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Supreme Court|By John Maltese, October 19, 2016

Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, has, since July 20, held the record for waiting longer than any other Supreme Court nominee in U.S. history to get a Senate hearing on his nomination. Republicans who have blocked such a hearing have long contended that the choice of a justice to replace Scalia should...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, October 19, 2016

With just about three weeks to go until this campaign is put out of its misery, we find Donald Trump impossibly behind and the Hillary Clinton campaign and her allies pushing to expand the map. The question isn’t whether Clinton wins, it’s now a question of by how much. The bigger the margin, the better the odds of Democrats down ballot success. While most Republican senators and many incumbent...

Battleground States|By Michael Nelson, October 18, 2016

Andrew Rudalevige is the Thomas Brackett Reed professor of government at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. He is the author of award-winning books on the presidency, including Managing the President’s Program: Presidential Leadership and Legislative Policy Formulation.

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, October 18, 2016

What a dif­fer­ence a week makes. In the wake of the first pres­id­en­tial de­bate, Hil­lary Clin­ton looked to be pulling away in the pres­id­en­tial race, the fight over the Sen­ate ma­jor­ity was an even-money bet, and Re­pub­lic­an con­trol of the House seemed to be a cinch. Today, the pres­id­en­tial race looks like a cake­walk for Clin­ton, the Re­pub­lic­an Sen­ate ma­jor­ity looks...

House Overview|By David Wasserman, October 14, 2016

Ever since last Friday's Access Hollywood bombshell, Speaker Paul Ryan has treated Trump's campaign as a sinking ship and has sounded an alarm to donors to shift resources towards saving the majority. Meanwhile, we have been inundated with questions about whether the majority is now in play. We've long been skeptical, but purposefully waited a few days to gather as much fresh data as possible...

House Overview|By David Wasserman, October 14, 2016

Based on the latest public and private polling, we are revising our ratings in eight districts. Five of the changes favor Democrats. Of note, GOP Rep. Darrell Issa (CA-49), former chair of the House Oversight Committee, moves to the Toss Up column for the first time since he was elected in 2000. Our outlook remains a Democratic gain of between 5 and 20 seats in the House. Check out our full...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, October 12, 2016

Over the last year we’ve witnessed a familiar pattern:  Trump does or says something controversial/contentious/reprehensible (Judge Curiel, The Khan family, Alicia Machado), his poll numbers plummet and talk ensues about a Hillary Clinton “landslide” and a down ballot wipe out. The #nevertrump continent engages in Twitter schadenfreude.

Battleground States|By Michael Nelson, October 12, 2016

David Damore, a professor of political science at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, is a Brooking Mountain West Fellow, a senior analyst at Latino Decisions, and president-elect of the Southwestern Political Science Association. Below is our interview with him on the battleground state of Nevada. 

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, October 11, 2016

The head­line of a column by The New York Times’ Jim Ruten­berg in Thursday’s pa­per asked the ques­tion, “Ed­it­or­i­al Writers Have Spoken, but Will the Voters Listen?” The piece noted that The At­lantic (Na­tion­al Journ­al’s older sis­ter pub­lic­a­tion)—which had only en­dorsed two pres­id­en­tial can­did­ates in its 159-year his­tory just en­dorsed Hil­lary Clin­ton

  • 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 five and seven seats.

  • The current House breakdown is 246 Republicans, 186 Democrats and three vacancies. In 2014, Republicans picked up 13 seats, winning their largest share of seats since 1928. In 2016, Democrats were already poised to bounce back amid higher presidential turnout, and hope that linking Republican candidates to unpopular GOP nominee Donald Trump could put even more GOP seats in jeopardy. But given Republicans' redistricting advantages and how well sorted-out the House has become, it remains very unlikely Democrats will net the 30 seats they need for a majority. Today, our outlook is a Democratic gain of 5-15 seats, with slightly larger gains possible if the top of the GOP ticket appears headed for a landslide defeat.

  • 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.

Pennsylvania  |  District 16  |  Pitts (R)

Lean R
Likely R

California  |  District 10  |  Denham (R)

Toss Up
Lean R

Virginia  |  District 10  |  Comstock (R)

Toss Up
Lean R

Pennsylvania  |  District 06  |  Costello (R)

Likely R
Likely R

Arizona  |  District 01  |  Kirkpatrick (D)

Lean D
Toss Up

The Cook Political Report is...

  • A newsletter that both parties regard as authoritative.
    – The New York Times
  • The bible of the political community.
    – 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

Donald Trump Leaves a Car Wreck Behind

October 25, 2016

Re­pub­lic­ans will now have four years to think about what they did to them­selves this year, plenty of time to con­tem­plate the con­sequences of hand­ing over their party’s car keys to the tea-party move­ment and watch­ing as the quint­es­sen­tial tea parti­er, Don­ald Trump, drove the car over a cliff. If Re­pub­lic­ans are really, really lucky, their cur­rent 54-46 Sen­ate ma­jor­ity will...

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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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