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National Politics|By Charlie Cook, January 17, 2009

A fellow who oversees lobbying in all 50 states for a major corporation recently told me about a certain Republican U.S. senator up for re-election in 2010, someone generally regarded as fairly conservative who might face a serious challenge from a very conservative fellow Republican. The incumbent has not been tainted by scandal, has never embarrassed himself by making a major mistake, is highly…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, January 10, 2009

Well, the new year has quickly shown us that President-elect Obama's transition is not perfect. Because of a nagging federal "pay-to-play" investigation, Commerce Secretary-designate Bill Richardson, the governor of New Mexico, had to ask last Sunday that he not be formally nominated. The next day found several leading Senate Democrats complaining about the selection of former Clinton White House…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, January 8, 2009

Media coverage of long-term trends and a possible “realignment” in American politics has focused on the divide between red versus blue to the point of excess. In the lead up to last year, how often di…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, January 6, 2009

It would be hard to argue with the premise that Congress has become a largely dysfunctional institution, plagued by partisan rancor. When our nation came together after Sept. 11, 2001, truly a unique period of national unity, President Bush delivered a Sept. 20, 2001, address to a joint session of Congress, with Democrats and Republicans joining together on the steps of the Capitol to sing "God B…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, January 5, 2009

After losing a total of 13 or 14 seats (depending on the outcome in Minnesota) in the nightmarish 2006 and 2008 Senate elections, Republicans must be fantasizing about 2012, when 24 Democratic and just nine Republican Senate seats will be up for grabs. However, Republicans first have to get past the 2010 races that, at first glance, would appear to put the GOP at a disadvantage for a third straig…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, December 17, 2008

In the final stretch going into President Bill Clinton's first midterm election in 1994, Republicans needed a 40-seat gain to capture control of the House. As of now, once the new 111th Congress is sworn in (the count looks likely to be 257 Democrats to 178 Republicans), the GOP will again need a 40-seat net gain to win a majority. In November 1994, Republicans ended up with a net gain of 52 seats…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, December 16, 2008

One of the great things about post-election conferences is that even those of us who watch American politics full-time can gain insights into why the election turned out the way it did. Along with Democratic consultant James Carville and Republican Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia, I hosted such a conference on December 12 at Northern Virginia Community College. And I heard some things that have caused…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, December 13, 2008

With Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss's 57.5 percent to 42.5 percent victory in Georgia's runoff, Minnesota's contest is the only 2008 Senate race that remains undecided. Both Republican incumbent Norm…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, December 9, 2008

It seems entirely appropriate that this tumultuous and unpredictable election year would start coming to a close with the kind of events we have seen in Georgia, Louisiana, Minnesota and Ohio in recent days. In last week's Georgia Senate general election runoff and in the hurricane-delayed Louisiana House races, the lesson learned was that Democrats have difficulty driving enormous black turnout…

  • 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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    – David Broder, The Washington Post

Charlie Cook's Column

A Loud-Mouthed Fan Becomes Manager of the Team

January 20, 2017

The gen­er­al para­met­ers are already well known. In Novem­ber, Amer­ic­ans elec­ted a pres­id­ent who had no gov­ern­ment ex­per­i­ence of any kind. He was clearly not well-versed in policy is­sues and had a pro­cliv­ity to shoot from the hip, say­ing whatever came to mind, work­ing off of in­stinct rather than ex­pert­ise. We have elec­ted out­siders be­fore, but they have been the gov­ernor...

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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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