The year-end 2016 FEC reports are out, providing a first look at the beginning cash-on-hand balances for Senate incumbents up for re-election in 2018. While these numbers are hardly determinant of the outcome of races that will occur 20 months from now, they do shed some light as to how much thought and early preparation have gone into a re-election bid.
GOP Rep. Tom Price's confirmation as HHS secretary sets up an April special election in a wealthy, well-educated Atlanta seat President Trump carried by less than two points after Mitt Romney carried it by 23 points in 2012. And if Trump's approval rating ebbs into the spring, it could turn into the first test of Democrats' ability to compete on traditionally GOP turf where Trump has...
Many congressional Republicans who had town meetings over the last week or two have gotten an earful from constituents upset over the proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act or President Trump’s immigration enforcement or both. Some of these highly unpleasant scenes don’t look too different from what congressional Democrats encountered back in 2009 and 2013, rocky years that preceded...
President Trump, as we know, is more transactional than ideological. He campaigned as the guy who could make the “best deals” – whether it’s free trade or the cost of concrete for the new border wall – without the pressure having to stay within the bounds of traditional republican orthodoxy. Forget about the “old way” of doing business, Trump was going to come to DC and rewrite the whole...
Congressional Republicans in general and the more conservative members in particular are already finding life in the president’s party a lot more complicated than it was when they could simply throw rocks at the Obama administration and hold hearings on Benghazi and Hillary Clinton’s emails.
Two things seem abundantly clear right now. First, President Trump’s agenda and priorities are exactly what he laid out in his boisterous campaign. No one should be surprised by what he is doing. Second, the divisions over Candidate Trump mirror the perceptions of President Trump. Despite the controversies of his early days in office, his backers have mainly held...
There’s been lots of uncertainty and confusion in these first three weeks of the Trump Administration. But one thing is quite clear: Trump is going to run his White House like he ran his campaign. That means a chaotic and conflict driven management style run by Trump’s gut instincts and a small group of advisors (many of whom are pitted against one another). It also means a reliance on issues...
My face has yet to get accustomed to wincing umpteen times a day at what both sides are doing these days. Not having been on the line during Saturday’s phone call between President Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, it’s hard to know exactly what happened, but it certainly appears that our newly minted president was something less than respectful...
House Republicans begin the 2018 cycle with a favorable map and plenty of structural and turnout advantages, as we detailed two weeks ago. However, history shows that fortunes can change in a hurry. And if the next 21 months of the Trump administration are much rockier than the last two weeks, the House could be in play in the midterms.
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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