Since the November election, barrels of ink and millions of pixels have been spilled over the plight of the news media in the age of Trump. Among the many disruptions journalism has faced over the last 20 years, we can now add “fake news” and “alternative truth.” But, the role of journalists hasn’t changed. It’s pretty simple actually: help Americans make sense of a complicated world as fairly...
On Friday, Donald J. Trump takes the oath of office and becomes president. A year ago, the vast majority of Americans—average voters, political aficionados, and pundits—thought this was virtually impossible. Deep down I suspect Trump is surprised as well. Forty-four men have previously taken the oath of office and assumed the awesome responsibilities of the job,...
Typically, midterm elections are, to borrow a word from the new president's lexicon, "tremendous" opportunities for the out party to hold a first-term White House occupant accountable. Just ask Bill Clinton about 1994 or Barack Obama about 2010. But as is the case with this new president, 2018 isn't set up to be a "typical" first-term midterm.
The general parameters are already well known. In November, Americans elected a president who had no government experience of any kind. He was clearly not well-versed in policy issues and had a proclivity to shoot from the hip, saying whatever came to mind, working off of instinct rather than expertise. We have elected outsiders before, but they have been the governor...
Early retirement announcements have become the norm over the last few cycles. Strategists in both parties believe that the sooner an incumbent announces the intention to retire, the sooner the parties can recruit candidates and the sooner those candidates can begin fundraising and putting their campaigns together. So far, the 2018 class of Senate incumbents appears to be bucking this trend....
As Republicans gear up to repeal – and somehow replace – Obamacare, Democrats are digging in for a fight. Armed with a new slogan “Make America Sick Again,” Democrats are eager to portray Republicans as modern-day scrooges who are going to rip health care away from deserving and struggling Americans. Yet, all their tough talk about defending the law stands in stark contrast to the amount of...
Almost 130 years ago, German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” In a perverse way, BuzzFeed and CNN made President-elect Trump stronger this week.
Elections are like fingerprints; each has its own unique circumstances and dynamics. Sometimes there are close similarities, but elections are never identical. Patterns emerge, but it is never a sure bet that they will hold from one election to the next.
After an unprecedented and unexpected 2016, it would be unwise to expect a return to normal in 2017. Beyond the fact that we have the most unconventional president in our lifetime, the two parties themselves have unique challenges to their identity and their effectiveness.
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
Hostile Swing Voters Spell Trouble for House RepublicansFebruary 28, 2017
The two-thirds of Republicans in the House who have never served when the GOP held majorities in the House and Senate alongside a GOP president can be forgiven for not remembering the last time they were similarly situated. It was 2006, and they lost 30 seats in the House. When Democrats were last in that situation, it was 2010 and they lost 63 House seats. When one party...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 »