new-hampshire

Dem Senate Takeover Probable, If Cruz or Trump Nominee

The prospect of Trump or Cruz at the top of the ticket makes Republicans holding onto control of the Senate much more difficult. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

With Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz seemingly positioned to fight it out for the Republican presidential nomination, Democrats are now poised to take over the Senate in November.  

The two Republicans still in the race who could help their party’s Senate prospects, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, continue to flounder. While a deadlocked GOP convention in Cleveland could, at least in theory, nominate a candidate with broad appeal and low enough negatives to revive the party’s Senate prospects, that development is both a long way in the future and a long shot.  

Where House and Presidential Races Converge

Coffman, R-Colo., faces a tough re-election race in a true presidential swing state. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s going to be hard for most House races to get any attention this year, with a competitive presidential race and the fight for control of the Senate. But a handful of districts have the luxury of not only hosting a competitive House race, but also being swing areas of presidential battleground states.  

In states such as New York, California or Minnesota, House strategists and campaigns are largely on their own to motivate voters and get them to the polls. But in a few districts, House strategists and candidates can focus on persuading voters, since the presidential nominees, national parties and, in some cases, the Senate campaigns will have done the heavy lifting to get out the vote.  

Trying to Make Sense of the Post-New Hampshire Republican Race

The good news for Trump is that the New Hampshire result isn’t likely to narrow the field all that much and he could continue to benefit from a divided field. ( Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

If there were any doubts that Donald Trump was a serious contender in the Republican presidential race after he arguably under-performed in Iowa, New Hampshire’s results should be a wake-up call.  

While one victory in the Granite State certainly doesn’t guarantee Trump the nomination, his significant margin (nearly 20 percent) isn’t easily dismissed. It’s becoming clear that he has a fairly high floor of support, although he could also have a lower ceiling than many of the other candidates.  

Voters Don’t Fit Neatly Into Presidential Primary Lanes

Even picking up Trump supporters that listed Cruz as their second choice, that probably would not be enough for him to win the nomination. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The common narrative of the Republican presidential primary has two groups of candidates jockeying for position in establishment and anti-establishment lanes.  

Under these parameters, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz would stand to be the primary, if not sole, beneficiary from Donald Trump’s departure, whether it be from losses or boredom. But that analysis is complicated by some data buried deep in the crosstabs of a pre-New Hampshire poll.  

Handicapping the GOP Race Past Iowa

While Trump, center, and Cruz, right, have established themselves as front-runners, Rubio has broken away from other establishment candidates. (Scott Olson/Getty Images File Photo)

Have we entered a new period in American politics, when establishment candidates on the GOP side don’t win their party’s nomination? That is the question I posed in a June 4, 2015 column . It is still a relevant question.  

While I answered that it is a mistake to assume that the establishment candidate would inevitably win the GOP nomination, I doubted that combative candidates such as Donald Trump and, to a lesser extent, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, could pass the smell test for most Republicans.  

Hillary and Jeb: Destined to Play the Long Game?

Clinton greets the crowd during a Get Out the Caucus event with Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., at in Marion, Iowa, on Sunday. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

In a previous election cycle, or maybe a previous decade, Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush might, at this point, be coasting to their parties’ nominations. This cycle, however, both resemble tragic heroes — politicians who have worked hard to prepare themselves for the presidency yet face possible rejection by voters.  

Some Clinton and Bush supporters hope their candidates have an advantage that is still being underestimated: their ability to remain in their respective presidential nominating contests until voters decide to turn to them.  

Obama Suggests Trump's Dominance Is Doomed

Republican presidential candidate Trump arrives at an event at the Living History Farms Visitor Center in Urbandale, Iowa, on Jan. 15. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama poured cold water on Donald Trump’s dominance of the Republican presidential primary, saying Friday he bets voters soon will look to other candidates.  

Obama suggested Trump’s big lead nationally could be doomed, saying it is merely the latest example of a long-running trend of bombastic candidates getting a lot of attention early in the process. But when it comes time to actually vote, Americans tend to get "serious" and vote for other candidates, Obama said during a YouTube-hosted online interview.  

Can Rubio Win Even If He Loses?

Rubio does not fit the typical Republican presidential candidate demographic. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Can a candidate win the Republican presidential nomination without winning one of the first three contests – Iowa, New Hampshire or South Carolina? We may just find out this year.  

History, of course, has already provided something of an answer. Democrat Bill Clinton didn’t win a contest in 1992 until March 3rd in the Georgia primary. He had already "lost" the Iowa caucuses, the New Hampshire primary, the Maine caucuses and the South Dakota primary. (Fortunately for Clinton, no one in the field won more than one of the first four contests, and his solid second-place finish in the Granite State was regarded as a  victory of sorts.)  

Obama’s Empty Campaign Threat on Gun Control

Obama listens to a question from Pintal County, Ariz., Sheriff Paul Babeu during a town hall event on Thursday. (Aude Guerrucci/Pool/Getty Images)

In the heat of his push for more gun control, President Barack Obama threatened to withhold support from anyone, including Democrats, who didn’t support “common-sense” changes. But based on the political realities of this cycle, his comments aren’t likely to dramatically impact Senate races.  

“Even as I continue to take every action possible as president, I will also take every action I can as a citizen,” Obama wrote in a New York Times op-ed . “I will not campaign for, vote for or support any candidate, even in my own party, who does not support common-sense gun reform.”  

Top Races in 2016: New England

A voter leaves Town Hall in Wilton, N.H., on January 10, 2012 after voting in the state's primary. (Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images File Photo)

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of regional looks at the most competitive House and Senate races to watch in 2016.  

The New England region includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.