My last column for National Journal, written less than 36 hours after Katrina devastated the Mississippi Gulf Coast and on the same day that the New Orleans levees broke, was an initial assessment of…
There is a natural tendency to overestimate the economic and political consequences of major events, particularly a calamity the size of Hurricane Katrina's path of destruction. But, this time, it cou…
In this last column before Labor Day, it seems like a good time to stop and take stock of the national political environment: • Opposition to and skepticism about the war in Iraq has reached its highest level, boosted by increased American casualties, a lack of political progress inside the country and growing signs of an imminent civil war. Given the centrality of the Iraq War to the Bush presid…
There are at least a hundred different interpretations of last week's fascinating special election in Ohio's 2nd Congressional District, where former Republican state Rep. Jean Schmidt just barely held onto this overwhelmingly Republican district -- the second safest GOP district in the state and the 57th most Republican district in the country -- with 51.7 percent of the vote. Yet anyway you slic…
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…
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
GOP Divisions Doomed Health Care BillJuly 25, 2017
The collapse of the Senate Republican health care bill isn’t all that complicated and shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Like some bad marriages, you can chalk it up to “irreconcilable differences.” The Senate Republican Conference includes very conservative members who to their marrow believe in minimalist government, especially when it involves health care. But it also includes senators...Read more »
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