While President Bush and the Republican Party's public opinion problems are plain to see and easy to explain, there seems to be a strong sense of denial on the part of Democrats for why their poll num…
The political impact of the news that White House senior adviser Karl Rove leaked the identity, if not the name, of CIA officer Valerie Plame is impossible to predict with any certainty. But this strange development is a timely reminder that while close 2006 midterm contests may well hinge on the "micro" particulars of each race, they could end up hinging on some "macro" national factor. One meth…
Two weeks ago, I used this column to deliver a rather harsh critique of a Social Security package proposed by Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas, R-Calif., and several other House Republicans. I questioned their political judgment in proposing to use current Social Security surplus funds for the creation of private accounts. My argument, in a nutshell, was that after President Bush and so many o…
It was a scene that would have seemed impossible a dozen years ago. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Newt Gingrich, sitting just a few feet apart, smiling, laughing, exchanging knowing grins, and generally acting like old pals. But unlike so many other odd-couple functions in this town, this wasn't a charity fundraiser cleverly designed to bring old adversaries together as bait for a good cause. It was…
For those of you who might have been on vacation or otherwise distracted last week, House Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas, R-Calif., and a number of other House Republicans proposed the creation of private investment accounts to be funded out of the Social Security surplus. Hello, a Social Security surplus? Last time I checked, President Bush had given an impassioned State of the Union speec…
Someday I may write a book about the 100 most repeated mistakes in politics. Without question, one will be comparing any person, place, thing, action, or circumstance to the Holocaust, Nazi Germany, the Gestapo, or Nazi concentration camps. At least once a year, a politician or group gets into hot water for making such a comparison. Although he apologized this week, no doubt Sen. Richard Durbin,…
Many liberals and abortion-rights groups are apoplectic that President Bush has nominated John G. Roberts Jr., a 50-year-old judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, to succeed Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Of course, few of the names that had been circulated as possible Bush picks would have been acceptable to the Left, or to Democrats generally. Indeed, many Democrats had…
While there is some dispute over how far Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., intended to go in his statement Sunday about seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, it might have been one of the shrewder political moves that we've seen in a while. Biden, on CBS' "Face the Nation," told moderator Bob Schieffer that, "if, in fact, I think that I have a clear shot at winning the nomination by th…
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
Hostile Swing Voters Spell Trouble for House RepublicansFebruary 28, 2017
The two-thirds of Republicans in the House who have never served when the GOP held majorities in the House and Senate alongside a GOP president can be forgiven for not remembering the last time they were similarly situated. It was 2006, and they lost 30 seats in the House. When Democrats were last in that situation, it was 2010 and they lost 63 House seats. When one party...Read more »
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