Jump to Any Race
North Carolina House|By David Wasserman, April 11, 2014

If Clay Aiken couldn't beat Ruben Studdard in 2003, can he beat GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers in 2014? Don't get us wrong: we still believe Ellmers is the overwhelming favorite to win reelection in North Carolina's 2nd CD. Her heavily gerrymandered seat is a scary place for any Democrat and gave President Obama just 41 percent of the vote in 2012. However, those tempted to label Democrat and 2003...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, April 11, 2014

When people suggest that one election will be exactly like another, I recall a lesson my good friend, political economist Tom Gallagher, taught me about historical parallels. Tom would often quote Mark Twain’s line that “history does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” The truth is that while no two elections are truly alike, they can share some similarities, particularly if you don’t look...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, April 10, 2014

Despite a less-than-rosy economy, President Obama won re-election due in large part to the fact that he made the race a referendum on Mitt Romney and his "47 percent" ideology. Two years later, the economy looks better on paper, but voters aren't seeing it. That means Democrats will once again make an election a referendum not on how good things are under Democrats, but how terrible they will...

Political Advertising|By Elizabeth Wilner, April 8, 2014

From the 2004 election cycle through March 31, 2014, Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group has classified more than 50,000 TV ads in races for president on down to local office. This figure excludes the thousands of ballot initiative ads, non-election issue ads, and pre-2004 campaign ads we’ve also classified. Even without them, this interactive “Eye” created by CMAG’s...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, April 7, 2014

The extent to which the politics of the 2016 presidential nomination are already encroaching on the 2014 midterm elections is, indeed, quite something. Establishment Republicans worried about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's political viability now seem to be turning their attention back to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who in turn is not exactly spurning their flirtations. Last week's...

New Hampshire Senate|By Jennifer Duffy, April 4, 2014

For months, the race in New Hampshire has been relatively sleepy, except for the rumors that first term Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen would end up in a competitive contest. The subject of those rumors was former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts. While many political observers were cheering the possibility of such a race, it didn’t seem likely for several months. Then, Brown began taking...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, April 4, 2014

If the Citizens United decision opened up a fire hose of money into the political system, the latest Supreme Court decision removing overall limits on campaign contributions (McCutcheon v. FEC) is more like a garden hose. To be sure, more money will be going into the coffers of campaigns, party committees, and PACs, especially leadership PACs. This is good news for party committees who have...

Pennsylvania House|By David Wasserman, April 4, 2014

In 2012, Pennsylvania's Republicans engineered perhaps the most brutally efficient redistricting map in the country: thanks to some creative cartography, the GOP captured 13 of the state's 18 districts, even though Democratic candidates for House won 83,468 more votes than Republicans statewide. Thanks to the national political environment, Republicans appear likely to hold their 13-5 House...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, April 3, 2014

By a quirk of fate, we may be in for some pretty turbulent Senate elections, not only this November but in 2016 and 2018 as well. Majority status could resemble a rubber band as much as anything else. It is entirely plausible that the Senate will tip back into GOP hands in 2014, return to Democrats in 2016, and then flip again to Republicans in 2018. It’s all about how many—and which—seats on...

The 2014 Political Environment

Updated April 17, 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.

  1. Right Direction/Wrong Track Polling
  2. Presidential Job Approval Ratings
  3. Consumer Confidence/Consumer Sentiment
  4. ACA/Obamacare: Public Approval
  5. Party Affiliation
  6. Democratic/Republican Party Favorability Ratings
  7. The Generic Congressional Ballot Test

Also: "What It Takes:" 2014 House and Senate Math

Read full report »
  • 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 233 Republicans, 199 Democrats, and three vacancies (one Republican and two Democratic). 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, they remain on track to lose between two and four seats. 

Hawaii  |  District 01  |  Hanabusa (D)

Solid D
Likely D

Florida  |  District 10  |  Webster (R)

Likely R
Solid R

Wisconsin  |  District 06  |  Petri (R)

Likely R
Solid R

North Carolina  |  District 02  |  Ellmers (R)

Likely R
Solid R

Michigan  |  District 08  |  Rogers (R)

Lean 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

Playing the Name Game for 2016

April 18, 2014

The most popular parlor game in Washington and among political aficionados across America at the moment is pondering who will run for president in 2016, who will be the finalists for each nomination, and who will ultimately win on Nov. 8. It's always a fun game to play, with an infinite number of factors to be weighed and no one knowing the actual outcome for a very long time. But as much fun...

Read more »
More Columns »
Sign up for Charlie’s columns as they are released on NationalJournal.com »


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.
View Columns »

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.
View Columns »

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.
See Chart »
Read More »

The Rhodes Cook Letter

This first issue of "The Rhodes Cook Letter" for 2014 takes a look at the primary season that has just begun. The text focuses on the high profile Senate primaries. The charts seek to put this year's primary action into some historical context.

Download »