The political media strategists recently summoned by the nation’s TV station executives to offer their thoughts on 2014 advertising toed the pro-broadcast line up until they were invited to offer some parting advice. Stop gouging our issue groups by charging them twice as much as you charge our candidates, suggested Guy Harrison of Republican media firm OnMessage Inc. If you keep it up, he...
In bad midterm-election years, members of a president's party often find the political climate challenging. In some ways, it is like a swimmer encountering riptides or facing strong undertows. The degree of the danger varies from location to location, and in many cases, weak swimmers struggle in this environment; occasionally, even an Olympic-level swimmer perishes. In 2010—President Obama's...
Primary season ended with a bang on Tuesday when 35-year-old Marine veteran Seth Moulton upset Democratic Rep. John Tierney (MA-06) in the Massachusetts primary. How did polls miss it, just as they missed Majority Leader Eric Cantor's loss? One common thread this year has been that just about every voter who has woken up undecided on election day has voted for the "change" candidate. In...
Massachusetts: Attorney General Martha Coakley won the September 9 Democratic primary with 42 percent of the vote to 36 percent for state Treasurer Steve Grossman and 21 percent for Donald Berwick, the former administrator of the Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services. Coakley faces former Harvard Pilgrim CEO Charlie Baker in the general election. Baker was the party’s nominee in 2010 and...
As Congress returns to Washington this week for the few remaining legislative days before the midterm elections, lawmakers will compare notes on what they heard and saw back home. They will also share impressions they gleaned about what will happen on Nov. 4. Democrats' assessments will be particularly enlightening, and my guess is that those reports will be about as discouraging as they can...
The hundreds of campaign managers and strategists now trying to keep up in the arms race to make their campaigns more data-driven are ignoring the elephant (or large donkey) in the room that could mean the difference between a balloon drop and a concession speech. The data tells us that there is no better way to save time and money, while increasing our productivity and reach, than to invest...
Now that Labor Day is behind us, the most remarkable thing about this midterm election is how little has changed since Memorial Day. In the closest and most crucial contest, for control of the U.S. Senate, only the race in Kansas looks fundamentally different than it did three months ago. Strategists in both parties have been asking, "What's the matter with Kansas?" The Democratic nominee's...
Back in the 2002 and 2004 elections, we heard a lot about so-called "Security Moms." Once focused almost exclusively on domestic issues like education, crime, and the economy, the priorities of these "Soccer Moms" shifted in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Instead of pocketbook issues, they were focused on peace of mind. They wanted a president who could keep the country...
The start of fall brings prediction time—the kind of predictions you get held to, as opposed to the predictions you lob earlier in the year that might be forgotten. Having assembled a few predictions for a September 9 talk at the Television Bureau of Advertising’s Forward conference, I might as well double down by providing them here. About $2.3 billion was spent on local broadcast TV in...
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
Trump’s Fine-Tuned Machine Runs Like an Oil-Burning JalopyFebruary 21, 2017
As a candidate, Donald Trump thoroughly enjoyed dismantling and torturing the Republican wing of the Republican Party. But now that chaos, turmoil, and ineptitude have become the watchwords for his White House—notwithstanding his assertion Thursday that it “is running like a fine-tuned machine”—the targets of his barbs were giving each other “I told you so”...Read more »
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