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National Politics|By David Wasserman, September 16, 2016

OK, before I say anything, a quick disclaimer: This piece is not a prediction. In fact, I’m a religious (maybe fanatical) adherent of FiveThirtyEight’s 2016 election forecast model, which I find to be both methodologically rigorous and intellectually honest. I don’t dispute its assessment that Hillary Clinton has a 63 or 64 percent chance of winning the election.

Senate and Governors Overview|By Jennifer Duffy, September 16, 2016

As she gears up to seek a second term, Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte will face Gov. Maggie Hassan; the strongest candidate Democrats could have recruited to challenge her. Ayotte and Hassan are the two most popular politicians in the state, setting up an epic battle that has not strayed outside the margin of error in a year.

National Politics |By Charlie Cook, September 16, 2016

It’s in­ter­est­ing to watch Hil­lary Clin­ton’s highly schizo­phren­ic cam­paign. On one level, in terms of strategy and tac­tics, or­gan­iz­a­tion­al abil­it­ies, use of tech­no­logy, and the like, it is a very im­press­ive ef­fort, a blend­ing of the best from her 2008 cam­paign with the cream of the 2008 and 2012 Obama pres­id­en­tial ef­forts.

National Politics|By Amy Walter, September 15, 2016

When it comes to the current political environment, Hillary Clinton couldn’t ask for much better. The president sits at a 50 percent approval rating. Gas is just a little over $2. A new income and poverty report released on Tuesday by the Census Bureau showed that median incomes rose 5.2 percent in 2015. A two-term president and his White House are untainted by scandal – an anomaly in recent...

New Hampshire House|By David Wasserman, September 14, 2016

Republicans' chances of holding New Hampshire's 1st CD would have probably improved slightly had GOP Rep. Frank Guinta lost his primary last night. Last spring, GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte and the Manchester Union-Leader called for his resignation after he admitted to the FEC that he took an illegal $355,000 campaign loan. Instead, Guinta put his political demise on hold, beating former BAE Systems...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, September 13, 2016

There’s no doubt that the presidential race has tightened up, but the operative question is whether Don­ald Trump has caught up or even overtaken Hillary Clinton. Polls are coming in by the bushel, some traditionally reliable, others of dubious quality. The CNN/ORC poll released on Tuesday caught a lot of attention. The sample of all registered voters showed Clinton ahead by 3 points, 44 to 41...

Battleground States|By Michael Nelson, September 12, 2016

Daniel A. Smith is Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida and President of ElectionSmith, Inc. He has written several books and articles on state politics and elections, and is the coauthor of State and Local Politics: Institutions and Reform (now in its 4th edition). What follows is the text of an email interview on Florida Politics today. 

House Overview|By David Wasserman, September 12, 2016

Less than two months from Election Day, it's still not clear Donald Trump's nomination is dragging down more House Republicans than were already vulnerable. Democrats are about to launch on a ferocious ad campaign to link Republicans to their nominee, but polling on both sides shows they have a long way to go to erase most GOP incumbents' leads. Democrats would need to win 30 GOP seats for a...

House Overview|By David Wasserman, September 12, 2016

As the presidential campaign enters its final stretch, many people have begun to ask me: "What size margin would Hillary Clinton need to win the White House by in order for Democrats to win back the House?"

  • 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 247 Republicans, 186 Democrats and two 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 5-20 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.

California  |  District 24  |  Capps (D)

Likely D
Lean D

New York  |  District 25  |  Slaughter (D)

Solid D
Likely D

New Hampshire  |  District 01  |  Guinta (R)

Lean D
Toss Up

New York  |  District 03  |  Israel (D)

Lean D
Toss Up

Wisconsin  |  Senate  |  Johnson (R)

Lean D
Toss Up

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    – David Broder, The Washington Post

Charlie Cook's Column

Clinton’s Up, But Hedge Your Bet

September 23, 2016

If you fo­cus on the na­tion­al pres­id­en­tial horse-race polls, Hil­lary Clin­ton has a sliv­er of a lead over Don­ald Trump—by nine-tenths of a point in the Real­Clear­Polit­ics.com av­er­age of ma­jor na­tion­al polls in the two-way tri­al heat, 44.9 to 44 per­cent; by sev­en-tenths of a point in the four-way heat, 41 to 40.3 per­cent, with Liber­tari­an Gary John­son third at 8.6 per­cent...

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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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