A year ago, with Republican victories in the 2004 elections still fresh and with President Bush's job-approval ratings still above 50 percent, Democrats' chances of capturing the House looked fairly s…
The Senate races in Hawaii and Missouri have taken interesting and potentially important turns. Of the two, the Aloha State's was the real shocker. Two-term Rep. Ed Case's January 19 announcement that he is challenging 81-year-old Sen. Daniel Akaka in Hawaii's September 23 Democratic primary certainly dropped jaws among political insiders in both Washington and Hawaii. Now in his second full ter…
There are fascinating divisions of opinion over the odds of Democrats taking control of the U.S. House or Senate this November. The division is not between Democrats and Republicans or liberals and conservatives so much as whether one focuses on the race-by-race "micro-political" approach to analyzing races or the top-down "macro-political" method. A second divide appears along the lines of how l…
I am deeply troubled by the tenor of current political discourse in this country. More and more Republicans don't just disagree with Democrats, they despise them -- and vice versa. People don't just challenge someone's views -- they challenge the other person's integrity. Enjoyable, informative, and civil discussions between people with different points of view are becoming rare. The most recent…
Sometimes, individuals make decisions voluntarily; other times, decisions are forced upon them. Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's decision to permanently relinquish his leadership post and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's decision to depart at the end of the year will force congressional Republicans to make choices about significant changes in Hill leadership. House Republicans, of cour…
What a week! It started with Jack Abramoff's plea agreement and perp walks, followed by former Speaker Newt Gingrich's lecture to House Republicans on the need to clean up their act, and culminating with Texas Rep. Tom DeLay renouncing his claim on his old post as House majority leader and calling for a new election later this month. Abramoff's plea agreement was widely expected and DeLay's hold…
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.
The Cook Political Report is...
- A newsletter that both parties regard as authoritative.
– The New York Times
- The bible of the political community.
– Bob Schieffer, host of CBS News "Face the Nation"
- Perhaps the best nonpartisan tracker of Congressional races.
– David Broder, The Washington Post
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 »
More Columns »
Sign up for Charlie’s columns as they are released on NationalJournal.com »
Amy Walter, National Editor
Elizabeth Wilner, Senior Contributing Editor
The Cook Political Report Partisan Voting Index (PVI)
The 2014 Partisan Voting Index
Read More »
The Rhodes Cook Letter
In the latest issue of the Rhodes Cook Letter, Rhodes takes a close look at the 2016 election.Download »