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House Overview|By David Wasserman, January 20, 2017

Typically, midterm elections are, to borrow a word from the new president's lexicon, "tremendous" opportunities for the out party to hold a first-term White House occupant accountable. Just ask Bill Clinton about 1994 or Barack Obama about 2010. But as is the case with this new president, 2018 isn't set up to be a "typical" first-term midterm.

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, January 20, 2017

The gen­er­al para­met­ers are already well known. In Novem­ber, Amer­ic­ans elec­ted a pres­id­ent who had no gov­ern­ment ex­per­i­ence of any kind. He was clearly not well-versed in policy is­sues and had a pro­cliv­ity to shoot from the hip, say­ing whatever came to mind, work­ing off of in­stinct rather than ex­pert­ise. We have elec­ted out­siders be­fore, but they have been the gov­ernor...

Senate Overview|By Jennifer Duffy, January 20, 2017

Early retirement announcements have become the norm over the last few cycles. Strategists in both parties believe that the sooner an incumbent announces the intention to retire, the sooner the parties can recruit candidates and the sooner those candidates can begin fundraising and putting their campaigns together. So far, the 2018 class of Senate incumbents appears to be bucking this trend....

National Politics|By Amy Walter, January 19, 2017

As Republicans gear up to repeal – and somehow replace – Obamacare, Democrats are digging in for a fight. Armed with a new slogan “Make America Sick Again,” Democrats are eager to portray Republicans as modern-day scrooges who are going to rip health care away from deserving and struggling Americans. Yet, all their tough talk about defending the law stands in stark contrast to the amount of...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, January 17, 2017

Al­most 130 years ago, Ger­man philo­soph­er Friedrich Ni­et­z­sche wrote, “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” In a per­verse way, BuzzFeed and CNN made Pres­id­ent-elect Trump stronger this week.

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, January 13, 2017

Elec­tions are like fin­ger­prints; each has its own unique cir­cum­stances and dy­nam­ics. Some­times there are close sim­il­ar­it­ies, but elec­tions are nev­er identic­al. Pat­terns emerge, but it is nev­er a sure bet that they will hold from one elec­tion to the next.

National Politics|By Amy Walter, January 11, 2017

After an unprecedented and unexpected 2016, it would be unwise to expect a return to normal in 2017. Beyond the fact that we have the most unconventional president in our lifetime, the two parties themselves have unique challenges to their identity and their effectiveness.

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, January 10, 2017

Reg­u­lar read­ers of this column can prob­ably guess that I am fairly skep­tic­al about the suc­cess of Don­ald Trump’s up­com­ing pres­id­ency, but that doesn’t stop me from giv­ing him a huzzah for call­ing out House Re­pub­lic­ans for their at­tempt to gut the Of­fice of Con­gres­sion­al Eth­ics. In a closed-door meet­ing of the House GOP Con­fer­ence, both Speak­er Paul Ry­an and...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, January 6, 2017

Pri­or to the Novem­ber elec­tion, there was con­sid­er­able talk about how the Re­pub­lic­an Party would need to put it­self back to­geth­er after Don­ald Trump’s ex­pec­ted pres­id­en­tial loss. Now it’s the Demo­crats who have to fig­ure out a strategy for the post-Obama and post-Clin­ton era. But they don’t seem much in­ter­ested in in­tro­spec­tion, which is sur­pris­ing con­sid­er­ing...

  • In 2014, a good political environment, a weakened Democratic President and several open Democratic-held seats in red states combined to give Senate Republicans a nine-seat gain and the majority. In 2016, the tables are turned. Republicans will defend 24 seats to just 10 for Democrats. Of those 24 seats, President Obama carried the states of five of them in 2012 by at least five points, and carried two more by one and three points. Neither party has been helped by open seats, particularly compared to the last three cycles. Democrats need five seats – or four if they retain the White House – to take back the majority. Wth two weeks before Election Day, Democrats appear to be on track to pick up between four and six seats.

  • The 2016 election resulted in a House breakdown of 240 Republicans and 194 Democrats, with one Louisiana seat headed to a December 10 runoff that is very likely to be won by a Republican. Democrats scored a net gain of six seats, a disappointing result for a party that had hoped to pick up more than 15 and cut the GOP's majority in half. Democrats' best hope for a majority in 2018 would be an unpopular President Donald Trump. But given Republicans' redistricting advantages and how well sorted-out the House has become, it could still be very difficult for Democrats to pick up the 24 seats they would need.

  • The 2016 cycle will host 12 gubernatorial contests, including the special election in Oregon. Democrats are defending eight seats to four for Republicans. The marquis contests will be the Democratic-held open seats in Missouri, New Hampshire and West Virginia, and in North Carolina where GOP Gov. Pat McCrory is seeking a second term. With so few seats on the ballot, neither party is likely to make significant gains or sustain big losses.

Wisconsin  |  District 08  |  Ribble (R)

Lean R
Likely R

New York  |  District 24  |  Katko (R)

Lean R
Likely R

New York  |  District 22  |  Hanna (R)

Toss Up
Lean R

New York  |  District 03  |  Israel (D)

Likely D
Lean D

New York  |  District 01  |  Zeldin (R)

Lean R
Likely R

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    – David Broder, The Washington Post

Charlie Cook's Column

A Loud-Mouthed Fan Becomes Manager of the Team

January 20, 2017

The gen­er­al para­met­ers are already well known. In Novem­ber, Amer­ic­ans elec­ted a pres­id­ent who had no gov­ern­ment ex­per­i­ence of any kind. He was clearly not well-versed in policy is­sues and had a pro­cliv­ity to shoot from the hip, say­ing whatever came to mind, work­ing off of in­stinct rather than ex­pert­ise. We have elec­ted out­siders be­fore, but they have been the gov­ernor...

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Columnists

Amy Walter, National Editor

Amy Walter is the Cook Political Report's National Editor. In her weekly column, Walter provides analysis of the issues, trends, and events that shape the national political environment.
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Elizabeth Wilner, Senior Contributing Editor

Elizabeth Wilner is Senior Vice President of Kantar Media Ad Intelligence with oversight of its Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG), Contributing Editor of The Cook Political Report, and former Political Director of NBC News. Wilner's weekly segment, "On Points," covers the fast-growing junction of advertising, Big Data, and politics.
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The Cook Political Report Partisan Voting Index (PVI)

The 2014 Partisan Voting Index

Since 1997, the Cook Political Report's Partisan Voting Index (PVI) has been the gold standard in measuring how each state and district performs at the presidential level relative to the nation as a whole. Click below for the breakdown of PVI for every House district in the 113th Congress.
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The Rhodes Cook Letter

In the latest issue of the Rhodes Cook Letter, Rhodes takes a close look at the 2016 election.

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The 2016 Political Environment

Updated November 25, 2015 | As the 2016 election cycle begins to take shape, the Cook Political Report has identified several metrics worth monitoring between now and Election Day.

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