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National Politics|By Charlie Cook, January 28, 2014

As recently as a decade ago, the marriage-equality movement looked like a long, tough slog. Today, about 55 percent of Americans support same-sex marriage; it is now legal in 17 states, seven of those having acted in the past year alone. The civil-rights journey for African-Americans took more than a century. The women's suffrage movement began in colonial days and wasn't finished until the...

Political Advertising|By Elizabeth Wilner, January 28, 2014

“Imagine a world in which you can deliver different campaign television ads to different households, or not deliver a TV ad to a household at all. Three different houses could be watching the exact same program at the exact same time; the first household—flagged as a persuasion target—sees a positive ad about the candidate's plan for...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, January 27, 2014

Former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie's decision to challenge Democratic Sen. Mark Warner in Virginia triggered a lot of head-scratching in political circles, because Gillespie is widely seen as a very savvy guy, and Warner is perceived to be in a very strong position. "Why is Ed doing this?" is a question heard frequently of late.The truth is, Gillespie's bid is not as...

Minnesota House|By David Wasserman, January 23, 2014

In Minnesota, with Democrats Sen. Al Franken and Gov. Mark Dayton favored for reelection, the real action in 2014 looks likely to be in the state's House races, particularly in northern Minnesota. Republicans are excited about their candidates against Democratic Reps. Collin Peterson (MN-07) and Rick Nolan (MN-08), and Democrats need to take these races seriously. At this point, Nolan is...

Missouri House|By David Wasserman, January 23, 2014

Aside from a June special election to replace GOP Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, who took a job heading the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Missouri hasn't seen much excitement or turnover in House races. The state's GOP-drawn redistricting map has pretty much ensured a 6-2 Republican edge in the delegation, and Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder's decision not to challenge freshman GOP Rep. Jason...

Mississippi House|By David Wasserman, January 23, 2014

In 2010, Mississippi's House delegation flipped from three quarters Democratic to three quarters Republican when Republicans unseated conservative Democratic Reps. Travis Childers (MS-01) and Gene Taylor (MS-04). Now, the delegation seems pretty well settled. With GOP Sen. Thad Cochran running for reelection, it looks likely all four of Mississippi's House members will stay put in 2014.MS-01:...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, January 23, 2014

It should come as no surprise that lower-income voters are reliably Democratic. However, Democrats need to do more than just “win” these voters; they need to carry them by a significant margin in order to succeed at the ballot box.

Chart of the Week|January 23, 2014

The chart below plots the current assortment of open U.S. House seats according to the Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index scores for their respective districts. The relative distribution and quantity of these seats, and the degree of their partisan lean, suggest that while Republicans may have almost twice as many incumbents not running in 2014 as Democrats will, it is still...

Political Advertising|By Elizabeth Wilner, January 21, 2014

Of the four challenges Democrats have confronted that made them the proponents and practitioners of campaign analytics they are today, Republicans have faced one. As Democrats did in 2004, Republicans went into Election Night believing they would win the presidency, only to find that tactics made a critical difference at the margin. (For good measure, they were hit belatedly with the same...

  • 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.

Tennessee  |  Governor  |  Haslam (R)

Likely R
Solid R

Kansas  |  Governor  |  Brownback (R)

Likely R
Solid R

Illinois  |  Governor  |  Rauner (R)

Toss Up
Lean R

New Mexico  |  Governor  |  Martinez (R)

Lean D
Toss Up

New Jersey  |  Governor  |  Christie (R)

Likely D
Lean D

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

Charlie Cook's Column

No Easy Wins for GOP Lawmakers Under Trump

June 23, 2017

For con­gres­sion­al Re­pub­lic­ans in the new norm of the Trump pres­id­ency, noth­ing is easy, and everything is hard. Rais­ing the debt ceil­ing in or­der to keep the gov­ern­ment from de­fault­ing on its debt is nor­mally easy; now it is hard. Passing an om­ni­bus budget bill to simply keep the gov­ern­ment op­er­at­ing (for­get the idea of passing the full bat­tery of 12 ap­pro­pri­ations...

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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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