Early odds are good for Nancy Pelosi to hang onto her gavel. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images For all sorts of good reasons, the main focus of political analysts looking ahead to next year’s election is an epochal presidential election, with much of the residual attention being devoted to a Senate battle that will determine whether the presidential winner is or isn’t in a good position to get executive branch and judicial nominees confirmed. But all 435 U.S. House seats are up in 2020 as well, with Democrats defending a 236-199 margin. As I noted last month, history suggests it will be very difficult for Republicans to make the net gains of 19 seats necessary to flip the House, which hasn’t changed hands in a presidential election since Dwight D. Eisenhower’s landslide win in 1952. But on the other hand, there are 31 House Democrats in districts Trump carried in 2016 (and after 2018, just three Republicans in Clinton ’16 districts), so it would be wise … [Read more...] about The House Probably Won’t Flip in 2020
Presidential election of 2020
It’s unclear whether the Sun King can get out of his own campaign’s way. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images A lot of the analysis of the first round of Democratic presidential debates last week focused on the possible fodder the candidates and the subjects they debated might offer to the sinister general election opponent awaiting the eventual nominee in 2020. Here’s Larry Sabato and Kyle Kondik, after observing some of the more controversial positions many of the debaters embraced: The next election may be similar to the last couple of elections featuring incumbent presidents: 2004 and 2012. The incumbents those years, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, wanted the election to be a choice between them or their challengers; the challengers, John Kerry and Mitt Romney, respectively, wanted the election to be a referendum on the incumbent. Bush and Obama found enough cracks in their opponents that they avoided the kind of straight referendum that could have doomed … [Read more...] about Can the World’s Greatest Narcissist Really Avoid a ‘Referendum Election’ in 2020?
Does Pete Buttigieg, like John Kerry in 2004, offer a Democratic response to perceived weaknesses rather than a statement of bold, progressive plans? Photo: Erik Lesser/Getty Images/Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images The Buttigieg Boomlet that some have discerned in the polls and the zeitgeist after the South Bend mayor’s aggressive October 15 debate performance has stimulated a backlash of sorts. Nate Silver doesn’t think the boomlet is real. My colleague Sarah Jones and the New Republic’s Osita Nwanevu have raised concerns about Pete’s corporate associations and (relatively speaking) corporate-friendly policies. But Nwanevu articulates a different concern about Buttigieg that is bigger than any one candidate and goes to broader questions about Democratic strategy in the Trump era. It is best summed up by the headline the New Republic gave his piece: “Pete Buttigieg Is Still Fighting the Last War.” The idea is that Mayor Pete, despite his youth, is … [Read more...] about Maybe Democrats Should Remain on the Defensive in 2020
Get '5 things' in your inbox If your day doesn't start until you've gotten up to speed on the latest headlines, then let us introduce you to your new favorite morning fix. Sign up here for the '5 Things' newsletter. (CNN)The nominations for this year's Grammy Awards were announced yesterday. Debate, complain or gloat accordingly. Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.) 1. Impeachment investigation It seems like the words "dramatic" and "bombshell" are thrown around a lot in reference to the impeachment inquiry hearings, but if there were ever a time to use them, it would be to describe yesterday's testimony from US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland. Right out of the gate, Sondland confirmed that, yes, a "quid pro quo" scheme existed and President Trump directed it. He also said "everyone was in the loop" about what … [Read more...] about 5 things to know for November 21: Impeachment, 2020 Dems, Israel, UAW, China
Kentucky governor Matt Bevin, who’s up for reelection in 2019, watches President Trump speak at a rally in Richmond, Kentucky, on October 13, 2018. Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP/REX/Shutterstock/Andrew Harnik/AP/REX/Shutterstock As the momentous 2018 midterm election cycle gives way to the even more momentous presidential cycle of 2020, it’s tempting to overlook the contests regularly and specially scheduled for the year just ahead. They will be of more than local interest, as donors, activists, and pundits treat them as dress rehearsals for the Big Event, much as the Spanish Civil War was a devil’s appetizer for World War II. One variable is hard to predict with any precision: Will the Trump administration deal with its personnel turnover problems by dipping into the congressional ranks? If so, there could be some special elections of note like those that enlivened the off year of 2017 (deaths, illnesses, and criminal indictments could create some vacancies as well). … [Read more...] about A First Look at the 2019 Elections