National Journal Political Briefing Takeaways

Some great take-aways from National Journal’s political briefing today by the Charlie Cook team:


  • Wave election?  Dems are a motivated base but suburban toss-up seats are key battleground.
  • Turnout Trends from 9 special elections this year suggest polarized electorate with Dem edge on the “enthusiasm quotient.”
  • Driving issues:  low jobless rate and tax cut (through latter petering out) work to GOP advantage but health care cost anxiety weighing heavily on voter minds.
  • Dem dampers:  improving economy, GOP redistricting advantage in state legislatures and Dems playing defense in Senate contests.
  • GOP gap:  trade!  Chinese retaliation especially in farm belt, ripple in Rustbelt.


  • Watch Florida and Illinois competitive governors races this year with 2020 redistricting at stake
  • Looks like Longhorn State longing for flipping Ted Cruz seat a “long shot”

Lasting impression?  Separation of families at the border:  2/3 disapproval, strong with moderates and women in swing districts.  Is executive order too little too late?  Can Trump and GOP recover from this by November?