With just under one month left before the June 1 special election to replace former Republican Rep. William Janklow in South Dakota, the contest between Democrat Stephanie Herseth and Republican Larry Diedrich is starting to hit its stride. Herseth -- the 2002 Democratic nominee who held former four-term Gov. Janklow to 53 percent and the better known of the two candidates -- started the race wit…
If there is any truth to the old saying that nothing is more exhilarating than being shot at and missed, then four-term Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., must feel especially energized. Specter fought off an aggressive challenge from his right by Rep. Pat Toomey, taking 51 percent in Tuesday's Republican primary. Turnout was light, meaning that Specter also defied the axiom that moderates and incumbents…
This is a big week in American politics. The results of today's Republican Senate primary in Pennsylvania will determine whether the GOP will have another difficult open seat to defend, an important factor now that their hold on the upper chamber is in doubt. And President Bush's campaign has launched a new ad targeting Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, the presumptive Democratic nominee, that th…
Heading into Pennsylvania's April 27 Republican primary, campaign strategists on both sides are watching conservative Rep. Pat Toomey mount a strong challenge to moderate four-term incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter. The outcome could determine whether the GOP's tenuous 51-seat majority in the Senate is in serious danger, or whether Senate Republicans are going to fin…
It has been about two months since Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts became the de facto 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, so perhaps it's a good time to stop and assess the state of play. Democrats are happy they got a nominee quickly and with minimal divisiveness within the party, but the honeymoon is over, and they realize Kerry is not necessarily the best candidate in the world. Although c…
Over the course of the Clinton presidency, the American public became very polarized. One camp hated the president and his wife; the other camp supported them. The division was widely viewed as a commentary on the Clintons -- and nothing more.During the 2000 campaign, conservatives' animosity toward President Clinton largely shifted to his vice president, Al Gore, much as a refrigerator might conv…
Over the past couple of months, the 2004 campaign has turned into a riveting three-ring political circus. The presidential race promises to end in a photo finish. Meanwhile, Senate Republicans will likely keep their slim majority, but Democrats now have a plausible shot at capturing control. And even though the Republican grip on the House is so strong that ousting th…
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
Time for a Special ProsecutorMay 18, 2017
Almost as soon as the votes were counted in November, some Democrats began clamoring for the appointment of a special prosecutor to look at allegations of Russian involvement in the presidential campaign, either to hurt Hillary Clinton or help Donald Trump, or both. These calls were, in my view, way over the top. It has long been the case that when members of the...Read more »
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