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National Politics|By Charlie Cook, July 26, 2016

With a one-two punch, Ted Cruz ef­fect­ively launched his can­did­acy for the 2020 Re­pub­lic­an pres­id­en­tial nom­in­a­tion. On Wed­nes­day night, the sen­at­or from Texas took to the stage and urged party mem­bers not to stay home in Novem­ber but to “stand and speak and vote your con­science,” a veiled sug­ges­tion that his own con­science would not al­low him to vote for Don­ald Trump....

National Politics|By Amy Walter, July 25, 2016

Like a swimmer caught in a rip-tide, I need to stop fighting this election and start going with it. I have spent most of this year trying to explain why things aren’t working out the way they are “supposed” to work. Instead, I need to appreciate the fluid and unprecedented nature of this election. This doesn’t mean that I throw out all I know and have learned over the years about campaign and...

House Overview|By David Wasserman, July 22, 2016

The chaos inside Quicken Loans Arena - from a quashed delegate rebellion to Melania Trump's recycled words and Ted Cruz's saboteur turn - have dominated coverage of Cleveland this week. But outside the arena, the RNC's vibe felt eerie for what the city seemed to be missing: large, boisterous protests, crowded bars and restaurants, and GOP candidates in competitive House races - most of whom...

Senate Overview|By Jennifer Duffy, July 22, 2016

Democrats want to put as many Republican-held seats in play as possible. In a best case scenario it puts them in a strong position if a wave develops in the fall. At the very least, they hope it forces Republicans to devote resources to more races, spreading them thin.

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, July 22, 2016

The Republican National Convention is now underway, with the critical question being whether it can reconfigure a race that looks close in some polls but is really an uphill climb for Donald Trump. There’s no question that the Democratic Party is not in particularly good standing right now, with a very large swath of the electorate either disliking or distrusting Hillary Clinton, but the GOP...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, July 20, 2016

It is day three of the RNC convention and I am struggling. The late nights and early mornings are taking their toll. I am no longer the young and flexible person I was at my first convention in 1992. 

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, July 18, 2016

Tragedy strikes again, this time in the south of France. The blood­shed in Nice was just as hor­rif­ic as the as­saults in Par­is last Novem­ber that killed 130. The Nice at­tack was spread over a much lar­ger area

Indiana Governor|By Jennifer Duffy, July 15, 2016

Donald Trump's decision to tap Indiana Republican Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate means that Republicans are going to have to find a new gubernatorial nominee. Pence is prohibited from running for both offices, and he had until noon today to withdraw from the Governor's race.

House Overview |By David Wasserman, July 15, 2016

Omaha, Nebraska is 1,665 miles from Bangor, Maine. Culturally, they're worlds apart: white-collar Omaha is becoming more cosmopolitan while northern Maine is well-known for its blue-collar independent streak. But they could also be the story of the 2016 election in a nutshell.

  • 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 246 Republicans, 188 Democrats and one vacancy. In 2014, thanks to President Obama's standing and the GOP's natural midterm turnout advantages, Republicans picked up 13 seats, winning their largest share of seats since 1928. In 2016, Democrats were already poised to bounce back amid higher presidential turnout, but the prospect of the broadly unpopular Donald Trump as the Republican nominee could put even more GOP seats in jeopardy. Still, given Republicans' redistricting advantages and how well sorted-out the House has become, it would be very difficult for Democrats to net the 30 seats they need for a majority. Today, our outlook is a Democratic gain of 5-15 seats, with substantially larger gains possible if the top of the GOP ticket appears headed for a landslide defeat in November.

  • 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.

Pennsylvania  |  District 16  |  Pitts (R)

Likely R
Solid R

Pennsylvania  |  District 07  |  Meehan (R)

Likely R
Solid R

New Jersey  |  District 03  |  MacArthur (R)

Likely R
Solid R

Indiana  |  District 09  |  Young (R)

Likely R
Solid R

Illinois  |  District 13  |  Davis (R)

Likely R
Solid R

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  • The bible of the political community.
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  • Perhaps the best nonpartisan tracker of Congressional races.
    – David Broder, The Washington Post

Charlie Cook's Column

In the End, Cruz was True to Himself

July 26, 2016

With a one-two punch, Ted Cruz ef­fect­ively launched his can­did­acy for the 2020 Re­pub­lic­an pres­id­en­tial nom­in­a­tion. On Wed­nes­day night, the sen­at­or from Texas took to the stage and urged party mem­bers not to stay home in Novem­ber but to “stand and speak and vote your con­science,” a veiled sug­ges­tion that his own con­science would not al­low him to vote for Don­ald Trump....

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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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The Almanac of American Politics