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National Politics|By Charlie Cook, March 10, 2009

Despite President Obama's historic election, the hoopla around his victory obscures significant elements of his election and message. When Obama first began running for president, many observers reaso…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, March 7, 2009

The poll numbers tell the story. President Obama's job-approval ratings soared after his impressive February 24 speech to a joint session of Congress, which drew praise from virtually all but his most partisan and vociferous critics. The first polling by the Gallup Organization conducted after the president's speech pegged his approval rating at 67 percent, up from 59 percent and just 2 points sh…

House Overview|By David Wasserman, March 5, 2009

Whether or not you believe President Obama's approval ratings are inextricably tied to the post-stimulus performance of the economy, you can bet voter attitudes concerning the new president will have a strong influence on congressional election fortunes next year. The $64,000 question is, just what kind of influence will it be? Of course, the answer is unknowable this early in the campaign season…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, March 3, 2009

My guess is that I was not alone when I cringed late last month upon opening my 401(k) retirement plan statement for the previous quarter, nor when I winced this week as the stock market plummeted to a 12-year low. At least health club stocks should be surging. After all, a lot of us need to develop healthier habits: With our retirement savings just a fraction of what they were a year ago, we will…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, March 3, 2009

It isn't hard to understand why so many Democrats, liberals and even some independents and moderates get up in arms over Rush Limbaugh's incendiary comments, the most recent being his remarks that he hoped President Obama would fail. But many of those folks then take the next, seemingly logical, step and suggest that the Republican Party is making a mistake in allowing Limbaugh to become the effe…

National Politics|March 3, 2009

Check out the results from the latest Cook Political Report/RT Strategies poll conducted February 27 - March 1, 2009 of 1,000 American adults including 880 registered voters. In the poll, 57 percent of registered voters approved of the job President Barack Obama is doing after a month in office, 28 percent disapproved. The top line and crosstabs are available at www.cookpolitical.com/poll.

Governor Overview|By Jennifer Duffy, February 26, 2009

If the prospects that Republicans can take back majorities in Congress this cycle sit somewhere between slim and none, then the 2009/2010 Governors races offer the party a silver lining. Of the 38 races up this cycle (two in 2009 and 36 in 2010), Republicans will defend 17 seats to 21 for Democrats. Ten of those Democratic seats are open because of term limits, and six are already in grave dange…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, February 24, 2009

Monday's report by the Gallup Organization regarding how the public perceives President Obama's performance after one month in office says much about the state of American politics. Obama started out with 68 percent job approval, one of the highest initial approval ratings for a new president since Gallup started taking the measurement under Dwight Eisenhower in 1953. Since then, Obama's approval…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, February 21, 2009

The relentlessly bad economic news in recent days raises an important political question: How long does former President Bush keep ownership of this recession? At this stage, voters have no doubt that the recession started on his watch. Yet plenty of blame deserves to be laid at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, and that blame extends to administrations of both parties, not to mention government-…

  • 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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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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