Some issues are more politically complicated and dicey than others, but few are as delicate as Iraq is for Democrats these days. On one level, the base of the Democratic Party has opinions conside…
Preoccupied as we are with the prospect of war, it's easy for Americans to forget that congressional elections are just 21 months away. Party strategists, of course, are well aware of the approaching election and are busy drafting their blueprints. But House Democrats, who are 12 seats short of a majority, need more than just a good blueprint if they are going to win control in 2004. They also nee…
With the fight for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination under way and Americans appropriately preoccupied with the Columbia tragedy this past weekend and the probability of war in the next two months, it's easy to forget that congressional elections are just 21 months away. In many ways, this election cycle will look familiar. Issues like the number of open seats, the effectiveness of candi…
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…
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
Two Special Elections Add Suspense to MidtermsApril 25, 2017
Two congressional special elections in as many weeks make clear that while the Republican Party is not in a free fall, things are not copacetic, either. Republican state Treasurer Ron Estes won last week’s special election in Kansas’s 4th District to fill the vacancy created by Mike Pompeo’s nomination to head the CIA, but his 5-point victory was far short of the...Read more »
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