Charlie Cook Gives Insight into the 2018 Midterm Elections

By Christina Damian '20 | September 25, 2018

Charlie Cook with students

Charlie Cook, political analyst and author of The Cook Political Report, came to the New Hampshire Institute of Politics to speak at Politics & Eggs on Friday, September 14, in partnership with the New England Council.

Cook, a hit with the crowd, spoke about his predictions for the 2018 election cycle and who might take control of the House and Senate. He went on to say that only a third of voters tend to vote during midterm election years, saying that people are more motivated to vote “if something’s bugging them.”

It was also pointed out by Cook that out of the last six presidential midterm elections, four of them resulted in a flip from the party in power. The party that was in control of the presidency typically saw a loss in the Senate and House elections that year. He attributes this to people feeling comfortable with the way things are going on the Hill and not going out to vote.

“If the election went the way you liked, and you’re happy, you’re set, you’re complacent, or maybe you’re disillusioned, but no matter what, there’s a fair chance that you may not vote,” explained Cook. “But if you are madder than a wet hen, you are more motivated to vote, and I think that’s the thing that drives these midterm outcomes more than anything else.”

Cook believes that in 2018, the Democrats will take the House, while the Republicans will most likely keep the Senate. He attributes this to how contested and close all of the Senate races are shaping up to be across the country. In his opinion, Democrats will have to work hard if they want to pull seats from Republicans in the Senate, but districts that were traditionally Republican are becoming more liberal. There are now, according to Cook, anywhere between twenty and forty seats that have the potential to move over to the Democratic Party in Congress.

Politics & Eggs is a perfect stepping stone for hopeful individuals who want to connect with the public in New Hampshire before running for president. Though Cook himself does not see himself running, the event gave great insight and predictions into the midterm elections this fall.