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House Overview|By David Wasserman, October 10, 2014

Thursday began with a Politico story hitting GOP hopeful Barbara Comstock (VA-10) for failing to disclose income from the Workplace Fairness Institute, a client whose anti-labor legislative priorities she helped pass as a state delegate. But it ended with a Roll Call story about Democrats' decision to cancel their ad reservations in the DC media market. If Comstock gets a free pass on the...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, October 10, 2014

This article appears in the October 7, 2014 edition of NJ Daily.

National Politics|By Amy Walter, October 9, 2014

Earlier this year, I sat down with a smart strategist who has been actively involved in the independent expenditure side of the campaign world for the last couple cycles. When I asked this Democrat what he learned from 2012 that he was going to put into practice in the upcoming midterms, he said (and I'm paraphrasing here), "I'm not interested in rehashing 2012, I'm focused on running the best...

Political Advertising|By Elizabeth Wilner, October 7, 2014

ISIS and heightened awareness of terrorist threats to the US. Border security. Equal pay for women and domestic violence. These are the hot new additions to the otherwise same old, same old issue menu for TV advertising in 2014. Being topical or at least highly tactical, these ads get a lot of attention. Yet none of these subjects even comes close to amassing the airings devoted to the...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, October 7, 2014

While the outcomes of presidential races are pretty much decided by how the swing, or "purple," states split, in the fight for control of the U.S. Senate that is not always the case. The challenge for Democrats in this election is having so many seats up in very Republican states. Seven of those seats are in states carried by Mitt Romney, and—tougher still—six of the seven are states Romney...

House Overview|By David Wasserman, October 3, 2014

One month out, Republicans appear on track to expand their House majority by between two and 12 seats. As more GOP incumbents like Rep. Rodney Davis (IL-13) have moved towards safer ground, Republicans are talking more openly about targeting some seats that were previously considered "reaches," such as Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei's NY-24 and Maine's open 2nd CD. To be sure, the news isn't all...

Maryland Governor|By Jennifer Duffy, October 3, 2014

This race was supposed to be over once the nominees were chosen, but Republican businessman Larry Hogan is showing surprising strength against Democratic Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown in this heavily Democratic state.  According to strategists, voters are restless and are looking for change.  They don’t see Brown, who serves as outgoing two-term Gov. Martin O’Malley’s second in command, as...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, October 3, 2014

With the outcome of up to 11 Senate seats plausibly in doubt, here is what we know—or at least can pretty easily assume. Republicans are virtually certain to pick up three open Democratic-held seats in Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia. The GOP is now increasingly favored to hold on to at least two of the party's three endangered seats: the open seat in Georgia and that of Senate...

House Overview|By David Wasserman, October 3, 2014

For all of House Democrats' problems this cycle, money hasn't seemed to be one of them. Thanks in part to their domination of online fundraising, the DCCC outraised the NRCC $10.2 million to $4.4 million in August. "We may have more money than we have winnable races," said one Democratic consultant earlier in the year. Yet when it comes to actual spending in the most competitive races, so far...

The 2014 Political Environment

Updated October 21, 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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  • Republicans are on track to pick up between four and seven seats; it is more likely than not that the number will be at the higher end of – and may exceed – that range. 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. Republicans have also successfully expanded the playing field of vulnerable Democratic-held seats, increasing their chances of winning the majority. Democrats have been limited in their ability to put GOP-held seats in play.

  • The current House breakdown is 233 Republicans, 199 Democrats, and three 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 four and ten 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.

Iowa  |  District 02  |  Loebsack (D)

Likely D
Lean D

Kansas  |  District 02  |  Jenkins (R)

Likely R
Solid R

Maine  |  District 02  |  Michaud (D)

Lean D
Toss Up

Michigan  |  District 07  |  Walberg (R)

Likely R
Solid R

Michigan  |  District 01  |  Benishek (R)

Lean R
Likely R

Election Day Countdown

The Cook Political Report's 2014 midterm election countdown clock:

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

Democrats Face Strong Headwinds in Fight to Keep Senate Majority

October 17, 2014

Since March, I have been saying that Republicans had at least a 50 percent chance of retaking a Senate majority this year, and since July, I have upped that chance to 60 percent. There has been the normal ebb and flow of candidates' fortunes in many individual races since then, but the general direction of this election has remained pretty much the same. While the political environment is bad...

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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, 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 looks back at the 2014 primary season.

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