What’s in a name? If you’re running for public office, a lot. Ever notice how you never see a relative of a disgraced politician run? Whereas every cycle sees at least a couple of still-respected family names on the ballot. 2014 is a banner year for the family business. From Senate chambers past, the Ashcroft, Begich, Graham, Nunn, Pell and Pryor clans all have members seeking Senate or...
A friend of mine who has been a lobbyist for years—and wants to remain anonymous so he can continue doing it a while longer—recently made the argument to me that the current Congress is not, in fact, the least productive in U.S. history. But you do have to go quite a way back: He says the Ninth Congress, from 1805 to 1807, during Thomas Jefferson's second term in office, did even less, because...
Primary season is largely completed, the August congressional recess starts next week, and the general election is a mere 102 days away. As such, this is as good a time as any to assess where the battle for the Senate stands. Just how close are Republicans to picking up the six seats they need to win the majority? The short answer is pretty close. Perhaps not surprisingly, Republicans and...
It should be great news for House Democrats that a laundry list of moderate Republicans like Reps. Tom Latham (IA-03), Mike Rogers (MI-08), Jon Runyan (NJ-03), Jim Gerlach (PA-06), Frank Wolf (VA-10), and Tom Petri (WI-06) are retiring, leaving fairly marginal seats open. But given the beneficial national environment and midterm turnout dynamic, not to mention recent redistricting, Republicans
A piece this Sunday on Texas Gov. Rick Perry in The Des Moines Register by the paper's top political reporter, Jennifer Jacobs, caught my eye. Jacobs's observations about seeing Perry on the stump in Iowa in recent days matched my impressions from a meeting with him last month. Jacobs observed that "a guy who in the past didn't seem like he could run for a governor's office much less the Oval...
Given the horrible set of events unfolding overseas, it’s understandable that Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State is getting lots of attention. If she runs in 2016, we should expect to see attack ads featuring her handing the “reset” button to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. However, while foreign policy is in on the front burner today, the bigger challenge for Hillary...
Back in the mid-1990s, Harvard professor Clayton Christensen coined the phrases "disruptive technology" and "disruptive innovation" to describe certain kinds of game-changing developments in the business world. Now, in politics, we are seeing a variation on that theme. On the left, the Occupy movement helped spawned a new populism that is reflected in rising interest in Sen. Elizabeth...
Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow was “the deciding vote to create Obamacare,” says a new TV ad by a Republican congressional candidate in Michigan. But Sen. Kay Hagan (D) also “cast the deciding vote for Obamacare” in the process of voting “96% of the time” with President Obama, per a recent Crossroads GPS ad in North Carolina. And so did Sen. Mark Begich (D), who “cast the deciding...
Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin’s decision to retire at the end of this Congress after serving five terms has created an opening for Republicans in this swing state. With the primary behind them, Republicans are positioned to make the most of that opportunity. State Sen. Joni Ernst took 56 percent to win the nomination on June 3. If no candidate had gotten 35 percent of the vote, the nomination...
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 Week That Could Revive TrumpMay 25, 2017
Last week, it was the role of Russia in the 2016 campaign that dominated the news; this week, with President Trump on his first overseas trip and largely sticking to his script, it’s more likely to be the substantive challenges facing congressional Republicans that will move to center stage in Washington.Read more »
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