Soon after the death of former President Ronald Reagan, there was a buzz around town that this event could have a lasting effect on the presidential race. Some suggested that the "right direction" polling numbers might bump up, due to a wave of nostalgia. Others speculated that Republican Party identification numbers might even jump up a bit. I must admit that I was extremely skeptical. The count…
Memorial Day weekend and the death of President Reagan have combined to give the 2004 presidential campaign the equivalent of the All-Star break in baseball season. So this is an excellent time to step back and assess where this contest stands. Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, the presumptive Democratic nominee, leads President Bush by 3 to 6 points -- depending upon whether all registered voter…
John Kerry's selection of John Edwards of North Carolina as his running mate tells us something very important about the senator from Massachusetts. Sure, Kerry could have chosen someone with more political experience, someone more steeped in the history, details, and nuances of public policy issues, both foreign and domestic. But no other Democrat could boost Kerry's poll numbers as much as Edwar…
The past few days have produced two interesting developments in the Senate race in Florida to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Bob Graham. The first is the endorsement Monday by National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman George Allen of Virginia of former HUD Secretary Mel Martinez in the GOP primary. Despite a field of eight, the Aug. 31 primary contest has come down to Martinez and the 2…
The hallmark of this presidential election year seems to be that it has more plot twists and turns than an Agatha Christie novel. The political world spent the holiday weekend awaiting a vice-presidential pick from the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts (finally learning this morning that Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., would join Kerry on the ticket). And the…
Democrat Stephanie Herseth's slim victory over Republican Larry Diedrich in Tuesday's special election to fill South Dakota's at-large House seat has helped to keep the spring in the step of House Democrats. They were already riding high from Democrat Ben Chandler's victory in the February 17 special election in Kentucky's 6th District. Democrats are eager to read enormous significance into th…
Neither the horse race matchups between President Bush and Sen. John Kerry nor the president's job-approval ratings have moved much in the past three months. Indeed, the Associated Press/Ipsos national surveys, which pegged Bush's overall ratings at 48 percent approval 50 percent disapproval in April, held steady in May and June. And in trial-heat polling, both Bush and Kerry have averaged about 4…
No more than seven weeks from now, Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts will have to announce his selection of a vice presidential running mate, a decision as important as any that a presidential nominee will make. By last count, The Hotline had counted 68 names that had been mentioned in the media as potential running mates, some more serious than others. The conventional wisdom long has…
Panic is never a particularly attractive trait. But congressional Republicans were beginning to show some last week. Senate Republicans have been aware for a month or two that their chamber will be "in play" this November. The extreme anxiety among House Republicans, however, is new. One powerful House chairman pulled me aside last week to ask, "Are we in trouble?"&nb…
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
No Easy Wins for GOP Lawmakers Under TrumpJune 23, 2017
For congressional Republicans in the new norm of the Trump presidency, nothing is easy, and everything is hard. Raising the debt ceiling in order to keep the government from defaulting on its debt is normally easy; now it is hard. Passing an omnibus budget bill to simply keep the government operating (forget the idea of passing the full battery of 12 appropriations...Read more »
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