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Battleground States|By Michael Nelson, August 29, 2016

Mark J. Rozell is Dean of the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University, as well as hold the Hazel Chair in Public Policy. His many books on the American presidency and southern politics include Second Coming: The New Christian Right in Virginia Politics, coauthored with Clyde Wilcox. What follows is the text of an email interview on Virginia politics today.

House Overview|By David Wasserman, August 26, 2016

If Democrats want to make a play for the House majority, they would need to capitalize on all the Republican retirements they possibly can. The problem is, of the 46 open seats and two vacant seats, only 30 are held by Republicans and all but 12 of those are safe Republican seats.

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, August 26, 2016

This presidential race seems to have stabilized at a point where the probability of Hillary Clinton beating Donald Trump is very high, but the margin is tough to predict—as is the rate of voter turnout.

National Politics|By David Wasserman, August 26, 2016

Republicans and the Trump campaign — facing severe polling, staff and advertising disadvantages — might be tempted to point to party voter registration trends as a sign of life and evidence of an underrated ground effort. On Monday, a Politico analysis concluded that “at least one ray of hope for a turnaround” is that Republicans are “winning [the] registration race” in the key states of...

Battleground States|By Michael Nelson, August 25, 2016

Georgia has voted Republican for president in seven of the last eight elections. Is it, as polls indicate, a tossup state? If so, what has happened to bring this about? If not, what are the polls missing?

National Politics|By Amy Walter, August 24, 2016

With just under three months to go in election 2016, some things, specifically the Electoral College math, look much clearer. Clinton not only has a decided lead, but she has a deeper, wider path to 270 than Trump does. Then there’s the stuff that makes the election look less stable - the constant campaign staff shuffling by Trump and the never-ending drip, drip, drip of Clinton’s emails.

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, August 23, 2016

The conventional wisdom holds that the worse a presidential candidate does, the more likely his or her party’s down-ballot candidates will do. Whether you believe that the winning party’s candidates benefit from coattails or that the losing party suffers from depressed turnout, you have a pretty good chance of being right. But a third factor, especially this year, could come into play:...

House Overview|By David Wasserman, August 19, 2016

To survive a potentially large loss at the top of the ticket, many House Republicans will need to win over not just ardent supporters of Donald Trump - many of whom might have considered themselves Democrats decades ago - but also traditional Republican voters who may be considering abandoning their party's presidential nominee for the first time. A new memo sheds light on which districts these...

North Carolina Senate|By Jennifer Duffy, August 19, 2016

Republican Sen. Richard Burr is no stranger to competitive races and it seems that his bid for a third term will be no exception. North Carolina is no longer a lock for Republicans and GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump is causing problems for some Senate incumbents. The passage of H.B. 2, the so-called bathroom bill, and GOP Gov. Pat McCrory’s difficult re-election race have added more...

  • 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, 188 Democrats and one vacancy. In 2014, thanks to President Obama's standing and the GOP's natural midterm turnout advantages, Republicans picked up 13 seats, winning their largest share of seats since 1928. In 2016, Democrats were already poised to bounce back amid higher presidential turnout, but the prospect of the broadly unpopular Donald Trump as the Republican nominee could put even more GOP seats in jeopardy. Still, given Republicans' redistricting advantages and how well sorted-out the House has become, it would be very difficult for Democrats to net the 30 seats they need for a majority. Today, our outlook is a Democratic gain of 5-15 seats, with substantially larger gains possible if the top of the GOP ticket appears headed for a landslide defeat in November.

  • 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.

North Carolina  |  Senate  |  Burr (R)

Toss Up
Lean R

Indiana  |  Governor  |  Pence (R)

Toss Up
Lean R

Washington  |  Governor  |  Inslee (D)

Solid D
Likely D

Vermont  |  Governor  |  Shumlin (D)

Likely D
Toss Up

Montana  |  Governor  |  Bullock (D)

Likely D
Lean D

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Charlie Cook's Column

Predicting Turnout in an Unpredictable Race

August 26, 2016

This presidential race seems to have stabilized at a point where the probability of Hillary Clinton beating Donald Trump is very high, but the margin is tough to predict—as is the rate of voter turnout.

Read more »
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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, 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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The Almanac of American Politics