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National Politics|By Charlie Cook, April 17, 2004

Over the course of the Clinton presidency, the American public became very polarized. One camp hated the president and his wife; the other camp supported them. The division was widely viewed as a commentary on the Clintons -- and nothing more.During the 2000 campaign, conservatives' animosity toward President Clinton largely shifted to his vice president, Al Gore, much as a refrigerator might conv…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, April 13, 2004

As President Bush faces a televised news conference tonight, the stakes are even higher than during his most recent and less fortunate national appearances -- the February State of the Union address a…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, April 6, 2004

So much has happened in the past week that could affect the presidential race one way or the other that it seems almost impossible to anticipate what polls are likely to show about the race a week or…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, April 3, 2004

Over the past couple of months, the 2004 campaign has turned  into a riveting three-ring political circus. The presidential  race promises to end in a photo finish. Meanwhile, Senate  Republicans will likely keep their slim majority, but Democrats  now have a plausible shot at capturing control. And even though  the Republican grip on the House is so strong that ousting th…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, March 30, 2004

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a National Journal column about the contention of Emory University political scientists Alan Abramowitz and Brad Alexander that redistricting might not be the primary cause of the dwindling number of competitive congressional elections in recent elections. In an exchange of e-mails with Abramowitz about that column, he mentioned he had uncovered an odd phenomenon ab…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, March 20, 2004

Seeing conventional wisdom turned on its head is always exciting, especially when a new theory forces me to rethink cherished assumptions. A paper on the decline of competitive congressional races -- delivered by Emory University professors Alan Abramowitz and Brad Alexander at last week's annual meeting of the Western Political Science Association -- did just that. According to conventional wisd…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, March 16, 2004

Assuming Republicans hold onto the Senate in November, they might well thank their lucky stars for Georgia, since it could provide the margin in the battle for control of the chamber. An unmistakable shift in GOP Senate fortunes has taken place in recent weeks. While Republican control is still likely, it is far from certain, and the three- or four-seat net gains that some predicted early in the c…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, March 15, 2004

This presidential contest is beginning to look more like a demolition derby than a marathon, the traditional metaphor used for the ever-lengthening campaigns for the White House. President Bush's campaign is beating Sen. John Kerry black-and-blue, while outside events are inflicting equally severe injuries on the incumbent.Under most circumstances, the back-to-back improvements represented by the…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, March 13, 2004

Most national polls, as well as surveys in the 16 crucial battleground states, show the race between President Bush and his Democratic challenger to be so close that the election seems mere days away…

  • 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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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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