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National Politics|By Charlie Cook, July 28, 2015

With Donald Trump dominating the headlines and cable-news shows, it's easy to get caught up in the machinations of the unfolding 2016 presidential campaign and lose sight of the stakes—which are even higher than a lot of people appreciate.

House Overview|By David Wasserman and Amy Walter, July 24, 2015

Nearly two years ago, House Speaker John Boehner faced an insurrection from the right flank of his party that forced a government shutdown and nearly cost him his job. This year, the governing environment has measurably detoxified, making passage of perpetually vexing items such as a long-term fix to Medicare physician reimbursement rates possible. Boehner's road ahead today looks less steep...

Oregon Governor|By Jennifer Duffy, July 24, 2015

On February 18 of this year, then-Democratic Secretary of State Kate Brown was sworn in as Oregon’s second woman Governor. Brown succeeded John Kitzhaber, who resigned under the weight of allegations of multiple ethics violations, many of which involved his fiancée, and voter dissatisfaction with the state’s health care exchange. Oregon does not have a Lieutenant Governor. Brown must run in a...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, July 24, 2015

It was inevitable: If given enough rope, Donald Trump would hang himself.

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, July 23, 2015

Let's face it, Donald Trump's campaign is going to be like a tire with a bad leak: The car will go on for a while, but losing speed and increasingly wobbling, so this vehicle is not likely to make it to the finish line at the Cleveland convention. It would be a serious mistake to ignore Trump's supporters and the views they represent, but the actual candidate has real troubles. Before too long,...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, July 23, 2015

A lot of conventional wisdom floating out there about 2016 is grounded more in opinion and assumption than in facts or data. And, as your teacher or mom may have taught you, "assumption makes an A.S.S. out of you and me." Here are some of the most prevalent and pervasive assumptions about the nascent 2016 campaign.

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, July 21, 2015

The situation in which Republican voters find themselves these days is looking more and more like the experience of someone visiting a Baskin-Robbins. Walking into the ice-cream shop, one is immediately overwhelmed by the choices afforded by 31 flavors, but delight soon sets in. One starts off with a large number of options to consider, narrows it down to a handful, and maybe samples a few...

Political Advertising|By Elizabeth Wilner, July 20, 2015

Projecting total political ad spending on television is where Main Street politicking meets Wall Street finance. As noted in this space before, after retransmission fees, broadcasters count on political advertising as their second biggest source of incremental new revenue. Cable companies eye political as a similarly important source of cash. This is why Wall Street analysts have begun...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, July 17, 2015

One topic that often comes up in serious conversations about 2016 presidential politics is whether questions about Hillary Clinton's trustworthiness will be her undoing. Not surprisingly, many of her fiercest critics passionately want this to be the case, but even some of her closest advisers are known to be very concerned about it. It was enough of a worry for Clinton to insist in a recent...

  • 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.

Florida  |  District 13  |  Jolly (R)

Lean D
Toss Up

Oregon  |  Governor  |  Brown (D)

Solid D
Likely D

Florida  |  District 07  |  Mica (R)

Likely R
Solid R

Florida  |  District 10  |  Webster (R)

Lean R
Likely R

Florida  |  District 13  |  Jolly (R)

Toss Up
Likely R

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    – David Broder, The Washington Post

Charlie Cook's Column

What Donald Trump's Surge Meant

July 24, 2015

It was inevitable: If given enough rope, Donald Trump would hang himself.

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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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The Almanac of American Politics