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National Politics|By Charlie Cook, October 9, 2004

For perhaps the first time in this general election campaign, the presidential race is essentially even. While this has always been a competitive race, one candidate or the other has generally had an edge, even if just by a couple of points. If someone put a gun to my head today and asked me to name this contest's winner, I might have to say, "Fire away," because I honestly don't know. Ten days ag…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, October 5, 2004

Here we are, back to square one -- a close race. Just as this race was not over last summer, when Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, now the Democratic nominee, was ahead, it wasn't over in September when President Bush had the lead. This happened notwithstanding all the ugly e-mails I got from conservatives in Dallas and elsewhere that suggested that anyone who didn't know Bush was going to win was s…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, October 2, 2004

The announced topic of the first presidential debate was foreign policy, but the make-or-break question underlying that 90-minute broadcast had nothing directly to do with Iraq or North Korea or the Middle East: Do the American people want John Kerry in their living rooms for the next four years? It would be easy to attribute President Bush's lead in the polls to a squandered Democratic conventi…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, September 28, 2004

Over the course of the last few weeks, national polls measuring the state of the presidential race have shown fluctuations anywhere from double-digit leads for President Bush to a dead heat between him and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. Insiders on both sides see a small but significant lead for Bush. For House Democrats, who need a strong Kerry showing and voters searching for change, this is not goo…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, September 25, 2004

With the first presidential debate looming this Thursday night, we're in the heart of this campaign. The race is now very steady, top strategists in both parties say, with President Bush running ahead of Sen. John Kerry by 3 to 5 points -- a narrower margin than many public polls report; a wider one than a few have indicated. Bush's edge isn't big, but it is real. What's more, it's now an actual l…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, September 21, 2004

Rounding the turn into the fourth week of September, President Bush's lead over Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John Kerry seems to be somewhere in the mid-single digits. The differences between individual polls are amazing, however, ranging from Bush ahead by 16 points all the way to a statistical dead heat. According to the handy RealClearPolitics average of national public polls, the president h…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, September 18, 2004

With just six weeks to go before the election, Republicans are favored to hold the White House and to maintain their majorities in the Senate and House, although only their House victory seems certain. President Bush runs ahead of Sen. John Kerry by an average of about 6 points in three-way trial heats, with independent Ralph Nader in the low single digits. Two-way trial heats tend to show Bush wi…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, September 14, 2004

Entering the third week of September, President Bush's lead over Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., seems to be in the five-to-seven-point range. The handy RealClearPolitics Poll Average of national polls shows the president with a 6.5-point advantage in a three-way race over Kerry and independent Ralph Nader. The average was 3.6 points in a two-way, Bush-Kerry trial heat, while the president's job approv…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, September 11, 2004

The Bush-Cheney '04 campaign is one of the best-planned and best-executed presidential campaigns in modern history -- up there with the 1992 Clinton-Gore campaign, which upset the re-election hopes of President Bush's father. And not since the 1984 Republican convention, which renominated President Reagan, has there been a national convention that's managed its message as well as the GOP's gatheri…

  • 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.

Wisconsin  |  District 08  |  Ribble (R)

Lean R
Likely R

New York  |  District 24  |  Katko (R)

Lean R
Likely R

New York  |  District 22  |  Hanna (R)

Toss Up
Lean R

New York  |  District 03  |  Israel (D)

Likely D
Lean D

New York  |  District 01  |  Zeldin (R)

Lean R
Likely R

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    – David Broder, The Washington Post

Charlie Cook's Column

A Presidency Headed in the Wrong Direction

March 28, 2017

Nobody knows where this nas­cent Don­ald Trump pres­id­ency is go­ing. New ad­min­is­tra­tions start off with an in­fin­ite num­ber of po­ten­tial tra­ject­or­ies, but this one is even more un­pre­dict­able than oth­ers. Trump could still turn out to be a suc­cess­ful pres­id­ent. As an Amer­ic­an, I cer­tainly hope he will. But today at least, it looks more like a “death by a thou­sand cuts.”

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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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