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National Politics|By Amy Walter, January 27, 2016

I have no idea what is going to happen in Iowa and New Hampshire. If the polls are correct, Donald Trump is on his way to victory in both states. On the Democratic side, Iowa is a coin-toss and Bernie Sanders wins big in New Hampshire. But, I also have little confidence that this is how things will work out. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised by anything.

National Politics|By Charlie Cook and David Wasserman, January 26, 2016

In private con­ver­sa­tions with roughly a dozen GOP mem­bers of the House over the past two weeks, what’s strik­ing is their struggle to recon­cile their own de­sire to re­cap­ture the White House with GOP primary voters’ pref­er­ences in their dis­tricts. Re­ac­tions to grass­roots groundswells of sup­port for Don­ald Trump and Ted Cruz, even among mem­bers from rur­al deep-red dis­tricts,...

GOVERNORS OVERVIEW|By Michael Nelson, January 25, 2016

It’s widely believed that one possible outcome of a Clinton-Trump or a Clinton-Cruz matchup in November is a Democratic landslide that extends not just to the presidency but also to the Senate (probably) and the House (possibly).

Senate Overview|By Jennifer Duffy, January 22, 2016

Alabama Senate: 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. Shelby does have to contend with four primary opponents running to his...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, January 22, 2016

Some­times politi­cians get in­to a tough po­s­i­tion with no easy way out, and their best op­tion is just to plow straight ahead. Hil­lary Clin­ton is now in such a po­s­i­tion.

National Politics|By David Wasserman, January 21, 2016

In the wake of new Iowa and New Hampshire polls showing Bernie Sanders gaining, some say it's time for Hillary Clinton to hit the panic button. "Clinton should ABSOLUTELY be nervous about the state of the race with less than three weeks before voters in Iowa head to the caucuses," the Washington Post's Fix blog blared last week.

National Politics|By Michael Nelson, January 20, 2016

The issue of whether the constitutional requirement that the president be a “natural born Citizen” excludes someone born of an American parent living abroad has once again reared its head in an election campaign, this time in the form of Donald Trump’s charge that the Canadian-born Ted Cruz may not be legally eligible to serve. I’m not going to try to settle that one here, except to note that...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, January 18, 2016

No one really won and no one lost. Well, except for poor Gov. Martin O’Malley who seemed to have been given a total of 46 seconds of talking time by the NBC moderators.

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, January 15, 2016

It’s get­ting in­creas­ingly an­noy­ing to watch people who os­tens­ibly know a lot about polit­ics go­ing on tele­vi­sion and say­ing things that I am reas­on­ably sure they don’t really be­lieve. Lately, it has been ana­lysts talk­ing up Don­ald Trump’s chances of win­ning the GOP nom­in­a­tion. What view­ers are hear­ing from pros on tele­vi­sion is very dif­fer­ent from what is be­ing said...

  • 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 246 Republicans, 188 Democrats and one vacancy. Thanks to President Obama's standing and the GOP's natural midterm turnout advantages, Republicans gained 13 seats in 2014, their largest share 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, netting the 30 seats they need for a majority looks like an unrealistic goal today. Today, our outlook is a Democratic gain in the 5-10 seat range.

  • 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.

Virginia  |  District 04  |  Forbes (R)

Likely D
Lean D

Wisconsin  |  District 08  |  Ribble (R)

Lean R
Solid R

Pennsylvania  |  District 07  |  Meehan (R)

Likely R
Solid R

Virginia  |  District 02  |  Forbes (R)

Likely R
Solid R

Virginia  |  District 04  |  Forbes (R)

Lean D
Lean R

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Charlie Cook's Column

In the Iowa Caucuses, Look for Results That Surprise You

February 2, 2016

Both the GOP and Demo­crat­ic races will turn on wheth­er emo­tion tops or­gan­iz­a­tion.

Read more »
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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, 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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