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POLITICAL ADVERTISING|By Elizabeth Wilner, August 27, 2015

One lesson mislearned by non-practitioners-journalists and layfolk-from the post-2012 crash course in Big Data and new technologies is that "digital" and "data" are interchangeable when in fact they're really not the same.

National Politics|By Amy Walter, August 26, 2015

Like a blockbuster movie, Donald Trump has dominated the summer. But, plenty of other candidates have been on the move too; some went up while others saw their fortunes dip. As we countdown to Labor Day and the traditional “end of the summer,” here’s a quick look at how the Trump summer has shaken out the field.

Virginia House|By David Wasserman, August 21, 2015

House Democrats privately admit they don't have much hope of gaining the House back in 2016, but they are eager to engage strategists and donors in the long game: challenge GOP-drawn maps in court, plot to win back governorships in 2018, and raise money for state legislative races in 2020 that will be critical for the next round of map-drawing in 2020. For now, it's all about "chipping away,"...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, August 18, 2015

When it comes to picking candidates for president, summer is for dating and winter is for mating. The question is not so much why Donald Trump and other anti-establishment candidates like Ben Carson and Bernie Sanders are gaining traction this summer. Instead, the question is whether voters’ affection will stay with these candidates as the summer suns fades and the cold of the February...

Idaho House|By David Wasserman, August 14, 2015

Idaho's two members are both Republicans, but that's about all they have in common. Still, both seem to have entrenched themselves after a wild last few years. Rep. Raul Labrador (ID-01) riles the leadership frequently, but has continued to win reelection easily. And Rep. Mike Simpson (ID-02), a key GOP leadership ally, sent a message to the Tea Party by thumping a Club for Growth-backed...

Hawaii House |By David Wasserman, August 14, 2015

For years, Sen. Daniel Inouye's political organization dominated Hawaii politics, anointing loyalists up and down the ballot. But Inouye's passing in 2012 prompted a multi-year game of musical chairs, and the old machine has crumbled. In 2014, Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, an Inouye protege, challenged appointed Sen. Brian Schatz in the primary and lost.

Georgia House|By David Wasserman, August 14, 2015

Republicans strengthened their grip in Georgia in 2014 when they finally defeated the last white House Democrat in the Deep South, Rep. John Barrow. Between a competitive Senate race and three open GOP seats, 2014 was a political frenzy in the Peach State. But so far, 2016 is shaping up to be much quieter.

Political Advertising|By Elizabeth Wilner, August 12, 2015

If you work in political advertising, it’s easy to believe that the business, populated by its own agencies and governed by unique rates and rules, exists in isolation from the rest of the ad industry. Quite to the contrary, political buffets the broader industry in two big ways. First, as a cause of increasing disruption. As Election Days draw closer, more and more nonpolitical ads are...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, August 7, 2015

The biggest winner was Fox News. The questions were tough but fair, no one can accuse Fox of pulling their punches. Donald Trump came into the debate with a big lead in the polls so they reserved their toughest punches for him, but every candidate in the primetime debate was worked over. Fox was also vindicated in their decision to bifurcate the debates. There is no way the prime time...

  • 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 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, their largest share 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, netting 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.

North Dakota  |  Governor  |  Dalrymple (R)

Likely R
Solid R

Florida  |  District 10  |  Webster (R)

Toss Up
Lean R

New Jersey  |  District 05  |  Garrett (R)

Lean R
Likely R

Kentucky  |  Governor  |  Beshear (D)

Lean D
Toss Up

Florida  |  District 13  |  Jolly (R)

Lean D
Toss Up

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    – David Broder, The Washington Post

Charlie Cook's Column

Biden vs. Clinton Buzz Adds to 2016 Intrigue

August 6, 2015

It certainly is hard for me to relate to University of Alabama and New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath's 1969 fun autobiography, I Can't Wait Until Tomorrow ... 'Cause I Get Better-Looking Every Day. But in terms of politics these days, I do feel that I "can't wait until tomorrow ... 'cause Campaign 2016 is getting better every day."

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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