Regular readers of this column know that this space has not been particularly complimentary about the message and communication skills of Democratic congressional leaders in recent months. My "Vapid Response Team" column criticizing the pre-written State of the Union "responses" of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., was perhaps the harshest…
One way to look at the 2006 Senate races is to consider each party's objective. For Democrats, it's winning the six seats they need to take the majority. For Republicans, it's netting the five seats that would give them a filibuster-proof Senate on strict party-line votes. So how would either party go about picking up five or six seats? Is a gain of that magnitude even plausible? At this point, j…
Incumbent Hillary Rodham Clinton will undoubtedly be the prohibitive favorite in New York's Senate race next year, whether her Republican challenger is Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirro or Nixon son-in-law Edward Cox. Yet the GOP nomination is definitely worth having. With Clinton sporting a 63 percent statewide job-approval rating in the latest Quinnipiac University poll (of 1,4…
President Bush already is facing a full plate of problems -- record federal budget and national trade deficits, Medicare financing issues, a Social Security personal account proposal that is floundering in Congress, dropping job approval numbers and record high gasoline prices. Next in the queue, in terms of really big issues, is dealing with taxes, which appears to be every bit as daunting as Soc…
For Republicans, the narrowness of their party's victory in Tuesday's special election in Ohio's 2nd Congressional District is a wake-up call that gives them plenty of notice before November 2006 that they have very big problems in the Buckeye State. Next year's Ohio ballot will feature an open governorship, a vulnerable Senate Republican with problems in his own base, and up to eight GOP-held Ho…
In a fascinating and provocative analysis of the 2004 elections, Michael Nelson, a political scientist at Rhodes College in Memphis, makes a strong case that last year's election was a clear departure from recent elections. In a just released book with chapters from eight other distinguished political scientists -- including the inimitable Gary C. Jacobson of the University of California, San Die…
It's obvious why the national party committees hate special elections. They are volatile, unpredictable and take place outside the natural campaign rhythm -- often forcing committees to make campaign spending decisions long before they'd like. With nothing else on the ballot, voter turnout is often abysmally low, making polling particularly unreliable as it's extremely difficult to gauge just how…
For true political junkies, nothing is more exciting than getting a whole new bunch of voting data to pore over and analyze. This week, Polidata's Clark Bensen's preliminary compilation of presidential results by each of the 435 congressional districts is political nirvana for congressional-race watchers. The new results show President Bush won the popular vote in 255 congressional districts, a 75…
The strategies that both Republicans and Democrats employed to handle the case of Terri Schiavo, the brain-damaged Florida woman, were clearly driven directly by what happened in the 2004 elections.…
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
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 »
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