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National Politics|By Charlie Cook, October 18, 2016

What a dif­fer­ence a week makes. In the wake of the first pres­id­en­tial de­bate, Hil­lary Clin­ton looked to be pulling away in the pres­id­en­tial race, the fight over the Sen­ate ma­jor­ity was an even-money bet, and Re­pub­lic­an con­trol of the House seemed to be a cinch. Today, the pres­id­en­tial race looks like a cake­walk for Clin­ton, the Re­pub­lic­an Sen­ate ma­jor­ity looks...

House Overview|By David Wasserman, October 14, 2016

Ever since last Friday's Access Hollywood bombshell, Speaker Paul Ryan has treated Trump's campaign as a sinking ship and has sounded an alarm to donors to shift resources towards saving the majority. Meanwhile, we have been inundated with questions about whether the majority is now in play. We've long been skeptical, but purposefully waited a few days to gather as much fresh data as possible...

House Overview|By David Wasserman, October 14, 2016

Based on the latest public and private polling, we are revising our ratings in eight districts. Five of the changes favor Democrats. Of note, GOP Rep. Darrell Issa (CA-49), former chair of the House Oversight Committee, moves to the Toss Up column for the first time since he was elected in 2000. Our outlook remains a Democratic gain of between 5 and 20 seats in the House. Check out our full...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, October 12, 2016

Over the last year we’ve witnessed a familiar pattern:  Trump does or says something controversial/contentious/reprehensible (Judge Curiel, The Khan family, Alicia Machado), his poll numbers plummet and talk ensues about a Hillary Clinton “landslide” and a down ballot wipe out. The #nevertrump continent engages in Twitter schadenfreude.

Battleground States|By Michael Nelson, October 12, 2016

David Damore, a professor of political science at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, is a Brooking Mountain West Fellow, a senior analyst at Latino Decisions, and president-elect of the Southwestern Political Science Association. Below is our interview with him on the battleground state of Nevada. 

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, October 11, 2016

The head­line of a column by The New York Times’ Jim Ruten­berg in Thursday’s pa­per asked the ques­tion, “Ed­it­or­i­al Writers Have Spoken, but Will the Voters Listen?” The piece noted that The At­lantic (Na­tion­al Journ­al’s older sis­ter pub­lic­a­tion)—which had only en­dorsed two pres­id­en­tial can­did­ates in its 159-year his­tory just en­dorsed Hil­lary Clin­ton

National Politics|By Michael Nelson, October 10, 2016

I was in a coliseum to watch the first Ali-Frazier fight on a big screen in 1971. And I was in the media filing center during three of the presidential and vice presidential debates in 2008.

National Politics|By Amy Walter, October 10, 2016

Lincoln-Douglas this was not. In fact, the debate Sunday night between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was ugly, angry and soul-crushing. It was less a forum for undecided voters than a grudge match between two people who really, really don’t like each other. At the end of the day, however, this debate did little to change the trajectory of the campaign. This is still Clinton’s race to lose....

Senate Overview|By Jennifer Duffy, October 7, 2016

When the majority is at stake, the battle for the control of the U.S. Senate always becomes a math equation. What combination of seats will get one party or the other to the magic number? For Democrats this cycle, that magic number is four seats if Hilary Clinton wins the White House, or five if she isn’t successful.

  • 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. In 2016, 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 has been helped by open seats, particularly compared to the last three cycles. Democrats need five seats – or four if they retain the White House – to take back the majority. Wth two weeks before Election Day, Democrats appear to be on track to pick up between four and six seats.

  • The 2016 election resulted in a House breakdown of 240 Republicans and 194 Democrats, with one Louisiana seat headed to a December 10 runoff that is very likely to be won by a Republican. Democrats scored a net gain of six seats, a disappointing result for a party that had hoped to pick up more than 15 and cut the GOP's majority in half. Democrats' best hope for a majority in 2018 would be an unpopular President Donald Trump. But given Republicans' redistricting advantages and how well sorted-out the House has become, it could still be very difficult for Democrats to pick up the 24 seats they would need.

  • The 2016 cycle will host 12 gubernatorial contests, including the special election in Oregon. Democrats are defending eight seats to four for Republicans. The marquis contests will be the Democratic-held open seats in Missouri, New Hampshire and West Virginia, 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.

Tennessee  |  Governor  |  Haslam (R)

Likely R
Solid R

Kansas  |  Governor  |  Brownback (R)

Likely R
Solid R

Illinois  |  Governor  |  Rauner (R)

Toss Up
Lean R

New Mexico  |  Governor  |  Martinez (R)

Lean D
Toss Up

New Jersey  |  Governor  |  Christie (R)

Likely D
Lean D

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

No Easy Wins for GOP Lawmakers Under Trump

June 23, 2017

For con­gres­sion­al Re­pub­lic­ans in the new norm of the Trump pres­id­ency, noth­ing is easy, and everything is hard. Rais­ing the debt ceil­ing in or­der to keep the gov­ern­ment from de­fault­ing on its debt is nor­mally easy; now it is hard. Passing an om­ni­bus budget bill to simply keep the gov­ern­ment op­er­at­ing (for­get the idea of passing the full bat­tery of 12 ap­pro­pri­ations...

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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, Senior 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 2016 election.

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