Yesterday, a federal court judge ordered a new Virginia congressional map for use in this year's election, converting GOP Rep. Randy Forbes' 4th District into a safe Democratic seat. The new map (image courtesy of Daily Kos Elections) effectively unpacks Democratic Rep. Bobby Scott's 56 percent African-American 3rd District into two separate Democratic seats.
The preseason phase of the presidential campaign is now officially over, so what can we expect—that is, if anything can really be expected this year? Certainly few, if anyone, anticipated the rise of Donald Trump and Ben Carson. The sustainability of the former caught the political pros off guard; the collapse of the latter was less of a surprise. Bernie Sanders has...
Even so, early states that are “open” to any voter (i.e, Democrats) include some of the deep red states where Trump has strong support like Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas. There’s recent evidence that getting non-traditional Republicans to vote in southern states can work. Witness GOP Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran who owes his 2014 run-off win to African-American...
In both the 2012 and 2014 cycles, Rep. Steve Israel dutifully and shrewdly headed the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Today, he announced he will retire in 2016 in part to focus on writing a second novel. Israel's surprise decision isn't just a reflection of Democrats' dismal odds of taking back the House; it's also a testament to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's long tenure and the...
By now, most journalists and opinion elite understand enough about political media buying to know that super PACs and other non-candidate, non-party-what we at CMAG refer to as "outside"-groups often pay significantly more than candidates pay to advertise on TV. Certain laws, as well as just plain good business sense, ensure that candidates get access to the airwaves at relatively reasonable...
Over the weekend, New York GOP Rep. Richard Hanna announced he would not seek a fourth term in his swing seat covering Binghamton and Utica. Hanna, a wealthy construction businessman, is the most liberal Republican left in the House and his move comes not only as a boon to Democrats looking to pick up his seat but a setback for GOP leaders who count on his vote.
Slingshot: The Defeat of Eric Cantor tells a story. That alone makes it unusual for a work of political science. Even more unusual is the story of how the book came to be. Randolph-Macon College economics professor David Brat, still mad because he was denied the Republican nomination for a Virginia House of Delegates seat in 2011 in favor of a rich-kid protégé of Eric Cantor, decided to...
Believe it or not, there are more open seats than just the White House in 2016. As of today, there are 30 House members either retiring or running for higher office, as well as one vacancy. Of those 31 seats, 18 are currently held by Republicans. These numbers are fairly close to the historical average, and if the past is any indication, it's likely there will be around 40 open seats after all...
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 »