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In Appreciation|August 15, 2014

Dotty was a friend of ours for 35 years and a real professional. As a pollster in the 1970s, she broke the glass ceiling for women who wanted to work in politics. Later, she and her late colleague, Marty Plissner, shaped the political coverage for CBS News in ways that...

Political Advertising|By Elizabeth Wilner, August 12, 2014

Political advertising may not make anyone’s list of key economic indicators, but 2014 campaign commercials offer another gauge of an improving economy. Whereas jobs and unemployment was the most-mentioned specific economic issue at the top of the ballot in 2012, it has been supplanted by government spending in key 2014 Senate races. Another mark of an improving economy between 2012...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, August 6, 2014

New polling from NBC/Wall Street Journal shows a public still struggling to regain its economic footing six years after the financial meltdown of 2008. Americans’ real economic distress is one reason why President Obama is not getting credit for a steadily dropping unemployment rate and improved economic growth. The other reason a (slowly) growing economy isn’t boosting Obama’s numbers is more...

Political Advertising|By Elizabeth Wilner, August 5, 2014

While hardly earth-shattering to say that control of the Senate come January will depend on whether voters decide all politics is local or national, a look at the issues emphasized by the candidates in their ads confirms that Democrats and Republicans are placing very different bets. Republicans are emphasizing national issues; Democrats are going in more local or otherwise more targeted...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, August 5, 2014

In real estate, the three most important things are said to be "location, location, and location." In politics, it might well be "timing, timing, and timing." As we approach the 2014 midterm elections, the Senate's Democratic majority is teetering on the edge, but the House is just an afterthought, with little chance that it will change control or direction. Had it not been for the Democratic...

House Overview|By David Wasserman, August 1, 2014

With three months left to go before Election Day, the political environment feels much more like 2010 than 2012. President Obama continues to be a drag on Democrats in most competitive House districts. Although Democrats are hoping to refocus voter attention on "do nothing Republicans," they face severe challenges in motivating some elements of their base to the polls. As both parties size...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, August 1, 2014

Every election cycle is different. Each has a unique political environment and set of circumstances, all of which keep elections interesting. Aside from the extremely competitive fight over the Senate, the biggest change this time around is the multitude of Senate forecasts using quantitative election models of various types; these new players are joining the game alongside the more...

FEC Reports|August 1, 2014

The Cook Political Report has updated its House and Senate FEC charts to reflect receipts, disbursements, and cash on hand figures through the second quarter of 2014. Figures listed in these charts reflect the most current campaign summary information available through the Federal Election Commission.

National Politics|By Amy Walter, July 30, 2014

There’s a certain irony in political operatives bemoaning the crass political strategy laid out in - what was supposed to be – a private internal campaign strategy memo for Georgia Senate candidate Michelle Nunn. Anyone who has ever worked for or with a campaign has either written or read a memo like this one: a memo that made frank assessments of the strengths and weaknesses of one’s own...

The 2014 Political Environment

Updated August 26, 2014 | As the 2014 midterm election cycle begins to take shape, the Cook Political Report has identified several metrics worth monitoring between now and Election Day.

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  • The current Senate line-up is 53 Democrats, 45 Republicans, and two independents that caucus with Democrats.  There are 36 Senate races on the ballot in 2014.  To win the majority, Republicans would have to score a net gain of six seats.  Democrats are defending 21 of these seats, including six in states that GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney won easily in 2012, and two more that are in swing states.  By contrast, Republicans will defend 15 seats, only one of which is in a state that President Obama carried in 2012.  Republicans have also successfully expanded the playing field of vulnerable Democratic-held seats, increasing their chances of winning the majority.  Republicans are on track to pick up between four and six seats; it is more likely than not that the number will be at the higher end of – and may exceed – that range.

  • The current House breakdown is 234 Republicans, 199 Democrats, and two Democratic vacancies. Democrats need a net gain of 17 seats to reach a majority in 2014. Because the House is well sorted-out, large shifts or a change in partisan control of the House are unlikely. In large part because of President Obama's standing and the GOP's midterm turnout advantages, we would estimate a Republican gain of between two and 12 House seats if the election were held today.

  • The current line up of the nation’s Governors is 29 Republicans and 21 Democrats. There are 36 contests in 2014. Of these 36 races, 22 are held by Republicans and 14 by Democrats. Republicans have far more exposure to losses. Of the GOP’s 22 seats, President Obama easily carried seven of these states in 2012, while another three seats are in swing states. Only one of Democrats’ 14 seats is in a state that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried. While a favorable political landscape should help Republicans in the Senate and the House, it won’t be as helpful in gubernatorial contests. As such, Democrats are likely to gain between two and four seats.

Ohio  |  Governor  |  Kasich (R)

Lean R
Solid R

Georgia  |  Governor  |  Deal (R)

Toss Up
Likely R

Pennsylvania  |  Governor  |  Corbett (R)

Lean D
Toss Up

Montana  |  Senate  |  Walsh (D)

Lean R
Likely R

Kansas  |  Senate  |  Roberts (R)

Likely R
Solid R

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

The Lessons of 2010

August 5, 2014

In real estate, the three most important things are said to be "location, location, and location." In politics, it might well be "timing, timing, and timing." As we approach the 2014 midterm elections, the Senate's Democratic majority is teetering on the edge, but the House is just an afterthought, with little chance that it will change control or direction. Had it not been for the Democratic...

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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 look at the 2014 primary season ahead of November's midterm elections.

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