As the nine Democratic presidential contenders do their impersonations of whirling dervishes, a confluence of four factors appears to be freezing much of the political activity that would normally be taking place on the House, Senate, and even gubernatorial campaign levels. The long-term consequences of the freeze are far from clear. But it is already creating anxiety, slowing candidate recruitmen…
The outbreak of a war with Iraq now seems to be a matter of days -- or even hours. Talk of war and diplomatic maneuvering has dominated the political and policy landscape for months. Win, lose or draw, the conclusion of a war with Iraq means President Bush will face many formidable policy challenges that are no less daunting than Iraq and easily could significantly complicate his re-election effor…
While it will take time to know whether war in Iraq will be a political asset for President Bush, it's a good bet that the conflict will have an impact on the political fortunes of the Democratic presidential candidates. As a result of the 9/11 tragedy, the ensuing war on terrorism, and events leading up to war with Iraq, Americans have begun paying more attention to the rest of world affairs and…
When Republican Senate candidate Elizabeth Dole went ahead with a Houston fundraising event scheduled for September 20, 2001, just nine days after the terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, she triggered such a hullabaloo of criticism that one would have thought she had danced the hula at a funeral. Yet now, in the early days of war, with American service members getting kil…
As war with Iraq increasingly appears inevitable, President Bush is walking a precarious political tightrope-attempting to balance his ambitious foreign-policy goals on the one side, and a myriad of economic and domestic challenges on the other. If he falls off that tightrope, he'll likely go down in history as a one-term president. Just for a moment, let's assume that the United States wins the…
Those of you starving for electoral action take heart. Next week's Kentucky gubernatorial primary will be the first statewide election of the 2003-04 election cycle. And this contest pretty much has it all -- scandal, a troubled economy and two messy primary contests. What more could a political junkie want? Scandal-plagued Democratic Gov. Paul Patton is term-limited, and Republicans hope that 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
Trump’s Policies Are a Result of On-the-Job TrainingApril 20, 2017
The media and critics on the Left are having a field day attacking President Trump’s rather numerous and often dramatic changes of heart on policy—whether China manipulates its currency, the necessity of the U.S. Export-Import Bank and NATO, and the U.S.’s strategic posture in Syria.Read more »
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In the latest issue of the Rhodes Cook Letter, Rhodes takes a close look at the 2016 election.Download »