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National Politics|By Charlie Cook, June 1, 2004

No more than seven weeks from now, Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts will have to announce his selection of a vice presidential running mate, a decision as important as any that a presidential nominee will make. By last count, The Hotline had counted 68 names that had been mentioned in the media as potential running mates, some more serious than others. The conventional wisdom long has…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, May 29, 2004

Panic is never a particularly attractive trait. But  congressional Republicans were beginning to show some last week.  Senate Republicans have been aware for a month or two that their  chamber will be "in play" this November. The extreme anxiety  among House Republicans, however, is new. One powerful House  chairman pulled me aside last week to ask, "Are we in trouble?"&nb…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, May 25, 2004

Even a casual walk across Capitol Hill these days discovers a near-euphoric feeling among Democrats that things are going their way, and a symmetrical feeling of anxiety, though not quite panic, among…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, May 18, 2004

If 1997 was the most boring political year we've had in over two decades, 2004 is turning out the be one of the most fascinating. While the Senate has become a legislative hospice, a place where bi…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, May 8, 2004

 It's safe to say that the state-by-state battleground on  which this presidential campaign is being fought is defined more  clearly, and earlier, than any other in modern history. Despite  September 11 and two wars, the terrain on which the 2004  campaign is being waged differs only slightly from the one on  which the 2000 campaign was fought -- when one party won th…

South Dakota Governor|By Charlie Cook, May 4, 2004

With just under one month left before the June 1 special election to replace former Republican Rep. William Janklow in South Dakota, the contest between Democrat Stephanie Herseth and Republican Larry Diedrich is starting to hit its stride. Herseth -- the 2002 Democratic nominee who held former four-term Gov. Janklow to 53 percent and the better known of the two candidates -- started the race wit…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, May 1, 2004

If there is any truth to the old saying that nothing is more exhilarating than being shot at and missed, then four-term Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., must feel especially energized. Specter fought off an aggressive challenge from his right by Rep. Pat Toomey, taking 51 percent in Tuesday's Republican primary. Turnout was light, meaning that Specter also defied the axiom that moderates and incumbents…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, April 27, 2004

This is a big week in American politics. The results of today's Republican Senate primary in Pennsylvania will determine whether the GOP will have another difficult open seat to defend, an important factor now that their hold on the upper chamber is in doubt. And President Bush's campaign has launched a new ad targeting Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, the presumptive Democratic nominee, that th…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, April 24, 2004

Heading into Pennsylvania's April 27 Republican primary,  campaign strategists on both sides are watching conservative  Rep. Pat Toomey mount a strong challenge to moderate four-term  incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter. The outcome could determine  whether the GOP's tenuous 51-seat majority in the Senate is in  serious danger, or whether Senate Republicans are going to  fin…

  • 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

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    – David Broder, The Washington Post

Charlie Cook's Column

Democrats Find It’s Risky to Poke the GOP Elephant

June 27, 2017

There’s an old say­ing that close only counts in horse­shoes and hand gren­ades, and that’s cer­tainly how Demo­crats must feel after los­ing their third and fourth at­tempts of the year to wrestle away Re­pub­lic­an-held seats in spe­cial con­gres­sion­al elec­tions. In fair­ness, the first two shouldn’t fully count against them since the Demo­crat­ic Con­gres­sion­al Cam­paign Com­mit­tee was...

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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, 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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