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National Politics|By Charlie Cook, January 14, 2015

There are some surprising events that warrant being taken very seriously; others, well, not so much. Prior to Thanksgiving, it looked pretty unlikely that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush would actually pull the trigger and seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, even though it was obvious that he personally wanted to do it. Since then, things have changed dramatically, to the point that...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, January 14, 2015

Many Democrats blame their terrible showing at the ballot box in 2014 on a lack of a clear and compelling economic message. In fact, there were plenty of prescient Democrats we spoke to throughout the 2014 campaign who warned that Democrats would lose if they didn't figure out a way to engage the economically distressed voter, most especially downscale female voters. In response, Democrats...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, January 7, 2015

When it comes to making predictions about 2016, there are lots of important numbers to follow. The unemployment rate. Consumer confidence. The president’s approval rating. The horse race polls. But, in my mind, the most important data point to follow is the one which measures Americans’ desire to stay the current course or try a different one in 2016.

Political Advertising|By Elizabeth Wilner, January 6, 2015

The gravitational pull of 2016 is awfully hard to resist. I spent some of the break reviewing past columns on 2014’s adventures in advertising with an eye toward which developments wound up having a big impact in 2014 that will continue to reverberate, and which inchoate innovations of last year could hit home next year. Here, FWIW, are six.

National Politics|By Cook Political Report Staff, December 19, 2014

The votes have been tallied and all recounts completed. Congress even managed to adjourn sine die. That means it really is time to close the books on the 2014 election cycle. It also means that we are going to take some time off to recharge for the 2016 election. We’ll be back the week of January 12, 2015. In the meantime, here are 40 interesting facts about the 2014 election to hold you...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, December 19, 2014

Some books you read for grand or provocative ideas and deep thoughts. Others offer insights and vignettes that help you understand something better. Chuck Todd's The Stranger: Barack Obama in the White House is more of the latter type. Hundreds of books and thousands of articles have already been written about Obama's presidency, and there will be many more. The truth is, this field has...

Senate Overview|By Jennifer Duffy, December 12, 2014

As any truly seasoned political strategist knows, political parties have good election cycles and bad election cycles. A party can have a favorable political environment, a good electoral map, and few vulnerable seats that enables them to pick up seats and perhaps even the majority one year only to face exactly the opposite set of circumstances two years later. This reversal of fortune will...

House Overview|By David Wasserman, December 12, 2014

The ink is barely dry on the results of this November's election, but it's not too early to start handicapping 2016. And while you can never say the word "impossible," Democrats' road back to a House majority doesn't look navigable today. After all, Democrats would need to net 30 GOP seats, but there are only 16 House Republicans who won by less than 10 percent in 2014 and only 25 sitting in...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, December 12, 2014

It's true that perspective is everything in politics, but we often forget just how true that is. There can be two diametrically opposed points of view, each supported by indisputable facts, but reality can be somewhere in between. Although no one can deny that Democrats have had an awful year—three-term Sen. Mary Landrieu's reelection loss on Saturday put the final exclamation point on...

  • After two disappointing cycles, Republicans have won the majority in the Senate.  We had been predicting that Republicans would pick up between four and seven seats, noting that it would likely be on the higher end of that range and might even exceed it.  They did exceed it, scoring a net gain of eight seats.  The run-off in Louisiana between Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu and GOP U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy could make it nine seats.  The new Senate line-up is 53 Republicans, 46 Democrats, including two independents that caucus with the Democrats, and one undecided race. 

  • The current House breakdown is 246 Republicans and 188 Democrats, with one vacancy. Thanks to President Obama's standing and the GOP's natural midterm turnout advantages, Republicans gained 13 seats in 2014, and if they win an upcoming special election to hold New York's 11th CD on Staten Island, 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.

  • The 36 Governors races on the ballot this cycle were supposed to provide Democrats with a silver lining on election night.  For much of the cycle, they looked poised to pick up between two and four seats since Republicans had to defend governorships in states President Obama carried easily in 2012.  But, Republican incumbents ran very solid races, while Democrats struggled to hold their some of their open seats, including two in very blue states.  In the end, Republicans actually picked up seats, defeating Gov. Pat Quinn in Illinois and winning open seats in Arkansas, Maryland, and Massachusetts.  The GOP lost Pennsylvania, where Gov. Tom Corbett was running for a second term, and the results of Gov. Sean Parnell's re-election bid in Alaska are pending.  The new line up of the nation’s Governors is 31 Republicans and 17 Democrats, with the outcome of two races pending (Alaska and Vermont).

New York  |  District 19  |  Gibson (R)

Toss Up
Likely R

California  |  Senate  |  Boxer (D)

Solid D
Likely D

Louisiana  |  Senate  |  Landrieu (D)

Toss Up
Lean R

New York  |  District 11  |  Grimm (R)

Toss Up
Lean R

Maryland  |  District 06  |  Delaney (D)

Solid D
Likely D

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    – David Broder, The Washington Post

Charlie Cook's Column

White House Window

December 19, 2014

Some books you read for grand or provocative ideas and deep thoughts. Others offer insights and vignettes that help you understand something better. Chuck Todd's The Stranger: Barack Obama in the White House is more of the latter type. Hundreds of books and thousands of articles have already been written about Obama's presidency, and there will be many more. The truth is, this field has...

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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, 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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