic primary challenge from cable…
The fight for control of the House is getting more ink than the battle for control of the Senate, but several recent shifts in individual Senate races merit attention. All year, talk about the Democrats' chances of taking the Senate has focused on the five most endangered Republican incumbents. They are, roughly in order of vulnerability, Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Conrad Burns of Montana, L…
You might think that I would sympathize with House Speaker Dennis Hastert and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's bipartisan anger over the FBI search of the office of Rep. William Jefferson and their demands that the documents seized from the Rayburn House Office Building be returned to the Louisiana Democrat. After all, I have worked on or covered Capitol Hill for almost 34 years, and I believe…
NEW ORLEANS -- On Friday morning, I took a cab from New Orleans International Airport to the French Quarter, and it was still obvious that the city had been hit by a hurricane. But, other than an unusually high number of "office space for lease" signs, there were few indications of Hurricane Katrina's magnitude until the Louisiana Superdome came into view. The building is still missing patches 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.
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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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