Last week, this column noted the avoidance of drama this past fall, when another government shutdown could have occurred, and the fact that in recent weeks, Congress eliminated the much reviled Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (aka the "doc fix")—something that has eluded Congress repeatedly over the past decade—and extended the Children's Health Insurance Program. Both chambers approved budget...
It's hard to argue that the Affordable Care Act of 2010 did not have a profound impact on the two most recent midterm elections. The legislation helped spawn the tea-party movement and give the Republican Party momentum, enabling the GOP to win majorities in the House in 2010 and in the Senate last year. Now, with the U.S. Supreme Court scheduled to rule on the constitutionality of a key...
In the 2004 presidential race, as George W. Bush and John Kerry went at it over national security, CMAG tracked significant general election ad activity in 19 states. The first presidential contest since 2004 to focus significantly on global threats to the United States is likely to be decided by slivers of voters in just eight.
Senate FEC reports for the first quarter of the 2016 election cycle are now available. Web Editor Ally Flinn has compiled the chart below that provides the cash-on-hand totals for incumbents, as well as selected U.S. House Members who have announced or who have been mentioned as potential Senate candidates.
It's time to face it: congressional elections have moved into an era when there are more competitive primaries than general elections. Nowhere has this been on display more than in open seats, which used to be reliable generators of takeover opportunities. But in the last several cycles, the vast majority of these seats have been signed, sealed, and delivered well in advance of November.
The term "green shoots" is increasingly being used to describe the first positive signs of growth after an economic downturn. It is now possible to say that we are seeing green shoots on Capitol Hill, signs that the institution of Congress may be becoming a bit less dysfunctional than it has been in recent years.
Almost every hour, it seems, someone is either announcing for President or announcing they are thinking about running for President. There are dozens of stories a day about new hires at SuperPAC's, "Scooby Van" road trips, horse race polls in battleground states, and GOP cattle calls in New Hampshire and Iowa. So much is happening in the race for the White House. And, yet nothing is happening...
One of the more interesting changes in U.S. politics in recent years has been the increasingly parliamentary nature of voting behavior. Fewer people are straying beyond their party affiliations, we are seeing more straight-ticket voting, and the characteristics of individual candidates mean less than ever. Entering this 2016 presidential cycle, the phenomenon presents a real challenge to...
How successful will Democrats be in convincing potential recruits that a ballot led by Hillary Clinton in 2016 presents their best opportunity for a promotion? Given their historic low point and difficult map, can Democrats compete in seats that gave President Obama between 45 and 50 percent of the vote?
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
A Loud-Mouthed Fan Becomes Manager of the TeamJanuary 20, 2017
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...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 »