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National Politics|By Charlie Cook, September 5, 2012

President Obama’s acceptance speech should be judged on whether he succeeds in convincing Americans, or at least swing voters, that the next four years will be better than the last four years—or that he will be...

House Overview|By David Wasserman, September 4, 2012

All year, House Democrats have desperately needed two things to happen to help them pick up the 25 net seats they need to reinstall Rep. Nancy Pelosi as speaker. First, they’ve badly needed a game-changing event to shift the conversation from weaker-polling issues for Democrats, namely jobs and the economy, to stronger-polling issues, namely Medicare and entitlements. Second, amid the all-co…

Senate Overview|By Jennifer Duffy, September 3, 2012

For Senate Democrats, the 2012 cycle was supposed to be about exposure to the kind of losses that would imperil their majority. Their goal for the cycle was simple: Hang on to control of the chamber by a thread. Just months ago, such an objective seemed like a pipe dream, and for good reason.

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, September 2, 2012

Just as Mitt Romney’s challenge last week at the Republican National Convention was to connect on a personal level with voters and make them comfortable with the idea of him sitting in the Oval Office, President Obama’s challenge this week at the Democratic National Convention is to reignite the flame—the passion among young and Latino voters that burned four…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, September 1, 2012

Top strategists from both the Obama and Romney camps are quick to point to suburban women as the pivotal swing vote in this election. Many of these voters find themselves torn about their choice, as evidenced by a focus group of a dozen suburban women in Milwaukee not strongly committed to either candidate. In another one of the brilliant memos that he periodically sends to clients and friends, De…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, August 30, 2012

My biggest complaint with many younger political journalists is their lack of appreciation for scale and context. Some seem to think that almost every event is huge and consequential, and will remain so until Election Day. How often have you heard an assertion like that on cable or talk radio or read it in a blog? I’ve lost count of how many “critical” events…

House Overview|By David Wasserman, August 30, 2012

House Editor David Wasserman writes: If you find yourself in Tampa and need a respite from a fully scripted presidential nomination and a gridlocked downtown, a pleasant day's drive around the metro area offers a micro level view of House Democrats' dilemma.

Senate Overview|By Jennifer Duffy, August 28, 2012

Perhaps the one lesson that needs to be relearned from one election cycle to the next is the ability of campaign politics to surprise.  This cycle is no exception, especially when it comes to races for the U.S. Senate. For the first 13 months of the cycle, Republicans seemed poised to pick up the four seats they need to take the majority.  All the important factors were working in t…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, August 27, 2012

As Republican National Convention delegates and the media descend on Tampa, along with an uninvited guest named Isaac, the presidential race is very close, according to virtually every national survey, as well as polls of swing states.

  • 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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    – David Broder, The Washington Post

Charlie Cook's Column

Democrats Find It’s Risky to Poke the GOP Elephant

June 27, 2017

There’s an old say­ing that close only counts in horse­shoes and hand gren­ades, and that’s cer­tainly how Demo­crats must feel after los­ing their third and fourth at­tempts of the year to wrestle away Re­pub­lic­an-held seats in spe­cial con­gres­sion­al elec­tions. In fair­ness, the first two shouldn’t fully count against them since the Demo­crat­ic Con­gres­sion­al Cam­paign Com­mit­tee was...

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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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