In 1998, The Cook Political Report started keeping tabs on the outcome of the seats in the Toss Up column. Over the years, it became obvious that the seats that were considered too close to call on Election Day never split down the middle. Instead one party has always won a comfortable majority of them. The pattern repeated itself in 2016, except the seats didn’t fall in the direction I thought they would. Instead of Democrats winning four to six of the seven seats in the Toss Up column (one Democratic-held seat and six-Republican-held seat), it was Republicans who won five of the seven, or 71 percent. Democrats picked up just two seats, beating GOP incumbent U.S. Sens. Mark Kirk in Illinois and Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire. They came close in three other seats, nearly defeating U.S. Sens. Roy Blunt in Missouri, Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania and Ron Johnson in Wisconsin. Democrats lost those three seats by a total of 285,949 votes out of 11.64 million ballots cast. Of course, the opposite is also true. Democrats only won New

More from the Cook Political Report

Four Possible Leaders; Four Unenviable Tasks
National Politics
Photo of Charlie Cook
First Person
Cook Politcal Logo
Where History Rhymed and Where It Didn’t
National Politics
AW