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National Politics|By Charlie Cook, May 3, 2003

Not long ago, someone asked me why the House and Senate are so very different. The easy answer is that their rules, cultures, and traditions have created vastly different dynamics. That doesn't explain all of the contrast, though. There's an old story in which a House leader tells a younger colleague, ‘The other party is the opposition; the Senate is the enemy." That tale probably came to many mi…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, April 29, 2003

For Democrats to win back control of the Senate in 2004, they will have to pull off something akin to an inside straight -- very difficult, but not impossible. After all, not many people expected Republicans to score a net gain of two Senate seats in 2002 or that Democrats would pick up four in 2000. Although some point to the fact that Democrats have more seats to defend (19) than do Republicans…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, April 26, 2003

With the war in Iraq over, the political focus is shifting to the role that the national-security-versus-economic-security debate will play in the 2004 presidential campaign and to the obvious comparisons between the situations of the two presidents named Bush. Certainly, both similarities and differences abound in the circumstances of father and son. One important, perhaps critical, distinction…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, April 22, 2003

Although it is true that all bounces in presidential popularity are not created equal, some surges that follow major developments or big successes are more durable than others. In truth, things are mu…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, April 19, 2003

The announcement that freshman Republican Sen. Peter G. Fitzgerald of Illinois will not seek re-election throws the political spotlight, at least for a moment, back on the Senate. Republicans now hold that chamber by a slim majority of 51-49. How will next year's 34 Senate contests be decided? Two scenarios are plausible. The first is the level-playing-field scenario: Each race's outcome is inde…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, April 15, 2003

With both Democratic and Republican House campaign committees grappling with the complexities of a new campaign finance law, both parties must be relieved that there are no competitive special elections in sight at this point in the election cycle. Putting aside the formality special election to replace the late Democratic Rep. Patsy Mink of Hawaii, the only other special election slated for this…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, April 12, 2003

There is much to love about politics and the people it attracts, but one of the tiresome things about covering politics is the highly selective sense of outrage that exists among political people of all stripes. They're quick to pounce on the slightest transgression-whether real, imagined, or contrived-on the other side of the fence, but are trangely silent when something similar happens on their…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, April 10, 2003

President Bush's re-election campaign has a certain Perils of  Pauline aspect. Just as the job-creation situation showed signs  of improving, Iraq suddenly turned worse. A month or two from  now, we could see things in Iraq get better but see the jobs  situation turn south again.For now, Iraq seems to be Bush's bigger problem. Since  mid-March, we've seen the casualty rate…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, April 8, 2003

It will be a week or two before the Democratic presidential contenders' actual first quarter reports to the Federal Election Commission will be public and a real, line-by-line analysis of their actual fund raising, spending and saving patterns and progress can be measured. But based on what the campaigns are claiming to have raised and other unrelated campaign developments, some generalizations ar…

  • 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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Charlie Cook's Column

Trump’s Policies Are a Result of On-the-Job Training

April 20, 2017

The me­dia and crit­ics on the Left are hav­ing a field day at­tack­ing Pres­id­ent Trump’s rather nu­mer­ous and of­ten dra­mat­ic changes of heart on policy—wheth­er China ma­nip­u­lates its cur­rency, the ne­ces­sity of the U.S. Ex­port-Im­port Bank and NATO, and the U.S.’s stra­tegic pos­ture in Syr­ia.

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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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