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Battleground States|By Michael Nelson, September 29, 2016

Dante J. Scala teaches political science at the University of New Hampshire and is the author of two books about New Hampshire presidential politics: The Four faces of the Republican Party: The Fight for the 2016 Republican Nomination (with Henry Olsen) and Stormy Weather: The New Hampshire Primary and Presidential Politics.

Florida House|By David Wasserman, September 29, 2016

If Democrats want to make a serious dent in Republicans' House majority, they'll need to break through in diversifying, suburban districts where Donald Trump is about as popular as snarled traffic. Florida's 7th CD, north of Orlando and near the site of both the Pulse Nightclub and Trayvon Martin shootings, fits that description perfectly. Yet as recently as June, Democrats couldn't even find a...

House Overview|By David Wasserman, September 29, 2016

The narrowing gap in the presidential race has given Republican House strategists renewed optimism that Donald Trump may not be as big a drag on their candidates as they once feared. With a few notable exceptions, recent polls have depicted stable or improving GOP numbers in many districts Democrats have considered top targets. This week, we are revising our ratings in eight districts,...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, September 27, 2016

The first debate of the 2016 fall season has concluded with a whimper more than a bang. If you were expecting the sky to fall or the race to be completed upended, you were sorely disappointed. If you went into the debate expecting or hoping see a more thoughtful, nuanced and disciplined Trump, you didn’t get it. If you expected - or hoped - to hear Hillary Clinton’s vision for the future or the...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, September 27, 2016

This pres­id­en­tial race is very, very close, with the poll av­er­ages show­ing Hil­lary Clin­ton nurs­ing a small lead. The Real­Clear­Polit­ics.com av­er­age puts her ahead of Don­ald Trump by just 1.1 points, 41 per­cent to 39.9 per­cent, with Liber­tari­an Gary John­son third at 8.8 per­cent and Green Party can­did­ate Jill Stein fourth with 2.9 per­cent. The RCP two-way gives Clin­ton a...

Senate Overview|By Jennifer Duffy, September 23, 2016

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ success in popularizing a progressive agenda during the Democratic presidential primary has given the progressive movement some momentum. Progressives in the Senate seem especially emboldened, which begs the question of how substantial and influential will this bloc be if Democrats win the majority in November?

California House|By David Wasserman, September 23, 2016

Republicans haven't gained a House seat in California since 1998, and Santa Barbara and the Central Coast aren't exactly Donald Trump bastions. But a new poll conducted by the Tarrance Group for GOP nominee Justin Fareed's campaign shows him leading Democratic Santa Barbara Supervisor Salud Carbajal 46 percent to 43 percent in the race for retiring Democratic Rep. Lois Capps's open seat, and...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, September 23, 2016

If you fo­cus on the na­tion­al pres­id­en­tial horse-race polls, Hil­lary Clin­ton has a sliv­er of a lead over Don­ald Trump—by nine-tenths of a point in the Real­Clear­Polit­ics.com av­er­age of ma­jor na­tion­al polls in the two-way tri­al heat, 44.9 to 44 per­cent; by sev­en-tenths of a point in the four-way heat, 41 to 40.3 per­cent, with Liber­tari­an Gary John­son third at 8.6 per­cent...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, September 23, 2016

The two major party conventions are now behind us and the consequent bounces have had time to settle giving us a presidential race that isn’t over, but one that is fully developed. Many observers have noted that in the last six decades of modern presidential polling, the candidate with the lead in the polls two weeks after the final convention has always won. Presumably, but not certainly there...

  • 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 247 Republicans, 186 Democrats and two vacancies. In 2014, 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, and hope that linking Republican candidates to unpopular GOP nominee Donald Trump could put even more GOP seats in jeopardy. But given Republicans' redistricting advantages and how well sorted-out the House has become, it remains very unlikely Democrats will net the 30 seats they need for a majority. Today, our outlook is a Democratic gain of 5-20 seats, with slightly larger gains possible if the top of the GOP ticket appears headed for a landslide defeat.

  • 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.

Wisconsin  |  District 08  |  Ribble (R)

Toss Up
Lean R

Washington  |  District 08  |  Reichert (R)

Likely R
Solid R

New York  |  District 24  |  Katko (R)

Toss Up
Lean R

New York  |  District 01  |  Zeldin (R)

Toss Up
Lean R

Iowa  |  District 01  |  Blum (R)

Lean D
Toss Up

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    – David Broder, The Washington Post

Charlie Cook's Column

Clinton’s Narrow Lead Could Produce an Electoral Rout

September 27, 2016

This pres­id­en­tial race is very, very close, with the poll av­er­ages show­ing Hil­lary Clin­ton nurs­ing a small lead. The Real­Clear­Polit­ics.com av­er­age puts her ahead of Don­ald Trump by just 1.1 points, 41 per­cent to 39.9 per­cent, with Liber­tari­an Gary John­son third at 8.8 per­cent and Green Party can­did­ate Jill Stein fourth with 2.9 per­cent. The RCP two-way gives Clin­ton a...

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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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