Historical political trends have long served as guideposts for political analysts when handicapping presidential and congressional elections. As the 2016 elections so poignantly demonstrated, relying on such trends is hardly foolproof, but cycles like these have tended to be more the exception than the rule. Still, the 2016 cycle – or more accurately, its results – does create some...
Over this past weekend, a number of people noted that while it took President Reagan 727 days to have a majority in the polls disapproving of his job in office, President George H.W. Bush 1,336 days, President Clinton 573 days, President George W. Bush 1,205 days, and President Obama 936 days, it took President Trump just eight days to get there. That fit well into a...
One of the biggest questions this year (and perhaps the next four) is which branch of the GOP is running things in Washington? Is it the White House with its unpredictable and unorthodox priority list? Or is it the GOP-controlled Congress pursuing a more traditional GOP agenda under known rules and procedures?
We need to get used to the next four years being the political equivalent of Space Mountain, the great Disneyland roller coaster ride. Careening one way, then the other, plummeting downward or soaring up, all in the dark so you never know what will happen yet, it’s an experience that is both exhilarating and disorienting. The key difference is that it only lasts...
Basic physics was not the high point in my academic career, but I did learn enough to remember Newton’s third law of motion, that for every action or force there is a reaction that is equal in size, but in the opposite direction. Republican candidate Donald Trump’s gigantic campaign rallies have now given way to enormous demonstrations against President Trump,...
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...
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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