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Arizona House|By David Wasserman, June 29, 2015

In a 5-4 ruling handed down this morning, the Supreme Court rejected a challenge to Arizona's Independent Redistricting Commission and quashed the specter of partisan, mid-decade redistricting in both Arizona and California. The biggest winners today are the incumbents who were at risk of being drawn out of a seat in 2016: Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09) and GOP Reps. Jeff Denham...

Florida House|By David Wasserman, June 26, 2015

The Sunshine State is poised to play a more pivotal role in national politics next year than at any time since the days of "hanging chads" in 2000. Not only has Florida spawned two front-running candidates for the GOP presidential nomination, its presidential primary next March could turn into a huge winner-take-all prize. Of course, Florida is also the Electoral College holy grail for both...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, June 26, 2015

Every once in a while, a really good idea or new way of looking at things comes along that is worth replicating.

National Politics|By Amy Walter, June 24, 2015

In politics, you have two choices: you can get in front of a wave or get slammed by a wave. Earlier this spring we saw Indiana Governor Mike Pence get walloped by a wave of his own making with his poor roll-out - and even worse public defense of - a religious freedom bill known as RFRA. Meanwhile, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's call to remove the confederate flag from its perch on state...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, June 23, 2015

It's human nature: People's ideas about presidential races are largely shaped by their perceptions of the personalities and images of the candidates. Both voters and the media become preoccupied, even obsessed, with these factors, to the exclusion of any others. The truth is, however, that big, fundamental forces have considerable—indeed, probably greater—impact on the outcome of a presidential...

Congressional Softball|By David Steinbach, June 22, 2015

Here at The Cook Political Report, we expend significant effort analyzing and handicapping presidential, congressional, and gubernatorial races. We produce PVI scores for individual districts to measure their partisan lean relative to the overall climate. Our staff members also author regular columns exploring political currents, from the general and the national down to the specific and the...

National Politics|By David Wasserman, June 19, 2015

History shows it's extremely difficult for a presidential candidate to succeed a two-term president of the same party, especially one with approval ratings as middling as President Obama's. The "time for change" dynamic in 2016 should no doubt benefit Republicans.

Governors Overview|By Jennifer Duffy, June 19, 2015

North Dakota: Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple spent a decade as Lieutenant Governor before ascending to the Governor’s office in December of 2010 when then-Gov. John Hoeven resigned after being elected to the Senate. Dalrymple won a full term in his own right in 2012 with 63 percent of the vote. The only Democrat in the state who poses a real threat to the incumbent in 2016 is Democratic Sen....

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, June 19, 2015

In recent weeks, many have started treating Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination seriously, but without addressing or even acknowledging the elephant in the room—Sanders' age.

  • 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. The 2016 cycle looks very different cycle for Republican, as 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 may be helped by open seats as we suspect there won’t be many retirements this cycle, particularly compared to the last three cycles. Democrats need five seats – or four if they retain the White House – to take back the majority. It’s still very early, but winning back the majority may prove more challenging than it looks today.

  • The current House breakdown is 245 Republicans and 188 Democrats, with two vacancies. Thanks to President Obama's standing and the GOP's natural midterm turnout advantages, Republicans gained 13 seats in 2014, and if they win upcoming special elections in New York's 11th CD and Mississippi's 1st CD, they will win their largest number of seats since 1928. Democrats are likely to bounce back somewhat in the presidential cycle of 2016. But given how well sorted-out the House has become, winning the 30 seats they need for a majority looks like an unrealistic goal today. Today, our outlook is a Democratic gain in the 5-15 seat range.

  • The 2016 cycle will host 15 gubernatorial contests, including three races in 2015, and 12 in 2016, including the special election in Oregon. Democrats are defending nine seats to six for Republicans. The most interesting races of 2015 will be the open seats in Kentucky and Louisiana. In 2016, the marquis contests will be the open seat in Missouri 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.

Washington  |  Governor  |  Inslee (D)

Solid D
Likely D

Indiana  |  Governor  |  Pence (R)

Likely R
Solid R

Ohio  |  Senate  |  Portman (R)

Lean R
Likely R

Arizona  |  Senate  |  McCain (R)

Likely R
Solid R

Arizona  |  District 01  |  Kirkpatrick (D)

Lean D
Toss Up

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Charlie Cook's Column

A Better Way to Keep Score for the 2016 Field

June 26, 2015

Every once in a while, a really good idea or new way of looking at things comes along that is worth replicating.

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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, 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 2014 election.

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The Almanac of American Politics