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Political analyst shares insights on 2010 elections

Less than two years after President Barack Obama won office with a tidal wave of voter support for the Democratic Party, Republicans are on the verge of their own historic movement and will likely reclaim majority status in at least one chamber of Congress, according to a national political analyst who visited campus this week for a series of classroom and public events.

Charles Cook, editor and publisher of The Cook Political Report, spoke with reporters on Sept. 7 during a media workshop sponsored by the Elon University Poll.

Charles Cook, editor and publisher of The Cook Political Report and a frequent contributor to NBC News, offered observations on the November elections during a Sept. 7, 2010, workshop for journalists hosted by the Elon University Poll.

His prediction? The GOP will win. It will win big. And then Republicans “are going to be like the dog catching the car. ‘What do you do now?’” he said.

Cook said the problem is that with a Democrat in office through 2012, the next two years will see political stalemates ensue, with few achievements of which to boast from either side of the aisle.

Cook also talked about the U.S. Senate race in North Carolina between incumbent Republican Richard Burr and his challenger, Democratic Secretary of State Elaine Marshall. The race in North Carolina is fascinating because of Burr’s relative lack of popular support in what is an otherwise Republican year.

“Richard Burr’s numbers are very, very, very weak,” Cook said. “You can have a daylong symposium on why his numbers are so weak. And he’s a very lucky man. The Democratic Party can’t afford to mount a challenge down here. In another year, another environment, he might not be coming back to Washington, at least not as a senator.”

Citing recent polls, Cook noted that a majority of the American public believes the future is bleak for their children. “That really goes against the grain of who we are and is an indication of huge discontent,” he said.

That explains at least part of why the public mood has soured on the political party currently in office, he said.

The Tuesday workshop preceded an evening event in Whitley Auditorium. Cook’s lecture, “A Look Ahead to the 2010 Election,” is based on his decades of public opinion research in Washington. He also serves as a political analyst for the National Journal Group, where he writes weekly for National Journal magazine and CongressDailyAM.

The workshop also included presentations by poll director Hunter Bacot, assistant poll director Mileah Kromer and Mark Kurt, an assistant professor of economics.


Eric Townsend,
9/7/2010 4:38 PM