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...
Go ahead and call it a wave. Heading into Election Day at The Cook Political Report, we expected a Republican gain of five to seven Senate seats and noted it was more likely to be on the higher end of that range than the lower. As of now, it looks as if the GOP has gained seven seats, but that could grow to as many as nine once all of the votes are counted in Alaska—which could take a week or...
There is little doubt that Republican candidates at all levels rode a wave to shore last night. For those of us who spend entire election cycles with our eyes firmly fixed on the horizon looking for waves, this is one that broke late. Sure, we saw some ripples, but where was the wave? The truth is that most of the signs that a wave was coming just didn’t seem to be there. We spent a lot...
This wasn't just a bad night for Democrats. This was a downright drubbing. So, what happened? All Politics Is National: Democrats believed they could help isolate and insulate their vulnerable Democrats from an unpopular president by making each contest about the individual candidates. Democrats hoped that the tainted GOP brand combined with incumbent candidates with solid political...
It's hard to overstate House Democrats' bad night. By all measures, Republicans enjoyed an historic night, exceeding pre-election expectations across the country. There are fewer than ten races where the outcome is in some doubt, but Republicans appear headed for a 250-seat majority, give or take three seats, for a gain of between 13 and 19. A net gain of 13 would give them their largest...
The chart below lists poll closing times across the country chronologically in Eastern Standard Time, with key competitive races in each state highlighted. For states with poll closing times that split across multiple times zones, the time listed represents the latest closing time.
Candidates aren't the only ones on the ballot on November 4. Voters in 41 states will consider a total of 145 ballot initiatives, referenda, constitutional amendments, and bond questions. Many of these questions are a benign tweaking of a law or are necessary to bring a state law in line with a federal one. A number of states have questions on the ballot as a result of health care reform....
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.
The Cook Political Report is...
- A newsletter that both parties regard as authoritative.
– The New York Times
- The bible of the political community.
– Bob Schieffer, host of CBS News "Face the Nation"
- Perhaps the best nonpartisan tracker of Congressional races.
– David Broder, The Washington Post
Charlie Cook's Column
The Unfolding Republican NightmareMay 23, 2017
If a Democrat had a nightmare a year ago, it might well look like what happened in last November’s elections. If a Republican had a nightmare on the eve of President Trump’s inauguration, it might well look like the last 118 days. After a presidential campaign that was, start to finish, the strangest in memory, this has been the strangest transition and first four months of...Read more »
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In the latest issue of the Rhodes Cook Letter, Rhodes takes a close look at the 2016 election.Download »