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.…
A very early preview of 2006 House races shows slim pickings for both sides. With just a handful of retirements -- and few competitive open seats on the horizon -- both sides are scrambling to find serious challengers to a dwindling field of vulnerable incumbents. With the caveat that unpredictable events could always impact the 2006 landscape, Republicans do not appear to be in danger of losing t…
Washington-area political junkies may reside at the epicenter of the political universe, but opportunities to watch interesting and trulycompetitive Senate and House races in our own backyard have been few and far between. The 1994 Senate race in Virginia between Democratic incumbent Chuck Robb and Republican Oliver North was great political theater, as was Robb's losing effort to fend off George…
The 2006 election cycle is just three months old, but the Senate race picture is beginning to take shape. Unlike 2004, when Democrats had one more seat up, had to fight the battle on largely Republican turf and had to defend five open seats in Southern states that President Bush carried in 2000 and again last November, the 2006 playing field looks much more even. Democrats must defend 18 seats --…
It's the time in the election cycle when the House campaign committees beat the bushes for top-flight candidates to run for the handful of seats that ought to be competitive next time around. And, like Christmas presents that get repackaged year after year, the same old districts get billed as prizes just waiting to be won. How many times have we heard about the "perfect" challenger who can beat…
With the NCAA basketball tournament about to begin, perhaps "March Madness" is an appropriate metaphor to describe the competition for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. Think of the NCAA brackets, but on one side, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York gets byes all the way to the finals. On the other side, there could easily be a half dozen or more Democrats contending for the chance…
The slow, public death of President Bush's Social Security proposal validates the view that the 2004 election was not a transformational one, and that any mandate that Bush received from it was meager indeed. The 2004 election in a nutshell: Thanks to his fabulous campaign organization, Bush, whose stature was significantly enhanced by his response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, beat a marginal ca…
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
The Unfolding Republican NightmareMay 23, 2017
If a Democrat had a nightmare a year ago, it might well look like what happened in last November’s elections. If a Republican had a nightmare on the eve of President Trump’s inauguration, it might well look like the last 118 days. After a presidential campaign that was, start to finish, the strangest in memory, this has been the strangest transition and first four months of...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 »