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National Politics|By Charlie Cook, July 7, 2011

Is anyone else getting as nervous as I am about this debt-ceiling debate? Don’t get me wrong; my view has long been that we would endure some stomach-churning days on the way to a deal. Ultimately, though, I believed that the adults in both parties would prevail and lift the debt ceiling sufficiently to get the country through the 2012 election without default. Now I’m worried, because too many p…

House Overview|By David Wasserman, July 7, 2011

This has been a busy week on the news front in three special elections to fill vacant seats: one next Tuesday in California's 36th CD, and twin elections on September 13th in Nevada's 2nd CD and New York's 9th CD. In next Tuesday's very low turnout California race, Democratic Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn appears to be underperforming, though likely not by enough to cost her party the…

Illinois House|By David Wasserman, June 30, 2011

Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn waited nearly a month after legislative approval before inking his party's breathtaking remap into law last week, but the damage to Republicans was already done. Democrats took a sledgehammer to the current map, drawing five of 11 GOP incumbents into districts with other members and seriously threatening two others. Overall, Democrats should reap a bonanza of four or five…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, June 27, 2011

The latest Democracy Corps national survey, conducted by the Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, has numbers that should worry both Democrats and Republicans. The survey, conducted June 18-21 among 1,000 likely 2012 voters (with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent) showed that those respondents were pessimistic about the direction of the country and disapproved of…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, June 23, 2011

Now that former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman has announced his candidacy for the GOP presidential nomination, the biggest question remaining is whether Texas Gov. Rick Perry will jump into the race. If former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin opted in, watching her and Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota tangle would be worth the price of admission. That bout is unlikely to materialize, but a Perry-Bachmann fight…

Alabama House|By David Wasserman, June 23, 2011

With GOP Gov. Robert Bentley’s signature in early June, Alabama became the eighth state to pass new Congressional boundaries for 2012. This is the first time Republicans have ever held redistricting power in Alabama, but there was hardly a sea change: after all, Republicans now hold all but one of the state’s House seats, and their only bold move was to add more African-American voters to the 7th…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, June 20, 2011

It’s hard to hear a conversation about the 2012 presidential election and not hear either a Democrat gloating about the weakness of the GOP field or a Republican lamenting the lack of a strong candidate. True or not, this focus on personalities drives me crazy because it ignores that incumbent reelections are more referenda on the current president rather than contests for president of the high s…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, June 13, 2011

These days, it’s painful talking to longtime friends and admirers of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. The overwhelming view is that they hate to see what is happening to the Georgia Republican, yet all knew that his campaign would end up a train wreck. Whether one likes or agrees with Gingrich (I like him but don’t necessarily agree with him that much), he clearly is one of the brightest, mos…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, June 9, 2011

Hardly a day goes by that a prominent Democratic member of Congress doesn’t criticize Republicans on Medicare. From Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on down, Democrats are attacking House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and other congressional Republicans for trying to “end Medicare as we know it.” Obviously, Democrats aren’t doing it on a whim. Many in…

  • 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

Authenticity Is Key to Democratic Chances

July 21, 2017

Some on the left say the Democrats’ path to a House majority next year is to nominate passionate liberals who can tap into the energy and excitement that Bernie Sanders generated last year. Moderates say the path is down the middle, nominating pragmatists whom swing voters won’t find threatening. Still others suggest that Democrats nominate veterans, women, and other nonpoliticians who can tap...

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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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