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…
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a National Journal column about the contention of Emory University political scientists Alan Abramowitz and Brad Alexander that redistricting might not be the primary cause of the dwindling number of competitive congressional elections in recent elections. In an exchange of e-mails with Abramowitz about that column, he mentioned he had uncovered an odd phenomenon ab…
Seeing conventional wisdom turned on its head is always exciting, especially when a new theory forces me to rethink cherished assumptions. A paper on the decline of competitive congressional races -- delivered by Emory University professors Alan Abramowitz and Brad Alexander at last week's annual meeting of the Western Political Science Association -- did just that. According to conventional wisd…
Assuming Republicans hold onto the Senate in November, they might well thank their lucky stars for Georgia, since it could provide the margin in the battle for control of the chamber. An unmistakable shift in GOP Senate fortunes has taken place in recent weeks. While Republican control is still likely, it is far from certain, and the three- or four-seat net gains that some predicted early in the c…
This presidential contest is beginning to look more like a demolition derby than a marathon, the traditional metaphor used for the ever-lengthening campaigns for the White House. President Bush's campaign is beating Sen. John Kerry black-and-blue, while outside events are inflicting equally severe injuries on the incumbent.Under most circumstances, the back-to-back improvements represented by the…
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
Democrats Find It’s Risky to Poke the GOP ElephantJune 27, 2017
There’s an old saying that close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, and that’s certainly how Democrats must feel after losing their third and fourth attempts of the year to wrestle away Republican-held seats in special congressional elections. In fairness, the first two shouldn’t fully count against them since the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was...Read more »
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