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National Politics|By Amy Walter, August 27, 2014

Despite dismal numbers for President Obama, a public deeply pessimistic about the direction of the country, and a Senate battleground based almost solely in red states, Republicans aren’t running up the score in Senate races, even in deep red states. Many are asking: why hasn’t the bottom dropped out on Democrats yet? The answer is: it already did. Since very early this cycle, both sides...

Political Advertising|By Elizabeth Wilner, August 26, 2014

Whenever some big story hits, we at CMAG get asked whether we’re starting to see it show up in political ads. The tumult in the Middle East? (No.) The border crisis? (Not so much—just in a trio of Senate races, plus here and there at the House level.) Politicians’ aversion to risk keeps most from airing ads that stake out any position on a moving national story. One big news story of 2014,...

House Overview|By David Wasserman, August 22, 2014

Next Tuesday marks the last major primary day of the year, as Arizona and Florida head to the polls for their primaries and Oklahoma decides a GOP runoff in the 5th CD. After next week, the only real House primary contests left will be in New Hampshire, where Republicans are holding competitive primaries in both districts for the right to take on Democratic Reps. Carol Shea-Porter and Annie...

Montana Senate|By Jennifer Duffy, August 22, 2014

When U.S. Sen. Max Baucus announced his retirement, Democrats were quick to say that they would hold the seat without much effort. While that claim was premature, not even Democrats could have imagined the strange twists and turns that this race...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, August 21, 2014

There was quite a flurry of interest the other day about the fact that highly endangered Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor released an ad praising Obamacare. Ok, he didn’t actually praise it. He didn’t even use the term “Obamacare” or “Affordable Care Act”. Still, given the fact that even President Obama never mentioned the health care law in English language ads during the 2012 campaign, it’s...

Senate Overview|By Jennifer Duffy, August 15, 2014

Georgia: Despite the fact that the Peach State is a challenge for them, Democrats have made good on their promise to contest this Republican-held open seat. President Obama took 46 percent here in 2012, a point less than he got in 2008. Republicans hold both U.S. Senate seats, eight of the 13 congressional districts, the governorship, and both chambers of the state legislature. But, Democrats...

Governors Overview|By Jennifer Duffy, August 15, 2014

Connecticut: The 2010 race for what was an open seat was epic. There were competitive primaries on both sides and a general election that was so close it took a several days before the winner was announced. In the end, former Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy beat Republican businessman Tom Foley by about 6,400 votes out over 1.1 million ballots cast. It looks as if 2014 will be a rematch. Foley easily...

In Appreciation|August 15, 2014

Dotty was a friend of ours for 35 years and a real professional. As a pollster in the 1970s, she broke the glass ceiling for women who wanted to work in politics. Later, she and her late colleague, Marty Plissner, shaped the political coverage for CBS News in ways that...

Political Advertising|By Elizabeth Wilner, August 12, 2014

Political advertising may not make anyone’s list of key economic indicators, but 2014 campaign commercials offer another gauge of an improving economy. Whereas jobs and unemployment was the most-mentioned specific economic issue at the top of the ballot in 2012, it has been supplanted by government spending in key 2014 Senate races. Another mark of an improving economy between 2012...

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The 2014 Political Environment

Updated August 26, 2014 | As the 2014 midterm 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 current Senate line-up is 53 Democrats, 45 Republicans, and two independents that caucus with Democrats.  There are 36 Senate races on the ballot in 2014.  To win the majority, Republicans would have to score a net gain of six seats.  Democrats are defending 21 of these seats, including six in states that GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney won easily in 2012, and two more that are in swing states.  By contrast, Republicans will defend 15 seats, only one of which is in a state that President Obama carried in 2012.  Republicans have also successfully expanded the playing field of vulnerable Democratic-held seats, increasing their chances of winning the majority.  Republicans are on track to pick up between four and six seats; it is more likely than not that the number will be at the higher end of – and may exceed – that range.

  • The current House breakdown is 234 Republicans, 199 Democrats, and two Democratic vacancies. Democrats need a net gain of 17 seats to reach a majority in 2014. Because the House is well sorted-out, large shifts or a change in partisan control of the House are unlikely. In large part because of President Obama's standing and the GOP's midterm turnout advantages, we would estimate a Republican gain of between two and 12 House seats if the election were held today.

  • The current line up of the nation’s Governors is 29 Republicans and 21 Democrats. There are 36 contests in 2014. Of these 36 races, 22 are held by Republicans and 14 by Democrats. Republicans have far more exposure to losses. Of the GOP’s 22 seats, President Obama easily carried seven of these states in 2012, while another three seats are in swing states. Only one of Democrats’ 14 seats is in a state that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried. While a favorable political landscape should help Republicans in the Senate and the House, it won’t be as helpful in gubernatorial contests. As such, Democrats are likely to gain between two and four seats.

Montana  |  Senate  |  Walsh (D)

Lean R
Likely R

Kansas  |  Senate  |  Roberts (R)

Likely R
Solid R

Connecticut  |  Governor  |  Malloy (D)

Lean D
Toss Up

Hawaii  |  Governor  |  Abercrombie (D)

Lean D
Toss Up

Michigan  |  District 11  |  Bentivolio (R)

Likely R
Solid R

The Cook Political Report is...

  • A newsletter that both parties regard as authoritative.
    – The New York Times
  • The bible of the political community.
    – Bob Schieffer, host of CBS News "Face the Nation"
  • Perhaps the best nonpartisan tracker of Congressional races.
    – David Broder, The Washington Post

Charlie Cook's Column

The Lessons of 2010

August 5, 2014

In real estate, the three most important things are said to be "location, location, and location." In politics, it might well be "timing, timing, and timing." As we approach the 2014 midterm elections, the Senate's Democratic majority is teetering on the edge, but the House is just an afterthought, with little chance that it will change control or direction. Had it not been for the Democratic...

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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 look at the 2014 primary season ahead of November's midterm elections.

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