Republican U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran announced this morning that he plans to seek a seventh term next year. Of the 14 GOP incumbents up for re-election in 2014, Cochran is the last to announce his re-election plans. Cochran probably doesn’t have much to fear in a general election. His much more significant challenge will be in the primary where he will face Chris McDaniel, a 41...
The 2014 elections are now 11 months away, but the political scene has already undergone dramatic changes just in the past three months. Republicans went into a political free fall after the government shutdown, and shortly thereafter Democrats plunged into boiling water thanks to the botched launch of and early public reaction to the Affordable Care Act. This column has cautioned against...
If there were a theme for 2014 midterms, it would be "fear and loathing of Washington, D.C." Congress is as about as popular as gonorrhea. President Obama's approval ratings and personal ratings are at the lowest point of his presidency. Republicans, as well, have seen their favorable ratings hit all-time lows. But while neither party can escape blame or scorn, Democrats are more likely...
Republicans haven't won a House seat in Massachusetts since 1994, and though they came within inches of knocking off 6th CD Democratic Rep. John Tierney in 2012, they have no hope of winning next week's special election in new Sen. Ed Markey's old 5th CD, which Democratic state Sen. Katherine Clark is certain to capture. Instead, the biggest target in 2014 will again be Tierney, who will likely...
One look at Maryland's congressional district map is all it takes to realize Democrats can't claim the "moral high ground" on gerrymandering. In 2012, Democrats artfully altered their already-contorted map to safeguard all six of their incumbents and defeat 20-year GOP incumbent Roscoe Bartlett in the western corner of the state, for a 7-1 delegation. Now, the only question in 2014 is whether...
The Cook Political Report is pleased to introduce our chart of 2014 Congressional Primary Elections by Month to help you keep track of next year's election calendar. Several states are holding primaries earlier than they have in the past, and if there is any window whatsoever for House Republicans to take up an immigration bill...
The Obama Administration’s proposed rules to curb the influence of nonprofit groups in elections by 2016 are being met with a “meh” by some top election lawyers. Broadcasters may not feel quite so sanguine given the prominence of these nonprofits in their business model. Along with other types of outside groups, 501(c)4 organizations have been the biggest booster of...
Hardly a day or two goes by that a new poll isn't released showing President Obama with the lowest job-approval rating of his presidency. Of the major independent media polls using live interviewers, Obama's highest recent approval ratings were 42 percent in the ABC News/Washington Post and NBC News/Wall Street Journal polls, with disapproval ratings of 55 and 51 percent, respectively...
If you think about it, all the ingredients necessary for a political explosion are in place: Congress's unfavorable ratings are at record-high levels, and, according to Gallup, its favorable ratings are down to 9 percent (who knew members had so many friends and family?). A large segment of the electorate is furious with Republicans over the shutdown, and a second group is boiling over about...
The 2014 Political Environment
Updated December 6, 2013 | 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.
- Right Direction/Wrong Track Polling
- Presidential Job Approval Ratings
- Consumer Confidence/Consumer Sentiment
- ACA/Obamacare: Public Approval
- Party Affiliation
- Democratic/Republican Party Favorability Ratings
- The Generic Congressional Ballot Test
Also: "What It Takes:" 2014 House and Senate MathRead full report »
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The current Senate line-up is 53 Democrats, 45 Republicans, and two independents that caucus with Democrats. There are 35 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 14 seats, only one of which is in a state that President Obama carried in 2012. These numbers would suggest that Republicans should be in a position to gain seats this cycle. At this early stage, the odds of Democrats losing seats are far greater than the odds of them gaining seats.
The current House breakdown is 232 Republicans, 200 Democrats, and three vacancies (two Republican and one Democratic). 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. If the election were held today, we would estimate a Republican gain of between zero and 10 seats. However, if House Republicans choose to pursue unpopular strategies similar to those that led to the October 2013 government shutdown, Democratic gains are possible.
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. At this point in the cycle, it appears that Republicans are more likely to lose seats than gain them.
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Charlie Cook's Column
Uphill BattlesDecember 6, 2013
The 2014 elections are now 11 months away, but the political scene has already undergone dramatic changes just in the past three months. Republicans went into a political free fall after the government shutdown, and shortly thereafter Democrats plunged into boiling water thanks to the botched launch of and early public reaction to the Affordable Care Act. This column has cautioned against...Read more »
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The 2014 Cook Political Report Partisan Voter Index (PVI)
Since 1997, the Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter 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.
The Rhodes Cook Letter
This latest issue of "The Rhodes Cook Letter" takes a look at voter turnout, which has been high of late in presidential elections - at least high by U.S. standards. There is also a look at the unfolding special elections, with a particular emphasis on...Download »