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House Overview|January 22, 2015

How time flies: 2015 marks the halfway point between the last Census (April 1, 2010) and the next one. A common private refrain among House Democrats is that the party won't really have a chance to regain the majority until the current "gerrymandered" lines drawn by the GOP in 2010 are somehow untangled in the next round of redistricting. But a very early look at the reapportionment and...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, January 21, 2015

There are enough potential candidates for president (on the GOP side at least) that you need an Excel spreadsheet just to keep them all straight. Instead of a complicated algorithm, I've boiled each candidate down to his/her most basic elements. At the end of the day, these are the things more likely to define a presidential wannabe. It's also important to distinguish between durable traits and...

POLITICAL ADVERTISING|By Elizabeth Wilner, January 20, 2015

High time or not, the Obama White House didn’t just end the tradition of the State of the Union speech as a must-watch policy trial balloon festival. It killed it as a hook for print ad sales.

House Overview|By David Wasserman, January 16, 2015

For both parties, the new year is a time to reflect and regroup. For Republicans and NRCC Chair Rep. Greg Walden, that means figuring out how to stay the course and preserve 2014 gains during a more challenging presidential cycle. For Democrats and new DCCC Chair Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, it's more about starting from scratch and bouncing back, even if the 30 seat gain needed for the majority looks...

California Senate|By Jennifer Duffy, January 16, 2015

There is no official starting gun in an election cycle. Some believe that it’s the day after the last election, while others tend to look at January 1. At least symbolically, though, a new election cycle for the U.S. Senate might just begin with the first announcement by an incumbent that he/she won’t seek re-election.

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, January 14, 2015

There are some surprising events that warrant being taken very seriously; others, well, not so much. Prior to Thanksgiving, it looked pretty unlikely that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush would actually pull the trigger and seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, even though it was obvious that he personally wanted to do it. Since then, things have changed dramatically, to the point that...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, January 14, 2015

Many Democrats blame their terrible showing at the ballot box in 2014 on a lack of a clear and compelling economic message. In fact, there were plenty of prescient Democrats we spoke to throughout the 2014 campaign who warned that Democrats would lose if they didn't figure out a way to engage the economically distressed voter, most especially downscale female voters. In response, Democrats...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, January 7, 2015

When it comes to making predictions about 2016, there are lots of important numbers to follow. The unemployment rate. Consumer confidence. The president’s approval rating. The horse race polls. But, in my mind, the most important data point to follow is the one which measures Americans’ desire to stay the current course or try a different one in 2016.

Political Advertising|By Elizabeth Wilner, January 6, 2015

The gravitational pull of 2016 is awfully hard to resist. I spent some of the break reviewing past columns on 2014’s adventures in advertising with an eye toward which developments wound up having a big impact in 2014 that will continue to reverberate, and which inchoate innovations of last year could hit home next year. Here, FWIW, are six.

  • 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 246 Republicans and 188 Democrats, with one vacancy. Thanks to President Obama's standing and the GOP's natural midterm turnout advantages, Republicans gained 13 seats in 2014, and if they win an upcoming special election to hold New York's 11th CD on Staten Island, 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.

  • 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).

New York  |  District 19  |  Gibson (R)

Toss Up
Likely R

California  |  Senate  |  Boxer (D)

Solid D
Likely D

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

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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 takes a close look at the 2014 election.

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