Tuesday night was more than just a wild ride in Mississippi, where GOP Sen. Thad Cochran was forced into a runoff and GOP Rep. Steven Palazzo (MS-04) avoided one against former Democratic Rep. Gene Taylor. In House races, the night brought some good news for both the DCCC and NRCC, as both committees largely avoided their biggest potential pitfalls. Perhaps the most consequential results were...
Alabama: Republican Gov. Robert Bentley won this open seat in 2010 with 58 percent of the vote after surviving a crowded primary and subsequent run-off election. By comparison, Bentley’s bid for a second term will be a lot easier. He faces former Democratic U.S. Rep. Parker Griffith in the general election. Parker was elected to the House as a Democrat in 2008. In 2009, he switched to the...
Alabama: Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions has nothing to fear from Democrats as he seeks a fourth term since not a single Democratic candidate filed to run against him. This is a far cry from Sessions’ first Senate bid in 1996 when he took just 52 percent of the vote. He took 59 percent in 2002 and 63 percent in 2008. Alabama is a solidly Republican state, where President Obama took just 39...
"Where you stand depends on where you sit." It is an age-old expression that I've heard a thousand times and often found quite relevant. Intelligent and honest people can be looking at the same question, but through different lenses, and thus see different things. Sadly, though, in today's culture, rarely can there be a reasonable difference of opinion. Anyone holding an alternative view is...
Now that the Republican primary in Mississippi is headed to a June 24 run-off between U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran and state Sen. Chris McDaniel, various players are deciding whether they will play in the race over the next three weeks. The most significant announcement was provided to The Cook Political Report by American Crossroads. Communications Director Paul Lindsay gave us this statement:...
Alabama’s primaries are hardly on Washington’s radar today, unlike the fate of Sen. Thad Cochran in Mississippi or the whereabouts of Joni Ernst’s guns and castration knives. But Washington, and specifically the President, are very much on Alabama’s. Chip Beeker and three other Republicans are seeking Place 2 on the state’s Public Service Commission, which regulates utilities. In case you...
May's primaries ended with a bang when former prosecutor John Ratcliffe beat 91 year old GOP Rep. Ralph Hall 53 percent to 47 percent in the Republican runoff for Texas's 4th CD. Hall's age, 34 years in office, and Democratic past all contributed to his loss, the first primary defeat of an incumbent this cycle. Without all three, it's not clear Ratcliffe - who should be credited with running a...
South Carolina: Republican Gov. Nikki Haley won this open seat with 2010 with 51 percent of the vote to 47 percent for state Sen. Vincent Sheheen. It was an unusually close race for deep red state. Haley started the GOP primary fight as the underdog, but placed first with 49 percent, falling just short of the 50 percent needed to avoid a run-off. She won the run-off contest with 63...
While many have focused on the trouncing of the Tea Party in high profile Senate and House primaries (think Kentucky, Idaho, Georgia, and North Carolina ), the reality is that GOP problems go beyond the candidates themselves. To be sure, it only helps Republicans to avoid a replay of 2010 and 2012, when they nominated terribly flawed candidates. However, just ensuring that the candidate can...
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
A Presidency Headed in the Wrong DirectionMarch 28, 2017
Nobody knows where this nascent Donald Trump presidency is going. New administrations start off with an infinite number of potential trajectories, but this one is even more unpredictable than others. Trump could still turn out to be a successful president. As an American, I certainly hope he will. But today at least, it looks more like a “death by a thousand cuts.”Read more »
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