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National Politics|By Charlie Cook, December 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...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, December 5, 2013

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...

Massachusetts House|By David Wasserman, December 5, 2013

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...

Maryland House|By David Wasserman, December 5, 2013

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...

Chart of the Week|December 5, 2013

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...

Political Advertising|By Elizabeth Wilner, December 3, 2013

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...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, November 29, 2013

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...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, November 25, 2013

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...

Political Advertising|By Elizabeth Wilner, November 25, 2013

As an observer of advertising and vendor of ad data, I have to give thanks for the Affordable Care Act. Unprecedented in the annals of television advertising, the law is triggering hundreds of millions, soon to be billions of dollars in both political and product TV advertising. In some areas of the country, these ads already are colliding as Republican candidates and issue groups excoriate...

  • 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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  • Perhaps the best nonpartisan tracker of Congressional races.
    – David Broder, The Washington Post

Charlie Cook's Column

Two Special Elections Add Suspense to Midterms

April 25, 2017

Two con­gres­sion­al spe­cial elec­tions in as many weeks make clear that while the Re­pub­lic­an Party is not in a free fall, things are not co­pacet­ic, either. Re­pub­lic­an state Treas­urer Ron Estes won last week’s spe­cial elec­tion in Kan­sas’s 4th Dis­trict to fill the va­cancy cre­ated by Mike Pom­peo’s nom­in­a­tion to head the CIA, but his 5-point vic­tory was far short of the...

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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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