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California House|By David Wasserman, May 15, 2015

The 2014 GOP wave stopped short of the West Coast. But if that's not disappointing enough for Golden State Republicans, they could be in an even bigger hole if the Supreme Court invalidates the work of citizen-led redistricting commissions in a ruling on a case originating in Arizona. The decision is expected within a month, and Sacramento Democrats are already designing plans to add even more...

Senate Overview|By Jennifer Duffy, May 15, 2015

Indiana: Republicans are currently favored to hold on to this seat being vacated by Sen. Dan Coats at the end of this Congress. Eric Holcomb, Coats’ former chief of staff and a former state party chair, was the first to announce his candidacy and has Coats’ endorsement. U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman recently announced that he would also seek the GOP nod. Several other candidates are actively...

Mississippi House|By David Wasserman, May 15, 2015

Tuesday's 13-candidate, nonpartisan special election to replace the late GOP Rep. Alan Nunnelee couldn't have gone better for Republican Trent Kelly, a regional prosecutor and Iraq veteran. Kelly earned one of the two June 2 runoff slots with just 16 percent of the vote. But even better, the other slot went to Democrat Walter Zinn, a former aide to the mayor of Jackson who raised just $11,500...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, May 15, 2015

The battle for control of the Senate is finally underway and if early indications are correct, Republicans can be no more confident that they will keep the majority in the next Congress than Democrats could have been at this point in 2013.

Wisconsin Senate|By Jennifer Duffy, May 14, 2015

Former Democratic U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold announced this morning that he will try to win back the seat he lost in 2010 to then-political newcomer Ron Johnson. Johnson has proven himself to be a staunch conservative, which may well cause him problems in a presidential election year where the composition of the electorate won't be as friendly to Republicans as it was in the 2010 midterm...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, May 13, 2015

Every presidential election is a response to the current president, even when the current president isn’t seeking re-election. If people don't like the guy in the White House, it’s almost impossible for a member of his party to be elected to succeed him. Even when voters are happy with their incumbent president, it’s not always a guarantee of success for the party’s nominee. Voters are often...

Political Advertising|By Elizabeth Wilner, May 12, 2015

This week brings the upfronts, when television networks roll out their programming wares for advertisers and the industry contemplates its fragmenting future. "TV" used to be shorthand for both content and the device on which the content was viewed. Now TV means either network-produced content viewed live or time-shifted on any manner of devices, or that 50-inch screen on which you watch...

Illinois Senate|By Jennifer Duffy, May 8, 2015

If presidential performance was the only thing that mattered in determining the outcome of a U.S. Senate race, then perhaps first-term Republican Sen. Mark Kirk should be polishing his resume. Fortunately for Kirk, presidential performance isn’t the only factor, but it does provide a good indication of challenge he faces in his bid for a second term.

Senate Overview|By Jennifer Duffy, May 8, 2015

Alabama: Republican Sen. Richard Shelby hasn’t gotten less than 60 percent of the vote since 1992 when he was running for a second term. He won his first Senate race in 1986 with 50 percent. The incumbent’s bid for a sixth term won’t be any different, especially in a presidential election year in deeply red Alabama. It doesn’t hurt that Shelby started the cycle with a whopping $18.3 million...

  • 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. The 2016 cycle looks very different cycle for Republican, as 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 may be helped by open seats as we suspect there won’t be many retirements this cycle, particularly compared to the last three cycles. Democrats need five seats – or four if they retain the White House – to take back the majority. It’s still very early, but winning back the majority may prove more challenging than it looks today.

  • The current House breakdown is 245 Republicans and 188 Democrats, with two vacancies. Thanks to President Obama's standing and the GOP's natural midterm turnout advantages, Republicans gained 13 seats in 2014, and if they win upcoming special elections in New York's 11th CD and Mississippi's 1st CD, they will win their largest number of seats since 1928. Democrats are likely to bounce back somewhat in the presidential cycle of 2016. But given how well sorted-out the House has become, winning the 30 seats they need for a majority looks like an unrealistic goal today. Today, our outlook is a Democratic gain in the 5-15 seat range.

  • The 2016 cycle will host 15 gubernatorial contests, including three races in 2015, and 12 in 2016, including the special election in Oregon. Democrats are defending nine seats to six for Republicans. The most interesting races of 2015 will be the open seats in Kentucky and Louisiana. In 2016, the marquis contests will be the open seat in Missouri 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.

Ohio  |  Senate  |  Portman (R)

Lean R
Likely R

Arizona  |  Senate  |  McCain (R)

Likely R
Solid R

Arizona  |  District 01  |  Kirkpatrick (D)

Lean D
Toss Up

Vermont  |  Governor  |  Shumlin (D)

Solid D
Likely D

Louisiana  |  Governor  |  Jindal (R)

Lean R
Likely R

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    – David Broder, The Washington Post

Charlie Cook's Column

File for Future Reference

May 26, 2015

Here are three pretty much unrelated political facts that may really surprise you and are definitely worth keeping in mind.

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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, 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 2014 election.

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