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.…
Rather than settling a lingering question hanging over this presidential race, FBI Director James Comey’s recommendation not to prosecute Hillary Clinton, and subsequent word from Attorney General Loretta Lynch that the Justice Department was closing the investigation.
Everyone pretty much agrees that this is one of the most unusual presidential elections in history, but the focus is too much on quirky personalities. To be sure, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are unconventional presidential candidates. But this election isn’t really about them or about Hillary Clinton either.
The Holy Grail in politics is finding a candidate who has the complete package, the optimal characteristics to win a given race. The list of requirements is daunting. You want a candidate who is bright and articulate but not esoteric, with relentless focus and discipline, especially in staying on-message. A compelling personal story helps.
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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