Thursday Apr. 20, 2017

Democrats Likely on Defense in 2018 Senate Race
Earlier this month, Mitch McConnell radically changed United States Senate rules to force through Donald Trump's right-wing Supreme Court nominee. Invoking the so-called "nuclear option" will fundamentally alter how the Senate works in the future, and makes regaining control of the US Senate more important than ever for Democrats. In 2018, they will be defending 23 seats, compared to... [Read More]

Monday Apr. 17, 2017

Why Georgia's 6th District Really Matters
The eyes of the political world are fixated on Tuesday's special election in Georgia's 6th Congressional District. Many have pointed to Hillary Clinton's performance in the district last November as proof that this is now a... [Read More]

Wednesday Apr. 12, 2017

Kansas Special Election Could Mean Big Gains for Democrats in 2018
Despite the loss, last night's special election in Kansas shows good signs for the Democrats should the defining characteristics hold through the 2018 election... [Read More]

Tuesday Feb. 28, 2017

Expect Democratic Gains in 2018—But Where?
It's understandable if many Democrats look at the election in 2018 with a degree of foreboding. In the last two midterm elections, they lost a combined total of 76 House seats and 15 Senate seats. But the emerging scandals in the Trump White House and a simple look at history should give them a reason to be optimistic. As Barack Obama witnessed in 2010, the first midterm election commonly brings early losses to a new president's party. If President Trump's early missteps are an indicator of things to come, the Republican Party could be extremely vulnerable when voters go to the polls in 2018. [Read More]

Monday Feb. 13, 2017

In 2016, Data Fundamentals Proved Accurate
The NCEC's Democratic Performance Index is a granular, moving average of actual candidate performance. It should be no surprise that, on average, observed party performance correlates with future party performance more strongly than any other single measure... [Read More]

Wednesday Dec. 14, 2016

No, It's Not the Data That's Wrong
Along with many political analysts, we're still taking stock of what happened in the 2016 election and the implications of the outcome for the future. Some observers have suggested that campaigns should give less consideration to data and metrics going forward. We would caution against this conclusion. In many cases, existing metrics like the NCEC's Democratic Performance Index (DPI) accurately depicted the competitive nature of marginal congressional seats. However, the impact of Donald Trump's candidacy had little precedent and proved... [Read More]

Wednesday Nov. 30, 2016

Gerrymandering Increasingly Defies the Will of Voters
Gerrymandering is an oft-cited reason for voter dissatisfaction and the lack of competitive congressional elections. There is validity to this complaint, as the disparity between the national popular vote for congressional candidates and the resulting seat distribution has become historically large due to redistricting... [Read More]

Wednesday Nov. 23, 2016

2016 Election Could Demonstrate Big Changes in Future Electorate
Hillary Clinton has the won the popular vote by a larger margin than Al Gore in the 2000 election. When all votes are tallied, her margin of victory is likely to exceed 1.5 million. Still, she lost the electoral college, and hopefully put to rest the persistent notion that changing demographics among the electorate have afforded the... [Read More]

Wednesday Nov. 16, 2016

Hillary Clinton's Urban Turnout Problem
On November 15, we released an article that highlighted the Democratic Party's failure in last week's election to gain traction in rural and small-town America. The effect of which stymied the party's prospects in the House of Representatives and continued a trend that deserves more attention going forward. However, as we look into the results, it becomes clear that the Clinton campaign under-performed not only in suburban and rural counties, but also... [Read More]

Tuesday Nov. 15, 2016

Missed Opportunities Up and Down Ballot as Rural and Suburban Voters Buck Democrats
It will take weeks to fully digest the surprising results of last week's election. This is true at all levels of the ballot, where Democrats vastly underperformed. And not just in the presidential outcome: Democrats were held to a stunningly low two-seat pick up in US Senate races, and the mildly disappointing result in US House contests, where Democrats scored a net gain of six or seven seats--depending upon one uncalled contest in California. [Read More]

Monday Oct. 31, 2016

Everything Depends on the Suburbs—Watch These Counties
Suburban districts have always been regarded as the battlegrounds in American politics. As demographic trends have created more diverse suburban areas lying just outside the densely populated urban corridors, exurban areas have become more competitive. In many cases, exurbs are the new suburbs of the 21st century. As the election nears, exurban and suburban counties will have an even larger impact on the scale of the potential Democratic victory. [Read More]

Wednesday Oct. 19, 2016

Trump Down-Ballot Backlash? Watch California and New York.
California and New York are two states that will almost certainly wind up in Hillary Clinton's column on election night, but despite this certainty, these states are not without intrigue. The 2011 redistricting process—predominantly bipartisan in both states—yielded a number of competitive congressional districts. The competitive races in these states will largely determine the scale of any Democratic pickup in the House of Representatives. Several months ago, our initial analysis found that Democrats would likely achieve... [Read More]

Wednesday Oct. 12, 2016

Six Races Will Decide Control of the Senate
In recent weeks, the battleground in the race for control of the U.S. Senate has solidified, and while some contests that we anticipated would be competitive have faded from view, control of the chamber is still in doubt. As other observers have suggested, control of the Senate now hinges on six contests--Indiana, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. In most cases, the outcome of the presidential race will play a big role. [Read More]

Friday Oct. 07, 2016

Expect Democrats to Win 10 to 20 of these House Seats
In August we presented a number of congressional districts that could contribute to a wave election in 2016. The ensuing weeks have brought an increasingly close presidential contest and the congressional battleground has crystallized. Democrats need to win 30 seats in November for a new House majority. Right now, our outlook for Democratic gains this year remains unchanged, between 10 and 20 seats. [Read More]

Monday Sep. 19, 2016

Attacks on Clinton Damaging House Prospects
History offers a troubling parallel that should give Democrats pause with less than 2 months until Election Day. In September 1996, control of the House of Representatives was in the Democratic Party's grasp. A Pew Research poll accorded the Democrats an 8-point generic congressional ballot advantage; President Bill Clinton held an 18-point lead over Bob Dole and Ross Perot. It was never plausible that such a margin would hold, and Clinton ultimately finished 8 points ahead on Election Day. [Read More]

Thursday Aug. 18, 2016

A New Democratic Senate Majority Could be Short-Lived
Democrats are poised to regain control of the US Senate in 2016. The ongoing implosion of the Trump presidential campaign has complicated the reelection prospects of several Republicans, especially those in Democratic leaning states. But maintaining control in 2018 and beyond will be increasingly difficult. [Read More]

Wednesday Aug. 10, 2016

Yes, the House is in Play
All year, we have been skeptical of a return to the majority for US House Democrats, which remains the case. But there is a dim light flickering at the end of the tunnel. National political trends suggest that the 30-seat gain needed to recapture the House is not beyond reach. [Read More]

Thursday Jun. 30, 2016

Citizen Involvement Reduces the Impact of Gerrymandering
Few voters are keenly aware of the complexities of redrawing district lines every ten years. But when redistricting enters the political conversation, there is widespread agreement that a less partisan element should be introduced into the process. One solution has been to establish commissions that include representatives of both parties, as well as unaffiliated members. Many voters believe that these changes will help address the negative impacts of gerrymandering. [Read More]

Wednesday Jun. 15, 2016

Why the Numbers Show Trump's Path to Victory is Unlikely
Democrats have won four of the last six presidential elections. Additionally, the Democratic nominee won the popular vote by 0.6 percentage points in 2000. That majority was not enough, however, to prevent the first election of Republican George W. Bush, who secured 271 of 538 electoral votes. From 2000 to 2012, the average Democratic margin was a narrow 2.3 percentage points, although that average increased to 5.6 percentage points for both of President Obama's victories. [Read More]

Friday May. 27, 2016

House Prospects Wane as Trump Consolidates Support
The question that will define the 2016 congressional election remains unchanged: Will it be a traditional election, where partisans of both parties overwhelmingly support the nominated presidential candidate (leading to moderate Democratic gains), or will defections and turnout aberrations create an environment for a Democratic wave? [Read More]

Friday May. 20, 2016

Trump Thinks He Can Win Ohio, He Might Be Right
The close margin in Kentucky's May 18 Democratic primary underscores some of Hillary Clinton's potential vulnerabilities in the general election (which we raised earlier, after the Indiana Primary). [Read More]

Monday Apr. 18, 2016

The Roadmap to a New Democratic House Majority
Earlier this year, the NCEC went on the record with an initial projection of a Democratic pickup of 12 to 15 seats this November. With more than six months left before the election, this remains the most likely outcome and many analysts are wondering what a Democratic wave would look like. Below, we discuss some of the factors that could lead to such a wave and look at the districts that could be won in such a scenario. [Read More]

Saturday Apr. 02, 2016

Lessons From 2006 and the State of Democratic Candidate Recruitment
The possibility of a Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives has become a hot topic of discourse recently, particularly due to the down-ballot implications of a Donald Trump nomination for president. We covered the impact of a Trump nomination in a previous article. Of course, Donald Trump is not the only factor that could lead to a majority-producing Democratic wave in the House. [Read More]

Thursday Mar. 24, 2016

Trump Nomination Puts Suburban House Districts in Play
As Trump has won additional contests in every region of the country, many commentators have openly wondered what impact (whether good or bad) a Trump candidacy will have on the Republican ticket down ballot. When digging into the results of his recent victories, it becomes clear that a Trump candidacy could be a disaster for several Republicans currently in marginal districts. [Read More]

Thursday Mar. 17, 2016

November Forecast Improving for House Democrats
While the public's attention remains fixated on the presidential primary, the congressional race continues to clarify. More than a year ago, the NCEC projected that Democratic gains in the U.S. House are likely to exceed 20 seats. Our projection remains that the House Democrats can expect a solid 12 – 15 seat gain and the potential for a 20-seat or more Democratic gain remains plausible. Republican retirements, along with the elevated turnout of a presidential election, are both factors that favor the Democrats as the election approaches. [Read More]

Monday Mar. 14, 2016

Open vs. Closed Primaries a Big Influence Going Forward
National polls continue to show Hillary Clinton with an advantage in the Democratic presidential primary. Recent national polls give her a roughly 10-point lead and most state polls show her having some advantage. As we move into Tuesday's contests, the open versus closed nature of each primary could clarify the task her campaign faces as it looks to pivot toward the general election. [Read More]

Tuesday Mar. 08, 2016

What if John Kasich Wins the Michigan Primary?
John Kasich may be closing in on Donald Trump in Michigan. According to an American Research Group poll published March 5, Kasich leads Trump 33 percent to 31 percent. The ARG poll may be an outlier, as previous well-respected surveys done around the same time show Trump with a double digit lead. However, an additional Monmouth Poll released on March 7 appears to confirm that Kasich has some momentum... [Read More]

Thursday Feb. 18, 2016

Clinton Electability Faces Scrutiny
The argument that Hillary Clinton is the strongest general election candidate is seriously complicated by the latest Quinnipiac national poll, taken after the New Hampshire primary, between Feb. 10 and 15. [Read More]

Friday Feb. 06, 2015

House Democrats Expected to Gain Seats in 2016
Recent articles appearing in the Washington Post and the respected Cook Report have predicted that Republicans are overwhelming favorites to retain control of the House. While winning a majority remains difficult (though not impossible), it is important to understand that Democrats are likely to make significant gains in the 2016 U.S. House election. [Read More]

Thursday Jan. 29, 2015

U.S. Senate Outlook Favors Democratic Majority in 2016
Efforts to retake the U.S. Senate in 2016 will be strongly affected by the presidential election. While opportunities exist in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and several other states, the Democratic Party's ability to recruit high caliber candidates will play a key role in their chances. [Read More]

Tuesday Dec. 30, 2014

Remembering National Director Russell Hemenway
Earlier this year, the NCEC lost its National Director Russell Hemenway. Through his work at the NCEC, Russ was an outspoken critic of the Vietnam War, earned a spot on Nixon's enemies list, and was a driving force behind campaign finance reform and the establishment of the FEC. [Read More]

Friday Dec. 05, 2014

North Carolina 2014 U.S. Senate Post-election Analysis
Careful analysis of Senator Kay Hagan's recent loss strongly suggests that Hagan and her team should not have shied away from Obama in their 2014 campaign. Obama's participation could have helped activate the state's disinterested Democratic and African-American bases the way he did in 2008 and 2012. [Read More]

Thursday Nov. 13, 2014

Virginia 2014 U.S. Senate Post-election Analysis
Democratic Senator Mark Warner was reelected in a contest that was much closer than anticipated. The low turnout and changes in Virginia's partisan makeup could have spelled a loss for the Democrat if his opponent had received more support from the national Republican Party. [Read More]