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National Politics|By Charlie Cook, February 11, 2014

We can only imagine the mood in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's office, or at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, on the day a front-page article in Politico screamed, "Democrats: Cede House to Save Senate." Having heard Pelosi arguing vigorously within the last three weeks—in private—that Democrats could still win a House majority this year, and pushing back hard against any...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, February 9, 2014

The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza created something of a stir recently with his column headlined, “2014 Senate races may be a referendum on Obama; if so, Democrats should worry.”Cillizza (a former Cook Political Report staffer) linked to the Gallup Organization’s just-released aggregation of all of its 2013 polling data, with President Obama’s job-approval and disapproval numbers broken down...

Montana Senate|By Jennifer Duffy, February 7, 2014

As expected, Montana Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock has appointed Lt. Gov. John Walsh to fill the remainder of Democratic Sen. Max Baucus' term.  The Senate approved Baucus' appointment as Ambassador to China yesterday.Last year, Baucus announced his intention to retire at the end of this Congress, and Walsh was already running for the open seat.  His appointment now affords him all...

House Overview|By David Wasserman, February 6, 2014

Every three months, like clockwork, reporters covering congressional contests work themselves into a tizzy over the latest candidate fundraising reports, quickly identifying winners, losers, and everything in between. The frenzy shouldn't come as a surprise; FEC reports provide a ready-made, quantifiable measurement of candidates' supposed strength and viability. But buyer beware: there are...

New Hampshire House|By David Wasserman, February 6, 2014

Since 2006, New Hampshire's two House seats have been ping pong balls, bouncing back and forth between the parties three times in unison. The reason for this volatility? New Hampshire's huge share of independents, who don't adhere strongly to either party and take out their frustrations often. Both Democratic Reps. Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) and Annie Kuster (NH-02) are at risk again, but first...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, February 6, 2014

It's hard to remember a presidential contest receiving this much attention so long before the election cycle even began. We have the burbling question of whether Hillary Clinton will run, not to mention a look at the former secretary of State and her closest circle of advisers and supporters in a New York Times Magazine cover story; we've seen the drama around New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, February 5, 2014

Not so long ago, Speaker John Boehner was the leader of an undisciplined, deeply divided majority that seemed bent on self-destruction. Now, just three months after the disastrous GOP-led government shutdown, Boehner looks like a man in control of his party and his own legislative destiny. He’s lashed out at outside groups who have been stirring up discontent within the...

Political Advertising|By Elizabeth Wilner, February 4, 2014

Think you’ve seen all the Super Bowl ads? Sure, you saw the Clydesdales and the puppy, the so-slick car commercials, the weird GoDaddy spot. You may even have spotted Sean Astin in the Carmax ad that was a riff on top-10 football movie of all time, “Rudy.” But you probably didn’t see former Perdue basketball star Curt Clawson (R), who’s seeking resigned Rep....

Nebraska House|By David Wasserman, January 30, 2014

Democrats haven't won a House seat in Nebraska since 1992, but that doesn't mean they haven't come close. In Omaha's 2nd CD, GOP Rep. Lee Terry has persisted since 1998, but nearly lost reelection in both 2008 and 2012. He's a relatively weak incumbent, but Democrats have suffered some bad luck: Omaha Councilman Pete Festersen entered the race in October 2013, only to drop out after the...

  • 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. In 2016, 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 has been helped by open seats, particularly compared to the last three cycles. Democrats need five seats – or four if they retain the White House – to take back the majority. Wth two weeks before Election Day, Democrats appear to be on track to pick up between four and six seats.

  • The 2016 election resulted in a House breakdown of 240 Republicans and 194 Democrats, with one Louisiana seat headed to a December 10 runoff that is very likely to be won by a Republican. Democrats scored a net gain of six seats, a disappointing result for a party that had hoped to pick up more than 15 and cut the GOP's majority in half. Democrats' best hope for a majority in 2018 would be an unpopular President Donald Trump. But given Republicans' redistricting advantages and how well sorted-out the House has become, it could still be very difficult for Democrats to pick up the 24 seats they would need.

  • 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)

Lean R
Likely R

New York  |  District 24  |  Katko (R)

Lean R
Likely R

New York  |  District 22  |  Hanna (R)

Toss Up
Lean R

New York  |  District 03  |  Israel (D)

Likely D
Lean D

New York  |  District 01  |  Zeldin (R)

Lean R
Likely R

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    – David Broder, The Washington Post

Charlie Cook's Column

Trump’s Fine-Tuned Machine Runs Like an Oil-Burning Jalopy

February 21, 2017

As a can­did­ate, Don­ald Trump thor­oughly en­joyed dis­mant­ling and tor­tur­ing the Re­pub­lic­an wing of the Re­pub­lic­an Party. But now that chaos, tur­moil, and in­eptitude have be­come the watch­words for his White House—not­with­stand­ing his as­ser­tion Thursday that it “is run­ning like a fine-tuned ma­chine”—the tar­gets of his barbs were giv­ing each oth­er “I told you so”...

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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, 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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