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Tarnished Image

January 16, 2007 Republican campaign consultants have been publicly expressing a great deal of concern that the "GOP brand" has been damaged, or at least tarnished. For top strategists to be so candid about their party's problems is fairly unusual, and it reflects just how urgent they consider the party's need to redefine...

Awkward Assignment

January 9, 2007 Democrats and Republicans alike will be feeling their way through the next month or two, trying to adjust to this New World Order. Back in control on both sides of the Capitol, Democrats must relearn how to govern -- and not just throw rocks, the primary occupation of the minority....

First Time’s a Charm

December 19, 2006 One of the great things about post-election conferences is that even those of us who watch American politics full-time can gain insights into why the election turned out the way it did. Along with Democratic consultant James Carville and Republican Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia, I hosted such a conference...

Few Surprises

December 12, 2006 Despite all the huffing and puffing about presidential exploratory committees, staff announcements, and phone calls to party leaders, only four consequential events other than the midterm elections occurred in recent months concerning presidential politics: Sen. Barack Obama's October 22 declaration that he is seriously considering seeking the Democratic nomination; the...

Restoring Balance

December 5, 2006 In some ways, it is easy to dismiss what happened in the midterm elections and to chalk up Democrats' gains to voters' displeasure over the war in Iraq, scandals, and a feeling that Congress has grown dysfunctional. Some people go so far as to argue that this election meant very...

State of Denial

November 21, 2006 No one understands better than someone who does political analysis for a living that it is unrealistic to expect anyone to foresee exactly what is going to happen in an election. But I still marvel at those who seemed oblivious to what was happening this year and now continue to...

The War’s Wave

November 14, 2006 The contours of this landscape-altering election started taking shape more than a year ago. And by the first week of August, my Cook Political Report team and I began forecasting that if the election were held then, the Republicans would lose the House, and that their chances of holding the...

Luck of the Draw

November 7, 2006 Soon the 2006 midterm elections will be over, and pundits will portray some political operatives as geniuses and others as goats. None of those assessments is likely to be entirely fair. I've seen enormously talented people on the losing side of elections, particularly wave elections. And I've seen very lucky...

Down to the Wire

October 31, 2006 With little more than a week to go, the hurricane roaring toward the Republican Party looks like a Category 4 or 5. A Cat 4 would probably cost the GOP the House, and a 5 would be powerful enough to flip the Senate as well. Of course, at any moment,...

Tough Call

October 24, 2006 Unlike 99.99 percent of the people who watch politics with a passion, political analysts don't care about which side wins, but they do care about correctly predicting the outcome. And that's why this election season has been so maddening: Trying to get a fix on what's going on has been...

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