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Hawaii House |By David Wasserman, August 14, 2015

For years, Sen. Daniel Inouye's political organization dominated Hawaii politics, anointing loyalists up and down the ballot. But Inouye's passing in 2012 prompted a multi-year game of musical chairs, and the old machine has crumbled. In 2014, Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, an Inouye protege, challenged appointed Sen. Brian Schatz in the primary and lost.

Georgia House|By David Wasserman, August 14, 2015

Republicans strengthened their grip in Georgia in 2014 when they finally defeated the last white House Democrat in the Deep South, Rep. John Barrow. Between a competitive Senate race and three open GOP seats, 2014 was a political frenzy in the Peach State. But so far, 2016 is shaping up to be much quieter.

Political Advertising|By Elizabeth Wilner, August 12, 2015

If you work in political advertising, it’s easy to believe that the business, populated by its own agencies and governed by unique rates and rules, exists in isolation from the rest of the ad industry. Quite to the contrary, political buffets the broader industry in two big ways. First, as a cause of increasing disruption. As Election Days draw closer, more and more nonpolitical ads are...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, August 7, 2015

The biggest winner was Fox News. The questions were tough but fair, no one can accuse Fox of pulling their punches. Donald Trump came into the debate with a big lead in the polls so they reserved their toughest punches for him, but every candidate in the primetime debate was worked over. Fox was also vindicated in their decision to bifurcate the debates. There is no way the prime time...

House Overview|By David Wasserman, August 7, 2015

With just 188 seats, House Democrats may be deep in the minority. However, that doesn't make them insignificant. In the last Congress, Republican leaders struggled to quell internal revolts and depended on Democratic support to pass several must-pass pieces of legislation, making Democrats one of the most influential minority parties in a while. And although Democrats are more liberal than ever...

Alabama Senate|By Jennifer Duffy, August 7, 2015

A huge campaign war chest, a very red state and seniority in the Senate combine to ensure that Republican Sen. Richard Shelby gets re-elected with ease. In fact, no credible Democrat gives the idea of challenging either of the state’s two U.S. Senators even a passing glance.

Alaska Senate|By Jennifer Duffy, August 7, 2015

As Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski approaches a campaign for a second full term, the question waiting to be answered is what kind of race will she get? At this point in 2009, it looked as if Murkowski was on a glide path to re-election, but ended up losing the primary to Tea Party candidate Joe Miller and winning re-election as a write-in candidate. It’s hard to fathom that scenario repeating...

FEC Reports|August 7, 2015

Senate FEC reports for the second quarter of the 2016 election cycle are now available. Web Editor Ally Flinn has compiled the chart below that provides the cash-on-hand totals for incumbents, as well as selected U.S. House Members who have announced or who have been mentioned as potential Senate candidates.

Florida House|By David Wasserman, August 7, 2015

This week, Republicans in the Florida Senate unveiled a draft of a new congressional map designed to comply with the Florida Supreme Court's ruling last month striking down the state's lines. As expected, the proposal would likely flip partisan control in the districts of Reps. Gwen Graham (FL-02), Dan Webster (FL-10), and David Jolly (FL-13), netting Democrats one seat. The courts have...

  • 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 and 188 Democrats, with 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 5-15 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.

Florida  |  District 02  |  Graham (D)

Toss Up
Lean R

New York  |  District 23  |  Reed (R)

Likely R
Solid R

Nevada  |  District 04  |  Hardy (R)

Lean D
Toss Up

Florida  |  District 10  |  Webster (R)

Lean D
Toss Up

North Dakota  |  Governor  |  Dalrymple (R)

Likely R
Solid R

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Charlie Cook's Column

Biden vs. Clinton Buzz Adds to 2016 Intrigue

August 6, 2015

It certainly is hard for me to relate to University of Alabama and New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath's 1969 fun autobiography, I Can't Wait Until Tomorrow ... 'Cause I Get Better-Looking Every Day. But in terms of politics these days, I do feel that I "can't wait until tomorrow ... 'cause Campaign 2016 is getting better every day."

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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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