First, let me say that I really do like Iowa. Of course the weather is terrible, but the people are nice and politically engaged. Des Moines has turned into a pretty good restaurant town and the hotels there are WAY better than the ones in Manchester, New Hampshire. That said, Iowa isn’t going to pick the next GOP nominee. Its role in 2016 will be more to winnow the field of...
While the 2016 presidential contest is starting to consume the attention of the political world, another immediate concern for the Republican Party ought to be what the party will stand for in the coming post-Obama era. The pomp and circumstance surrounding this week's State of the Union address notwithstanding, President Obama becomes a little less relevant to American politics every day. To...
How time flies: 2015 marks the halfway point between the last Census (April 1, 2010) and the next one. A common private refrain among House Democrats is that the party won't really have a chance to regain the majority until the current "gerrymandered" lines drawn by the GOP in 2010 are somehow untangled in the next round of redistricting. But a very early look at the reapportionment and...
There are enough potential candidates for president (on the GOP side at least) that you need an Excel spreadsheet just to keep them all straight. Instead of a complicated algorithm, I've boiled each candidate down to his/her most basic elements. At the end of the day, these are the things more likely to define a presidential wannabe. It's also important to distinguish between durable traits and...
For both parties, the new year is a time to reflect and regroup. For Republicans and NRCC Chair Rep. Greg Walden, that means figuring out how to stay the course and preserve 2014 gains during a more challenging presidential cycle. For Democrats and new DCCC Chair Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, it's more about starting from scratch and bouncing back, even if the 30 seat gain needed for the majority looks...
There are some surprising events that warrant being taken very seriously; others, well, not so much. Prior to Thanksgiving, it looked pretty unlikely that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush would actually pull the trigger and seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, even though it was obvious that he personally wanted to do it. Since then, things have changed dramatically, to the point that...
Many Democrats blame their terrible showing at the ballot box in 2014 on a lack of a clear and compelling economic message. In fact, there were plenty of prescient Democrats we spoke to throughout the 2014 campaign who warned that Democrats would lose if they didn't figure out a way to engage the economically distressed voter, most especially downscale female voters. In response, Democrats...
When it comes to making predictions about 2016, there are lots of important numbers to follow. The unemployment rate. Consumer confidence. The president’s approval rating. The horse race polls. But, in my mind, the most important data point to follow is the one which measures Americans’ desire to stay the current course or try a different one in 2016.
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
GOP Divisions Doomed Health Care BillJuly 25, 2017
The collapse of the Senate Republican health care bill isn’t all that complicated and shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Like some bad marriages, you can chalk it up to “irreconcilable differences.” The Senate Republican Conference includes very conservative members who to their marrow believe in minimalist government, especially when it involves health care. But it also includes senators...Read more »
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