Republicans scored big gains in the 2010 and 2014 elections because both of those midterms were about President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party. Democrats had successful elections in 2006, 2008 and 2012 primarily because they made those elections about the GOP and George W. Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney.
While the economy is a decisive topic in many presidential elections, national security looks increasingly likely to become a top issue in next year’s contest. And if that happens, it could dramatically affect both the direction of the race for the Republican nomination and the party’s prospects in November.
You might think the best way to understand Mississippi’s upcoming 1st District special election to fill the late Rep. Alan Nunnelee’s seat is to examine the 2008 special election in the same district. After all, that previous special election to fill the seat left open by Roger Wicker’s appointment to the Senate happened less than seven years ago.
Just because something has not happened before doesn’t mean it can’t happen in the future.
None of the top-tier GOP contenders for the party’s presidential nomination have formally entered the race yet, but it’s already clear the field will be unique in the party’s modern campaign history.
For Republicans, the fight for control of the Senate in 2016 is all about playing defense.
Democrats have a better chance of winning control of the House next year than they did at any time in 2014. That’s true even though they now need to gain 30 seats, almost twice what they needed last year.
While most of America was still talking about what happened in Ferguson, Mo., and turning to law enforcement issues in Cleveland and Staten Island, New York, I spent the better part of the week of Dec. 1 in a courthouse in Rockville, Md.
Louisiana Sen. Mary L. Landrieu’s defeat in the Dec. 6 runoff certainly was no surprise. If anything, it seemed inevitable since the evening of Nov. 4, when it became clear a Republican rout was underway and Democrats would lose control of the Senate.
Well, we’ve made it through another strange political year — and let’s face it, they are all strange — so it’s time for me to devote another column to picking the best, the worst and the weirdest candidates, campaigns and outcomes of the year.
Every election cycle is filled with twists and turns, upsets and surprises. And every cycle is filled with goofy arguments, warnings about things that never happen and unsurprising outcomes that surprise only the politically uneducated.
You could feel it from Day One of this cycle. Senate Democratic strategists knew they were smarter than their Republican adversaries. They’d out-think them and out-work them.
Yes, that was a wave. A big one. In many respects, it was a wave that was larger and more damaging to Democrats than in 2010.
Almost two months ago, on September 8th, I wrote that while the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call ratings projected Republican Senate gains in the five to eight seat range, I was “expecting a substantial Republican Senate wave in November, with a net gain of at least seven seats.”
How big of a year is this going to be for Republicans? It’s still hard to tell, one week before voters go to the polls for the midterm elections.
Most neutral observers expect Republicans to take the Senate and make at least small gains in the House, but talk about a possible GOP political wave has all but disappeared.
Republicans have the wind at their backs this year. But not every GOP nominee is taking advantage of that dynamic. As usual, some candidates are under-performing, proving once again that candidates and the campaigns they choose to run actually matter.
I have been thinking for months about how politics has changed over the past decade, but those changes struck home in a very obvious way while I was reading a recent Washington Post article written by the very able Philip Rucker.
If next month produces a big Republican year, with the GOP gaining control of the Senate and expanding its majority in the House, it will say little or nothing about 2016, when a presidential electorate and a very different Senate class combine to create the makings of a substantially good Democratic year.
A few weeks ago I wrote Senate Republicans would gain at least seven seats, even though the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call race ratings showed a likely Republican gain of five to eight seats.