As many have long expected, the fight for the Democratic presidential nomination is coming down to just three things: Iowa, New Hampshire, and money. The Iowa caucuses (scheduled for January 19) and the New Hampshire primary (January 27) have long been springboards to the nomination. Thirteen of the last 14 major-party nominees have won Iowa, New Hampshire, or both. Bill Clinton is the exception…
Two new reliable polls of Iowa and New Hampshire Democratic primary voters are helping to shed some light on the pivotal Democratic contests in those states. One of the surveys (the one that's getting the most attention) even included a sample from South Carolina. The results show some good news for Howard Dean in Iowa and New Hampshire, and a wide-open contest in South Carolina. The first poll,…
Texas's newly enacted congressional redistricting plan has drawn a lot of attention, largely because it endangers more than half of the state's 17 House Democrats. But the new map's impact might be felt far beyond the borders of the Lone Star State. With so few House seats in play anywhere in the nation in this cycle, losing two to seven seats in Texas would greatly reduce the Democrats' chances…
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,…
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
The Unfolding Republican NightmareMay 23, 2017
If a Democrat had a nightmare a year ago, it might well look like what happened in last November’s elections. If a Republican had a nightmare on the eve of President Trump’s inauguration, it might well look like the last 118 days. After a presidential campaign that was, start to finish, the strangest in memory, this has been the strangest transition and first four months of...Read more »
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