The resounding number of Californians who voted to recall Gov. Gray Davis wrote one of the most interesting political stories of recent years. While Davis never really bonded with fellow Democratic leaders and never was beloved by voters, voters didn't hate him until the electricity crisis of 2001-2002. He was seen as cold but competent and was tolerated by Californians who, generally, never much…
Baton Rouge, LA - What can be said about a year in politics in which a former world-champion body builder has an edge to become the new governor of California, the 32-year-old son of Indian immigrants has a slight edge to be the next governor of Louisiana, and the former governor of Vermont -- a state best known as the home of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream -- is the front-runner for the Democratic pre…
George W. Bush and his father share some similar circumstances in the third year of their presidencies. A president whose tenure is dominated by foreign policy while a stubbornly weak economy festers certainly tends to see his political standing erode. The current President Bush embarked on an aggressive round of tax cuts that he promised would rejuvenate the economy. And even though most of the…
In the fight for the Democratic presidential nomination, the health care plan by Rep. Richard Gephardt of Missouri was called "big" and "bold" by many observers. Well, if the Gephardt health plan was big and bold, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean's $300,000 wave of television advertising in Iowa that begins today and runs through July 2 is breathtaking in its brashness and risk. In one fell swoop,…
It's been a long time since a pair of polls caused as much stir as did this week's Newsweek and CNN/USA Today/Gallup presidential race surveys. The Newsweek poll came first, putting retired Army Gen.…
Anybody who thinks politics is boring and predictable obviously has not been watching the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. At the beginning of the year, Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts was the nominal front-runner for the party's nod, with Sens. John Edwards of North Carolina and Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut and Rep. Richard Gephardt of Missouri all trying to break through. For…
Over the past decade, there were elections in which 80, 90, 120, even 150 congressional districts were potentially competitive. Yet in 2004, because of incumbent-protection redistricting decisions, only about three dozen House races are expected to be close. And probably a mere handful of seats will end up changing parties. Some House districts that had looked as if they would produce competitive…
Perhaps the most important recent development in any competitive Senate race was the announcement by freshman Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina that he won't seek re-election. His retirement creates yet another open seat for the Democrats to defend in the South. On one level, Edwards's decision to devote all of his campaign energy to his presidential bid was hardly a shock. Although North Carol…
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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