This week brings the upfronts, when television networks roll out their programming wares for advertisers and the industry contemplates its fragmenting future. "TV" used to be shorthand for both content and the device on which the content was viewed. Now TV means either network-produced content viewed live or time-shifted on any manner of devices, or that 50-inch screen on which you watch...
If presidential performance was the only thing that mattered in determining the outcome of a U.S. Senate race, then perhaps first-term Republican Sen. Mark Kirk should be polishing his resume. Fortunately for Kirk, presidential performance isn’t the only factor, but it does provide a good indication of challenge he faces in his bid for a second term.
Alabama: Republican Sen. Richard Shelby hasn’t gotten less than 60 percent of the vote since 1992 when he was running for a second term. He won his first Senate race in 1986 with 50 percent. The incumbent’s bid for a sixth term won’t be any different, especially in a presidential election year in deeply red Alabama. It doesn’t hurt that Shelby started the cycle with a whopping $18.3 million...
There was a lot of talk last week about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's presidential hopes suffering a mortal blow after two of his associates, including a former deputy chief of staff, were indicted on charges related to the "Bridgegate" matter, with a third pleading guilty. The only part I would quibble with is whether his hopes were still alive before the indictments or if they were, in...
After two unsuccessful marriages to guys named McCain and Romney, GOP primary voters are more interested in playing the field this year than in settling down. That's the best explanation I can come up with for why polling shows a wide-open contest for the GOP nomination
More than a few people laughed when 19 presidential candidates took the stage one by one at a recent New Hampshire Republican Party event. Nineteen, that is, if you count Dennis Michael Lynch, a documentary filmmaker who contributed $10,000 to the New Hampshire Republican Party for the privilege of sharing a very narrow beam of the limelight that night. (I wonder how much a slot in a debate...
Politics is broken. Washington is dysfunctional. The best way to fix it, goes the conventional thinking, is to destroy the system itself. Rand Paul wants to “defeat the Washington machine,” while Hillary Clinton wants “get unaccountable money out of” our political system. Good government groups press for redistricting reform that takes politicians out of the line-drawing process. Banning...
With less than two weeks to go until the May 12 special election , the free-for-all to fill the seat of late GOP Rep. Alan Nunnelee is heating up. Just about the only certainties here are that the race will go to a June 2 runoff and that a Republican will win. Most insiders have long believed Northern District Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert and Tupelo prosecutor Trent Kelly would make...
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...
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
No Easy Wins for GOP Lawmakers Under TrumpJune 23, 2017
For congressional Republicans in the new norm of the Trump presidency, nothing is easy, and everything is hard. Raising the debt ceiling in order to keep the government from defaulting on its debt is normally easy; now it is hard. Passing an omnibus budget bill to simply keep the government operating (forget the idea of passing the full battery of 12 appropriations...Read more »
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