How disheartening it must have been for the president to wake up on the day he was to deliver an incredibly important State of the Union address and to hear immediately that the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence rating had just fallen to a nine-year low. But ever since Republicans did unexpectedly well in the November 5 midterm elections, they've heard a lot of bad news. The hottest debate…
Things were very different when President Bush last walked down the center aisle of the U.S. House chamber to deliver his State of the Union message. His job approval rating in the two Ipsos-Reid/…
With six virtually announced contenders in the wide-open contest for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004, and at least four more in varying degrees of consideration, there are as many theories of what will happen as people who are thinking about it. Most of the attention focuses on Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, who is the closest to a front-runner at this point. Also playing are Se…
Conventional wisdom tends to cast the 6-point advantage the Republicans had in last year's total popular vote for the U.S. House as the truest measure of the relative strength of the two major parties…
If the many announcements that various Democrats are or are not running for president weren't enough to signal the start of the 2004 campaign, the fight that broke out over competing economic stimulus packages surely was. The differences between the proposals offered by President Bush and by House Democrats provide an early outline of how the 2004 presidential campaign debate may shape up. Smarti…
At this embryonic stage in the creation of the next Democratic presidential nominee, ranking the contenders is mostly guesswork, because there are few meaningful ways to measure who is ahead and by how much. However, by early April, the campaigns with the most to brag about financially will begin leaking estimates of how much they have raised in 2003. The ill-fated 1995-96 campaign of then-Sen. Ph…
By its very nature and rules, Congress undergoes certain changes every two years at this point. But in some respects, given the relatively small number of retirees and incumbents losing re-election, fewer changes than normal are taking place as legislators and staff return to Capitol Hill this week. While veteran lawmakers like Republican Sens. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina and Jesse Helms of N…
Here is a New Year's prediction: Heading toward the 2004 election, the word that Democrats will use most in attacking President Bush, his administration, and his re-election campaign will be "balance.…
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
How Fake News Undermines DemocracyJanuary 17, 2017
Almost 130 years ago, German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” In a perverse way, BuzzFeed and CNN made President-elect Trump stronger this week.Read more »
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