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National Politics|By Charlie Cook, June 27, 2017

There’s an old say­ing that close only counts in horse­shoes and hand gren­ades, and that’s cer­tainly how Demo­crats must feel after los­ing their third and fourth at­tempts of the year to wrestle away Re­pub­lic­an-held seats in spe­cial con­gres­sion­al elec­tions. In fair­ness, the first two shouldn’t fully count against them since the Demo­crat­ic Con­gres­sion­al Cam­paign Com­mit­tee was...

Governors Overview|By Jennifer Duffy, June 23, 2017

While most of the political world has been focused on special elections for vacant House seats and the developing congressional mid-term elections, the two gubernatorial contests that will take place this November and the 36 races on the ballot in 2018 have started to take shape.

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, June 23, 2017

For con­gres­sion­al Re­pub­lic­ans in the new norm of the Trump pres­id­ency, noth­ing is easy, and everything is hard. Rais­ing the debt ceil­ing in or­der to keep the gov­ern­ment from de­fault­ing on its debt is nor­mally easy; now it is hard. Passing an om­ni­bus budget bill to simply keep the gov­ern­ment op­er­at­ing (for­get the idea of passing the full bat­tery of 12 ap­pro­pri­ations...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, June 21, 2017

As I predicted back in March, Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi played an outsized role in the special elections held in GOP-leaning seats this spring. Republicans pounded the Atlanta airwaves in the GA-06 special election with thousands of ads attacking Democrat Jon Ossoff, who positioned himself as a moderate and a centrist, as a puppet for Pelosi’s “liberal agenda.”...

Georgia House|By David Wasserman, June 21, 2017

It's a devastating psychological blow for a party to spend over $30 million on a House special election and still lose. For Democrats, Jon Ossoff's defeat to Karen Handel stings, and the blame game is already raging: "Why did Ossoff run such a bland campaign? Why didn't he take a sledgehammer to Trump and the AHCA? Don't Democrats need to recruit little league coaches with deeper ties to their...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, June 20, 2017

After the sense­less shoot­ing Wed­nes­day morn­ing at the Re­pub­lic­an base­ball prac­tice, writ­ing about elect­or­al polit­ics seems in­ap­pro­pri­ate. That column can wait.

House Overview|By David Wasserman, June 16, 2017

The huge story out of last week's UK parliamentary elections was that Prime Minister Theresa May's decision to call them backfired spectacularly. Less noticed here, but perhaps with much larger implications for American politics, was where Tories suffered their most embarrassing losses: the constituencies where a Labour victory, especially one led by the likes of Jeremy Corbyn, would have...

Virginia Governor|By Jennifer Duffy, June 16, 2017

Voters got a nail-biter of a primary night, just not the one they expected.

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, June 16, 2017

The score is now 2-1: Bri­tain has pro­duced two stun­ning elect­or­al sur­prises in the last year, the United States just one. While there is a danger in read­ing too much in­to the res­ults of in­di­vidu­al elec­tions, par­tic­u­larly one from an ocean away, there are some com­mon threads. Both Brexit and Don­ald Trump’s pres­id­en­tial vic­tory were about pop­u­lism, na­tion­al­ism,...

  • 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. In 2016, 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 has been helped by open seats, particularly compared to the last three cycles. Democrats need five seats – or four if they retain the White House – to take back the majority. Wth two weeks before Election Day, Democrats appear to be on track to pick up between four and six seats.

  • The 2016 election resulted in a House breakdown of 240 Republicans and 194 Democrats, with one Louisiana seat headed to a December 10 runoff that is very likely to be won by a Republican. Democrats scored a net gain of six seats, a disappointing result for a party that had hoped to pick up more than 15 and cut the GOP's majority in half. Democrats' best hope for a majority in 2018 would be an unpopular President Donald Trump. But given Republicans' redistricting advantages and how well sorted-out the House has become, it could still be very difficult for Democrats to pick up the 24 seats they would need.

  • 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.

Tennessee  |  Governor  |  Haslam (R)

Likely R
Solid R

Kansas  |  Governor  |  Brownback (R)

Likely R
Solid R

Illinois  |  Governor  |  Rauner (R)

Toss Up
Lean R

New Mexico  |  Governor  |  Martinez (R)

Lean D
Toss Up

New Jersey  |  Governor  |  Christie (R)

Likely D
Lean D

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    – David Broder, The Washington Post

Charlie Cook's Column

Democrats Find It’s Risky to Poke the GOP Elephant

June 27, 2017

There’s an old say­ing that close only counts in horse­shoes and hand gren­ades, and that’s cer­tainly how Demo­crats must feel after los­ing their third and fourth at­tempts of the year to wrestle away Re­pub­lic­an-held seats in spe­cial con­gres­sion­al elec­tions. In fair­ness, the first two shouldn’t fully count against them since the Demo­crat­ic Con­gres­sion­al Cam­paign Com­mit­tee was...

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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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