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National Politics|By Cook Political Report Staff, December 19, 2014

The votes have been tallied and all recounts completed. Congress even managed to adjourn sine die. That means it really is time to close the books on the 2014 election cycle. It also means that we are going to take some time off to recharge for the 2016 election. We’ll be back the week of January 12, 2015. In the meantime, here are 40 interesting facts about the 2014 election to hold you...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, December 19, 2014

Some books you read for grand or provocative ideas and deep thoughts. Others offer insights and vignettes that help you understand something better. Chuck Todd's The Stranger: Barack Obama in the White House is more of the latter type. Hundreds of books and thousands of articles have already been written about Obama's presidency, and there will be many more. The truth is, this field has...

Senate Overview|By Jennifer Duffy, December 12, 2014

As any truly seasoned political strategist knows, political parties have good election cycles and bad election cycles. A party can have a favorable political environment, a good electoral map, and few vulnerable seats that enables them to pick up seats and perhaps even the majority one year only to face exactly the opposite set of circumstances two years later. This reversal of fortune will...

House Overview|By David Wasserman, December 12, 2014

The ink is barely dry on the results of this November's election, but it's not too early to start handicapping 2016. And while you can never say the word "impossible," Democrats' road back to a House majority doesn't look navigable today. After all, Democrats would need to net 30 GOP seats, but there are only 16 House Republicans who won by less than 10 percent in 2014 and only 25 sitting in...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, December 12, 2014

It's true that perspective is everything in politics, but we often forget just how true that is. There can be two diametrically opposed points of view, each supported by indisputable facts, but reality can be somewhere in between. Although no one can deny that Democrats have had an awful year—three-term Sen. Mary Landrieu's reelection loss on Saturday put the final exclamation point on...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, December 10, 2014

For the last couple of years we’ve been hearing the same story. While unemployment drops and the stock market rises, Americans’ views of the economy remain dour. Some Democrats argue that’s because the president and the party haven’t done a good enough job selling the economic recovery. Others point to flat wage growth and anemic GDP growth. But the latest poll from CNBC’s “All-America...

Political Advertising|By Elizabeth Wilner, December 9, 2014

To win re-election in 2012, President Barack Obama’s targeting-savvy campaign aired 143 unique commercials across more than a dozen states. To win re-election in 2014, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) aired 61 unique ads across Kentucky. CMAG considers any revision of an ad, no matter how small the change, to be a new unique ad or “creative.” That said, beyond mistaking Blue Devils for Wildcats...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, December 9, 2014

One of the few political topics on which there is virtually universal agreement—both inside and outside the Beltway—is that Congress is broken. The longer one has been in Washington, the more one is convinced that something has gone terribly wrong. But once the subject turns to who is to blame, opinions tend to diverge. Funny thing: People who are Democrats and liberal overwhelmingly blame...

House Overview|By David Wasserman, December 5, 2014

Now that virtually all votes have been counted, there are countless ways to dissect what happened. And while Republicans are almost certain to wind up with an historic majority of 247 seats (pending Saturday's Louisiana runoffs and a recount in Arizona), the seat count isn't the only number that matters. The fissures in the House GOP over voting to block President Obama's executive order on...

  • After two disappointing cycles, Republicans have won the majority in the Senate.  We had been predicting that Republicans would pick up between four and seven seats, noting that it would likely be on the higher end of that range and might even exceed it.  They did exceed it, scoring a net gain of eight seats.  The run-off in Louisiana between Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu and GOP U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy could make it nine seats.  The new Senate line-up is 53 Republicans, 46 Democrats, including two independents that caucus with the Democrats, and one undecided race. 

  • The current House breakdown is 234 Republicans and 201 Democrats. Thanks to President Obama's standing and the GOP's midterm turnout advantages, Republicans appear to have gained 13 seats, assuming their candidate's lead withstands a recount in Arizona's 2nd CD. If Republicans were to gain 13 seats, they would win their largest majority since Herbert Hoover was elected in 1928. This also means Democrats would need to capture 30 GOP seats to win a majority in 2016, a very difficult proposition considering the House is very well sorted-out.

  • The 36 Governors races on the ballot this cycle were supposed to provide Democrats with a silver lining on election night.  For much of the cycle, they looked poised to pick up between two and four seats since Republicans had to defend governorships in states President Obama carried easily in 2012.  But, Republican incumbents ran very solid races, while Democrats struggled to hold their some of their open seats, including two in very blue states.  In the end, Republicans actually picked up seats, defeating Gov. Pat Quinn in Illinois and winning open seats in Arkansas, Maryland, and Massachusetts.  The GOP lost Pennsylvania, where Gov. Tom Corbett was running for a second term, and the results of Gov. Sean Parnell's re-election bid in Alaska are pending.  The new line up of the nation’s Governors is 31 Republicans and 17 Democrats, with the outcome of two races pending (Alaska and Vermont).

Louisiana  |  Senate  |  Landrieu (D)

Toss Up
Lean R

New York  |  District 11  |  Grimm (R)

Toss Up
Lean R

Maryland  |  District 06  |  Delaney (D)

Solid D
Likely D

Hawaii  |  Governor  |  Abercrombie (D)

Lean D
Toss Up

Kentucky  |  Senate  |  McConnell (R)

Toss Up
Lean R

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  • The bible of the political community.
    – Bob Schieffer, host of CBS News "Face the Nation"
  • Perhaps the best nonpartisan tracker of Congressional races.
    – David Broder, The Washington Post

Charlie Cook's Column

White House Window

December 19, 2014

Some books you read for grand or provocative ideas and deep thoughts. Others offer insights and vignettes that help you understand something better. Chuck Todd's The Stranger: Barack Obama in the White House is more of the latter type. Hundreds of books and thousands of articles have already been written about Obama's presidency, and there will be many more. The truth is, this field has...

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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 looks at the run-up to the 2014 election.

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