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Minnesota House |By David Wasserman, September 3, 2015

Today, GOP Rep. John Kline (MN-02) announced that he would retire after seven terms in 2016. Kline's military background and chairmanship of the House Education and the Workforce Committee helped him thrive politically in a swing district south of the Twin Cities, and he even won comfortably in the 2006 and 2008 Democratic waves. But without Kline on the ballot, Minnesota's 2nd CD will become...

House Overview|By David Wasserman, August 28, 2015

House Republicans are hurtling towards the fall with lots of concerns: how to reconcile a deadline to fund the government with conservatives' demands to defund Planned Parenthood, navigating highway funding, and the need to raise the debt limit. However, losing lots of seats or the majority next year isn't one of them.

House Overview|By David Wasserman, August 28, 2015

Kirkpatrick's decision to run for Senate makes this northern Arizona seat one of Republicans' best pickup opportunities. But Democrats are optimistic that their latest entry, former state Sen. Tom O'Halleran, has the unique nonpartisan profile it will take to win this Romney-won seat. O'Halleran, a former Republican, narrowly lost a race for state senate as an independent in 2014.

North Dakota Senate|By Jennifer Duffy, August 28, 2015

This is an analysis of a Senate race that doesn’t yet exist and may never happen. If it comes to be, though, it could have a real impact on what the Senate looks like in 2017.

North Dakota Governor |By Jennifer Duffy, August 28, 2015

Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple announced Monday that he would not seek a second full term in 2016. Speculation on his replacement has focused less on Republicans and more on one Democrat, U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp. Heitkamp might be the only Democrat in the state who can make the open gubernatorial contest competitive.

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...

  • 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.

Minnesota  |  District 02  |  Kline (R)

Toss Up
Likely R

Florida  |  District 02  |  Graham (D)

Toss Up
Lean R

New York  |  District 23  |  Reed (R)

Likely R
Solid R

Nevada  |  District 04  |  Hardy (R)

Lean D
Toss Up

Florida  |  District 10  |  Webster (R)

Lean D
Toss Up

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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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