Some time in the next six months, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to decide whether to seek the presidency in 2016. But how will she do if she decides to run? In 2008, the nomination was widely seen as hers for the taking. But that, as we all know, was not to be. On one level, the Democratic Party was buying what then-Sen. Barack Obama was selling. Democrats wanted to...
There’s an odd binary mindset these days about the Democrats in 2016. Either the party will stick with their current frontrunner and standard bearer Hillary Clinton, or the base will rebel and promote the more progressive, “edgier” Elizabeth Warren as the nominee. A parent with more than one child can love each of their children equally; differently, yes, but equally nonetheless. So, why is...
President Obama’s data-powered win in 2012 triggered not just an analytics arms race in 2014 but increased questioning of how campaigns approach the biggest line item in their budgets: their TV ad spending. In the latest example, Republican analytics start-up 0ptimus takes aim at a trio of longtime rules of thumb: buy broadcast primetime, news, and football. In all three cases, 0ptimus...
There's an old saying that there are only two ways for an incumbent to run: scared or unopposed. Many incumbents raise money almost continuously—call it paranoid or just cautious—as if a multimillionaire self-funder were poised to announce a challenge at any moment. This year, an unusually large number of seemingly out-of-the-blue challengers came within a whisker of pulling off upsets against...
For House Democrats, Election Night was something close to a nightmare. But ever since then, Democrats have received a steady stream of consolation prizes. A thin silver lining though it might be, nearly all of the too-close-to-call races on Election Night have broken Democrats' way. At one point last week, it looked as if Democrats could lose as many as 18 House seats. Today, it looks like...
Given that Democrats’ majority in the Senate was in serious jeopardy and that there was no realistic chance that they would win a majority in the U.S. House, the nation’s 36 Governors races were supposed to provide a silver lining for Democrats on Election Night. As the votes started coming in, though, it became apparent that the wave that was washing ashore would also drown Democrats’ hopes...
Democrats are now sifting through the rubble of what was their party on election night, examining losses—and even near losses—that seemed fairly inconceivable just a couple of weeks ago. Such epically bad nights rarely have a single cause, and this one was no different. But some factors weighed more heavily than others. No truer words were ever spoken then when President Obama told a...
While there’s still some debate about whether 2014 should be called a “wave” or a “tsunami” or some other sort of nautical disaster, it’s fair to say it looks very similar to the elections of 2006, 2008, and 2010, where one side wins a disproportionate share of the closest races, and party control over Congress and/or the White House switches hands. In every one of these elections, the...
Democrats advertised a lot about outsourcing in 2014. Republicans outsourced a lot of advertising. In the only air war that mattered, the one for control of the Senate, a majority of all Republican general election spots (individual airings of ads) on broadcast TV were sponsored by either outside groups or the NRSC’s independent expenditure arm. According to the below graphic by CMAG’s...
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
How Fake News Undermines DemocracyJanuary 17, 2017
Almost 130 years ago, German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” In a perverse way, BuzzFeed and CNN made President-elect Trump stronger this week.Read more »
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