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Kentucky Governor |By Jennifer Duffy, May 22, 2015

Democrats – and specifically state Attorney General Jack Conway – were the biggest winners on primary night. Conway faced just token opposition for Democratic nomination for this open seat. The race for the Republicans nomination was far more interesting and ultimately beneficial to Democrats.

California House|By David Wasserman, May 22, 2015

The 2014 GOP wave stopped short of the West Coast. But if that's not disappointing enough for Golden State Republicans, they could be in an even bigger hole if the Supreme Court invalidates the work of citizen-led redistricting commissions in a ruling on a case originating in Arizona. The decision is expected within a month, and Sacramento Democrats are already chomping at the bit to add even...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, May 21, 2015

Several developments over the past week in the presidential race seem worthy of note. Hillary Clinton is coming under increasing fire from journalists and opponents for not answering many questions from the media, while former Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio probably are regretting answering any at all.

National Politics|By Amy Walter, May 20, 2015

I went to Iowa last weekend to check out the GOP field. Yes, it’s still very early in the process. And, yes one dinner featuring eleven potential candidates and 1,200 or so GOP voters can’t tell you who’s going to win in February. Even so, I find these events – bracketed by smaller meet-and-greets between candidates and voters - to be a useful exercise. You can’t predict how a race will end,...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, May 19, 2015

The field for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination is as flat as any in modern memory—pretty remarkable for a party that usually has a fight but almost invariably ends up nominating whoever's turn it is. While nomination trial-heat polling tells us very little this early, there are some poll questions that are better measurements of at least where these candidates are starting out,...

California House|By David Wasserman, May 15, 2015

The 2014 GOP wave stopped short of the West Coast. But if that's not disappointing enough for Golden State Republicans, they could be in an even bigger hole if the Supreme Court invalidates the work of citizen-led redistricting commissions in a ruling on a case originating in Arizona. The decision is expected within a month, and Sacramento Democrats are already designing plans to add even more...

Senate Overview|By Jennifer Duffy, May 15, 2015

Indiana: Republicans are currently favored to hold on to this seat being vacated by Sen. Dan Coats at the end of this Congress. Eric Holcomb, Coats’ former chief of staff and a former state party chair, was the first to announce his candidacy and has Coats’ endorsement. U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman recently announced that he would also seek the GOP nod. Several other candidates are actively...

Mississippi House|By David Wasserman, May 15, 2015

Tuesday's 13-candidate, nonpartisan special election to replace the late GOP Rep. Alan Nunnelee couldn't have gone better for Republican Trent Kelly, a regional prosecutor and Iraq veteran. Kelly earned one of the two June 2 runoff slots with just 16 percent of the vote. But even better, the other slot went to Democrat Walter Zinn, a former aide to the mayor of Jackson who raised just $11,500...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, May 15, 2015

The battle for control of the Senate is finally underway and if early indications are correct, Republicans can be no more confident that they will keep the majority in the next Congress than Democrats could have been at this point in 2013.

  • 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 245 Republicans and 188 Democrats, with two vacancies. Thanks to President Obama's standing and the GOP's natural midterm turnout advantages, Republicans gained 13 seats in 2014, and if they win upcoming special elections in New York's 11th CD and Mississippi's 1st CD, 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. 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.

Vermont  |  Governor  |  Shumlin (D)

Solid D
Likely D

Louisiana  |  Governor  |  Jindal (R)

Lean R
Likely R

California  |  District 31  |  Aguilar (D)

Solid D
Likely D

California  |  District 26  |  Brownley (D)

Solid D
Likely D

California  |  District 25  |  Knight (R)

Lean R
Likely R

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Charlie Cook's Column

A Tough Question for 2016 Candidates

May 21, 2015

Several developments over the past week in the presidential race seem worthy of note. Hillary Clinton is coming under increasing fire from journalists and opponents for not answering many questions from the media, while former Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio probably are regretting answering any at all.

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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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