Does the rise of brash speaking candidates like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders suggest a new, more potent level of anger among the American electorate? An anger that has reached a tipping point and threatens to truly upend the system. Or are we seeing echoes of previously angry electorates that produced (ultimately unsuccessful) candidates like Howard Dean, Ross Perot and Pat Buchanan?
The job of a political analyst is to have a theory of what is happening and why, and what will happen and why. But an analyst also has the responsibility to ask: Am I right? Are things changing? Have there been events or circumstances that alter what was expected to happen? Has an inflection point been reached? And, if the current theory isn't going to play out, what will?
With Donald Trump dominating the headlines and cable-news shows, it's easy to get caught up in the machinations of the unfolding 2016 presidential campaign and lose sight of the stakes—which are even higher than a lot of people appreciate.
Nearly two years ago, House Speaker John Boehner faced an insurrection from the right flank of his party that forced a government shutdown and nearly cost him his job. This year, the governing environment has measurably detoxified, making passage of perpetually vexing items such as a long-term fix to Medicare physician reimbursement rates possible. Boehner's road ahead today looks less steep...
Let's face it, Donald Trump's campaign is going to be like a tire with a bad leak: The car will go on for a while, but losing speed and increasingly wobbling, so this vehicle is not likely to make it to the finish line at the Cleveland convention. It would be a serious mistake to ignore Trump's supporters and the views they represent, but the actual candidate has real troubles. Before too long,...
A lot of conventional wisdom floating out there about 2016 is grounded more in opinion and assumption than in facts or data. And, as your teacher or mom may have taught you, "assumption makes an A.S.S. out of you and me." Here are some of the most prevalent and pervasive assumptions about the nascent 2016 campaign.
The situation in which Republican voters find themselves these days is looking more and more like the experience of someone visiting a Baskin-Robbins. Walking into the ice-cream shop, one is immediately overwhelmed by the choices afforded by 31 flavors, but delight soon sets in. One starts off with a large number of options to consider, narrows it down to a handful, and maybe samples a few...
Projecting total political ad spending on television is where Main Street politicking meets Wall Street finance. As noted in this space before, after retransmission fees, broadcasters count on political advertising as their second biggest source of incremental new revenue. Cable companies eye political as a similarly important source of cash. This is why Wall Street analysts have begun...
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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In the latest issue of the Rhodes Cook Letter, Rhodes takes a close look at the 2016 election.Download »