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South Carolina House|By David Wasserman, April 17, 2013

News that the NRCC has decided to pass on further involvement in the May 7 special election in South Carolina's 1st CD - in effect, relegating former Gov. Mark Sanford to "Todd Akin land" - moves the race from Lean Republican to Toss Up. Sanford, who apparently did not tell national Republicans he is headed to family court two days after the election on charges of trespassing his ex-wife's home in…

National Politics|By Amy Walter, April 17, 2013

In this town, it should go without saying that the best policy isn’t always the best politics. But, sometimes we need a reminder of just why it is so very hard to get what many see as “common sense” solutions out of Congress. Getting in the way of “Grand Bargains” and gangs of bipartisan working groups is this cold hard reality: short term political gain is rewarded more than long-term strategic…

House Overview|By David Wasserman, April 15, 2013

The “Incredible Shrinking Swing Seat” really does keep shrinking. In August 1997, The Cook Political Report introduced the Partisan Voter Index, an attempt to uniformly measure the competitiveness of all 435 congressional districts by comparing each district’s performance in the two most recent presidential elections with that of the nation as a whole. With the tireless help of Clark Bensen at Po…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, April 12, 2013

Winston Churchill once commanded that a server, “Take away this pudding, it has no theme.” While next year’s midterm elections will certainly have a theme, we don’t yet know what it will be. At this point, there are two competing theories on what theme will dominate the 2014 congressional elections. The one that seems to have become the conventional wisdom is that Republicans will…

South Carolina House|By David Wasserman, April 11, 2013

Last week, Republican primary voters finalized the match up most media have been rooting for, nominating former Gov. Mark Sanford with 57 percent of the runoff vote to face Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, whose family ties no longer need introduction. Democrats reacted with excitement, pointing to two pre-runoff polls showing Colbert Busch leading Sanford. But with a month to go, operatives...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, April 10, 2013

For the second presidential election in a row, Democrats have an obvious “heir apparent” for the nomination, while Republicans, for the third election in a row, have a crowded field with no obvious first choice candidate. In the olden days, it was Democrats who had the messy and unpredictable primaries, while Republicans dutifully lined up behind the establishment choice. But, the concurrent r…

Political Advertising|By Elizabeth Wilner, April 9, 2013

The viability of television’s business model is being debated this week—in Vegas of course, mecca for the gambling man—but the viability of radio’s business model was a subtext last week at the American Association of Political Consultants’ annual conference. The practitioners roaming the hallways at the “Pollies” have a few billion dollars to spend every two years. Most of that money goes to m…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, April 9, 2013

Pretend for a moment that you are President Obama, his chief of staff, his counselor, or another top adviser. The question before you is how to avoid the fate of so many other second-term presidencies. Dwight Eisenhower’s final four years were marred by a recession, Richard Nixon’s by Watergate. Ronald Reagan had the Iran-Contra scandal. Bill Clinton had Monica Lewinsky and the…

Partisan Voter Index|By David Wasserman, April 4, 2013

The Cook Political Report is pleased to introduce the new 2014 Partisan Voter Index (PVI) for all 50 states and 435 Congressional districts in the country, compiled especially for the Report by POLIDATA®. First introduced in 1997, the Cook PVI measures how each district performs at the presidential level compared to the nation as a whole. In October 2012, we released new PVI scores for newly redr…

  • 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

The Cook Political Report is...

  • A newsletter that both parties regard as authoritative.
    – The New York Times
  • The bible of the political community.
    – Bob Schieffer, host of CBS News "Face the Nation"
  • 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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