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National Politics|By Charlie Cook, February 16, 2004

"We can't survive as a party without getting more of the Hispanic vote." -- Matthew Dowd, Chicago Tribune, January 27, 2002 "...the fact (is) that the Latino vote in this country is the fastest-gro…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, February 14, 2004

At this point, Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts is engaged in mop-up duty, with his clinching of the Democratic presidential nomination being a foregone conclusion. He has won 12 of 14 primaries and caucuses, including all of those not in a state bordering an opponent's home state. And in the vast majority of cases, he has won with impressive margins. At this stage, his rivals will simply become l…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, February 10, 2004

It is dangerous to assume anything this election year. But at this point, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry's claim on the Democratic presidential nomination looks close to rock-solid, and the contours of…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, February 7, 2004

By winning the South Carolina primary, Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina did what he had to do to survive. So did retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark by winning Oklahoma. Yet it's not easy to see how either could beat Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts for the Democratic presidential nomination. By winning five primaries and caucuses on Tuesday, including those in the two biggest states (Missouri and…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, February 3, 2004

Normally, I try to avoid the human tendency to make sweeping, "this race is over if" generalizations because politics is a complicated business, and myriad factors can transform something that looks inevitable into something unpredictable. Having said that, if Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., manages to finish first today in Missouri and Arizona, the two largest states in the process thus far, as well as…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, January 31, 2004

John Kerry's impressive victory in the New Hampshire Democratic primary wins him the Lazarus Award for coming back from the political dead. Although the senator from Massachusetts began 2003 with a lead of about 15 points in the Granite State over former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, Kerry fell as much as 30 points behind once Dean began his climb. Kerry then began an astonishing comeback over the Ch…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, January 27, 2004

If history is an accurate guide, and assuming most polls are correct in predicting Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry will win today's New Hampshire primary, he should go on to win the Democratic nominatio…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, January 24, 2004

Des Moines, Iowa - In the world of political punditry, the objective is to always have a theory that predicts the future. This theory should be based on a reasonable-sounding hypothesis and have at least a 60 percent chance of turning out to be correct. But given how topsy-turvy the Democratic presidential contest is now, I don't know how anyone can come up with a prediction about who'll be the pa…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, January 20, 2004

Des Moines, Iowa - In Sunday's Des Moines Register, David Yepsen, the dean of the Iowa political press corps, reminded us of the "Nagle Rule." Named after former Rep. Dave Nagle, D-Iowa, the rule posits that a presidential campaign in the Iowa caucuses should, "organize, organize, organize. Then get hot at the end." Looking back at Monday's results, the winner, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., was the on…

  • 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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