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National Politics|By Charlie Cook, October 4, 2012

Going into Wednesday night’s debate, the presidential race was neither ‘too close to call’ nor ‘over.’ Mitt Romney was behind President Obama by maybe three to five points. More importantly, his poll numbers were, as pollsters say, “upside down” or “underwater”--- his unfavorable or negative personal ratings were higher than his favorable or positive numbers. Romney’s situation was worse in swin…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, October 1, 2012

Public attitudes toward candidates and elections often start off in a fluid state. Then they gradually begin to jell, first reaching a semisolid state before hardening to rock-solid. This year’s presidential race isn’t over, but Mitt Romney’s current trajectory in the polls will not cross President Obama’s by Nov. 6—or maybe even Nov. 6 of next year. If something doesn’t happen t…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, September 28, 2012

The presidential race remains remarkably stable, which is good news for President Obama and Democrats and bad news for Mitt Romney and Republicans. This race is certainly not over; with three presidential debates and one vice presidential debate to go and two upcoming unemployment reports — and all against a backdrop of a very unstable world — it’s not hard to conjure up scenarios that could…

House Overview|By David Wasserman, September 27, 2012

It's often noted House Democrats "need to pick up" 25 seats to win back the majority. But in actuality, as we've noted all cycle long, Democrats will likely need to pick up between between 35 and 40 Republican-held seats because they are likely to lose a few of their own members.

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, September 24, 2012

Reality is often more complicated than conventional wisdom would have you believe, a point underscored in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. The survey showed President Obama with a 6-point lead among all registered voters, a 7-point edge among registered voters in 12 swing states, and a 5-point advantage among likely voters nationally. The Obama lead in the survey, no matter which…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, September 21, 2012

With both party conventions over and the candidates' bounces having largely subsided, the latest national polls utilizing live callers put President Obama ahead of Mitt Romney by somewhere between 1 percentage point (ABC News/Washington Post) and 6 percentage points (CNN). The Gallup and CBS/New York Times polls have Obama's advantage at 3 points, while Democracy Corps and Fox News put it at…

Senate|By Jennifer Duffy, September 20, 2012

Even the most casual observer of U.S. Senate races knows that outside groups are pouring millions of dollars into competitive races on top of what the candidates and the political parties are spending.  But, unless you live in a state with a competitive Senate contest, it’s hard to appreciate the sheer volume of advertising. The numbers, both in terms of dollars spent and the number o…

House Overview|By David Wasserman, September 20, 2012

The latest plot twists in the presidential race beg the question of whether we are operating in a completely different political environment than we were two weeks ago. But it's also important to exercise caution. Regardless of the true state of the race, the widely held expectation among voters that President Obama will prevail may be encouraging Republican candidates to run as a "check and balan…

New Hampshire House|By David Wasserman, September 13, 2012

House Editor David Wasserman writes: Whenever there's a national wave, it's a tsunami in the Granite State. In 2006, Democrats stunned the GOP by capturing both of New Hampshire's House seats. In 2010, Republicans avenged both their losses. The reason? New Hampshire has one of the highest proportions of independent voters in the country, and they tend to be in an unforgiving mood if they see t…

  • 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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    – 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

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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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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