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National Politics|By Charlie Cook, October 1, 2013

With the plethora of polls coming out these days, including at least two presidential job-approval ratings released daily, it's easy to become numb to the nonstop numbers. Sometimes it's helpful to step back and look at a president's ratings over time, both in the context of where his approval numbers have been and how his ratings compare with those of other White House occupants at this point...

Indiana House|By David Wasserman, September 26, 2013

Indiana's tradition of fiercely fought congressional elections may take a breather in 2014. The last few cycles have been tumultuous: three of nine seats have switched parties in the last two cycles, and after Republicans unraveled Democrats' old gerrymander, the GOP won a 7-2 edge in 2012. Besides 15-term 1st CD Democratic Rep. Pete Visclosky, there is no incumbent who has served more than six...

Illinois House|By David Wasserman, September 26, 2013

The Land of Lincoln is proof that Democrats can't claim the moral high ground on gerrymandering following the 2010 Census. After Republicans won an 11-8 edge in the delegation in the 2010 wave - but not the governorship or the legislature - Democrats rammed through a map that ultimately eliminated five GOP incumbents and gave Democrats a 12-6 lead. Democrats' only shortcoming was the downstate...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, September 26, 2013

A consistent topic in this column so far this year has been discussing what kind of election the 2014 midterm election will be and what it will be about. My theory has been that it could either be a continuation of the same GOP brand and image problems exhibited in 2012, particularly with women, younger, minority, and self-described moderate voters, or it could fit the pattern of second-term...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, September 25, 2013

It's hard to get Democrats and Republicans to agree on much of anything these days. Ted Cruz has managed to bridge that partisan gap all by himself. And, precisely because of himself. I asked a group of long-time Hill watchers if they'd ever seen another member of Congress alienate friends and foes as quickly as Cruz. While Fritz Hollings, Rick Santorum, and Joe McCarthy had more detractors...

Political Advertising|By Elizabeth Wilner, September 24, 2013

How fast is the world of non-presidential political TV advertising evolving? About double time, if Virginia’s race for governor is any indication. Between the 2009 race and today’s, we’re seeing nearly twice as many sponsors, advertisements, and airings of ads.The Cook Political Report takes care every four years to shoot down the presumption that the outcomes of Virginia’s and New Jersey’s gub...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, September 23, 2013

Listening to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew speak to the Economic Club of Washington on Sept. 17 brought to mind how little many of the more conservative Republicans in the House really know about President Reagan's eight years in office, how he operated, and, for that matter, why and how he succeeded. In other words, few of them get how the town worked during Reagan's tenure, as opposed to today, w…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, September 20, 2013

For months now, my theory has been that there were two competing narratives about what the political environment would be like for next year’s midterm elections and, for that matter, going into the 2016 presidential election. One narrative was that the challenges facing the Republican Party in 2012—problems with the party’s image in general and, very specifically, problems with minority, women, yo…

Idaho House|By David Wasserman, September 19, 2013

Idaho's two congressmen are both Republicans, but beyond party labels, couldn't be more different. 1st CD GOP Rep. Raul Labrador, a sophomore beloved by the Tea Party, was part of an attempt to overthrow Speaker John Boehner in January. 2nd CD GOP Rep. Mike Simpson is one of Boehner's best friends in the House and, for years, has riled his party's right wing. Deep-red Idaho would seem an unlikely…

  • 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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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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