In recent days, House Democrats and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have been criticized for recruiting few top-drawer candidates to 2004 House races. The larger story is that both parties are fielding few strong, nonincumbent House candidates. Furthermore, very few districts look as if they will really be competitive. With the vast majority of districts now tailor-made for one par…
Spending some time with former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D) just over six months ago, it seemed hard to imagine how he -- or even his most optimistic backers -- could conjure up a scenario in which he became a major factor in the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination fight. It was not a setting in which it would have been appropriate to take notes, unfortunately, so I can't recall his specific s…
If you had to bet $1,000 on whether President Bush will get re-elected but first could have one piece of advance information, would you want to know the identity of the Democratic presidential nominee…
Americans' feelings about President Bush's job performance are closely related to their feelings about the state of the economy and the direction of the country. Polls conducted regularly for the Cook…
The notion that former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean is just a quirky, fringe candidate has largely been dispelled by his recent fund-raising success and by his strong showings in Iowa and New Hampshire polls. Still, many seem to think that Dean's appeal and support is largely confined to the antiwar and leftist wing of the party. But, while there is no question that Dean's presidential candidacy draw…
Here's a prediction for 2004: If the prescription drug benefit is a factor in next year's election, it will be as an albatross around the necks of Republicans and the Bush administration. While the White House and GOP strategists have long said passing a drug benefit for Medicare recipients was a key element in the president's re-election strategy, the implication was that they needed to pass some…
It's unfortunate that politics-and life, for that matter-isn't a golf simulator in which we can go back and play the game over. Perhaps the fact that we can't go back in real life to see if we can change the outcome is what makes second-guessing so popular. What would have happened if Senate Democratic leaders had decided during last year's debate on creating a Department of Homeland Security not…
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.
The Cook Political Report is...
- A newsletter that both parties regard as authoritative.
– The New York Times
- The bible of the political community.
– Bob Schieffer, host of CBS News "Face the Nation"
- Perhaps the best nonpartisan tracker of Congressional races.
– David Broder, The Washington Post
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 »
More Columns »
Sign up for Charlie’s columns as they are released on NationalJournal.com »
Amy Walter, National Editor
Elizabeth Wilner, Senior Contributing Editor
The Cook Political Report Partisan Voting Index (PVI)
The 2014 Partisan Voting Index
Read More »
The Rhodes Cook Letter
In the latest issue of the Rhodes Cook Letter, Rhodes takes a close look at the 2016 election.Download »