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Political Advertising|By Elizabeth Wilner, April 13, 2015

Only 4% of all TV ad occurrences captured by Kantar Media CMAG in the 2016 presidential race so far have been positive.

Note to Subscribers|April 10, 2015

On Wednesday, April 22 , from 8:30am to 11:00am ET , the Cook Political Report will host our first subscriber briefing of 2015.

House Overview|By David Wasserman, April 10, 2015

Now that the 2016 presidential race has begun in earnest, many hopefuls for House seats will struggle for attention and money, particularly considering the chamber has mostly become a foregone conclusion. Republicans have achieved their largest majority in 86 years, and now it's up to Democrats to prove that they aren't simply done for the decade.

California House|By David Wasserman, April 8, 2015

This afternoon, Santa Barbara Democratic Rep. Lois Capps announced she would retire at the end of her current term. This isn't a surprise, as her daughter, Democratic communications strategist Laura Capps, recently moved back to Santa Barbara and has been widely expected to seek her mother's seat. Lois Capps first won this seat in a 1998 special election following the death of her husband, Rep....

National Politics|By Amy Walter, April 8, 2015

Since Barack Obama’s win in 2008, phrases like “Demographic Destiny” and “Blue Wall” have become part of the justification for Democrats slight edge in winning the White House in 2016. Demographic destiny, of course, refers to Democrats’ success in winning over the fast-growing minority population, as well as women and the millennial generation, while the “Blue Wall” refers to the 242 Electoral...

House Overview|By David Wasserman, April 3, 2015

House Republicans are down three members from their election night total of 247 seats, but they are virtually certain to retain all three seats in special elections over the next four months. In Illinois's 18th CD and New York's 11th CD, Republicans may end up all but anointing successors to members who fell from grace. The real action is in Mississippi's 1st CD, where the race to replace late

Political Advertising|By Elizabeth Wilner, March 31, 2015

Senior Democratic operatives' claim to Politico that Hillary Clinton may hire as many as "1,000 data geeks, techies and digital gurus" to staff her presidential campaign has inspired some mockery. "Dumbfoundedly laughable," tweeted Republican analytics expert Alex Lundry. The Washington Post's Philip Bump wondered, "What exactly are they doing that, say, 500 people couldn't?"

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, March 31, 2015

There are as many ways to look at presidential nomination contests as there are political aficionados. A few weeks ago, I wrote about my preferred method for understanding the GOP race: treating it like the NCAA basketball tournament. According to this scheme, the Republican race consists of four brackets - the Establishment bracket; the Secular/Conventional Conservative bracket; the Tea...

Illinois House|By David Wasserman, March 30, 2015

This morning, Illinois Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth announced she will challenge GOP Sen. Mark Kirk in 2016. Although Illinois's Senate race is likely to be highly competitive, Democrats are in very strong position to hold Duckworth's seat. In 2012, state Democrats redrew Duckworth's seat in the northwest Chicago suburbs to be heavily Democratic. The seat is now nearly majority non-white and...

  • 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 245 Republicans and 188 Democrats, with two vacancies. Thanks to President Obama's standing and the GOP's natural midterm turnout advantages, Republicans gained 13 seats in 2014, and if they win upcoming special elections in New York's 11th CD and Mississippi's 1st CD, 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. Today, our outlook is a Democratic gain in the 5-15 seat range.

  • The 2016 cycle will host 15 gubernatorial contests, including three races in 2015, and 12 in 2016, including the special election in Oregon. Democrats are defending nine seats to six for Republicans. The most interesting races of 2015 will be the open seats in Kentucky and Louisiana. In 2016, the marquis contests will be the open seat in Missouri 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.

Minnesota  |  District 07  |  Peterson (D)

Likely D
Lean D

Minnesota  |  District 02  |  Kline (R)

Likely R
Solid R

Michigan  |  District 08  |  Bishop (R)

Likely R
Solid R

Michigan  |  District 07  |  Walberg (R)

Lean R
Likely R

Michigan  |  District 01  |  Benishek (R)

Lean R
Likely R

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Charlie Cook's Column

Glimmers of Hope on the Hill

April 24, 2015

The term "green shoots" is increasingly being used to describe the first positive signs of growth after an economic downturn. It is now possible to say that we are seeing green shoots on Capitol Hill, signs that the institution of Congress may be becoming a bit less dysfunctional than it has been in recent years.

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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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