Governors 2015: For Republicans, a Kentucky-Fried, Cajun-seasoned mess

In this year’s two most prominent gubernatorial races, the Republicans have taken what probably should have been victories and put them into doubt by selecting weak nominees. Whatever the results, the GOP better hope that these races are not harbingers for 2016. Because while deep-red Kentucky and Louisiana still might...

New Hampshire: Toss-Up Central

Competitive races abound in the Granite State

Think New Hampshire isn’t getting enough political attention? You’re probably alone, but a long-awaited move by Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) will likely result, remarkably, in an even greater focus on the Granite State during the 2016 cycle. Hassan announced Monday that she will challenge incumbent Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) in...

Louisiana Governor: Ganging Up on Vitter

In his classic biography of Earl Long, who was Huey’s brother and a three-time governor of Louisiana, A.J. Liebling described the state’s primary for gubernatorial nominations as “the grand gimmick of Louisiana politics.” Back then, when winning the Democratic primary was tantamount to election, all Democratic candidates would run together...

Ratings Changes: A Senate Sleeper in Kentucky?

Plus, Democrats get some improved odds in a handful of House races

The prospect of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) winning the Republican presidential nomination seems as remote as ever. But that doesn’t mean Senate Republicans can just assume the seat will stay safely in their column next year. The Senate situation in the Bluegrass State highlights six Crystal Ball race ratings changes,...

Notes on the State of Politics

How the North Dakota gubernatorial race could decide the Senate The decision by Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R-ND) to not run for another term potentially puts a 2016 gubernatorial race in play for Democrats. But winning it might involve a trade-off that most Democrats wouldn’t make: the governorship of one of...

My Old Kentucky Home: Could Matt Bevin’s Soon Be the Governor’s Mansion?

Breaking down 2015’s marquee race & this cycle’s other gubernatorial contests

These days, the Bluegrass State is looking a lot less blue at the federal level. In the last four presidential elections, the Democratic candidate only averaged 40.6% of the two-party vote, the party’s 10th-worst state in that time period. Four-term Sen. Wendell Ford (D) was the last Democrat to win...

Governors 2015-2016: Republicans lose edge in Kentucky

Intra-party divisions causing early problems for GOP in red states

The potential for Republicans to build on their already-gaudy collection of state governorships -- they hold 31 of 50 -- was rooted in their red state opportunities among the 15 states being contested this year and next year. Democrats are defending open seats in Kentucky this year, and Missouri and...

Notes on the State of Politics

West Virginia governor: Manchin’s choice makes Republicans a narrow favorite After months of hinting that he might prefer to return home to run for a third term as governor, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) decided to stay put in the Senate. That creates an open seat in the Mountain State --...

Notes on the State of Politics

Nevada Senate after Reid’s retirement, plus two gubernatorial ratings changes and some House updates

The retirement of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) last week gives Republicans something they have been lacking in the early stages of this Senate cycle: a 50-50 shot at picking up a seat currently held by a Democrat. True, Reid’s poor approval numbers meant he was going to be...

Are Voters Drifting Away?

For first time in 16 years, back-to-back cycles saw drops in raw turnout

For the first decade after Sept. 11, national elections showed a steady rise in voter turnout. The number of ballots cast in presidential elections jumped from 105 million in 2000 to a record 131 million in 2008, an increase of 25% in just eight years. Similarly, the midterm congressional turnout...