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National Politics|By Charlie Cook, February 18, 2003

Some issues are more politically complicated and dicey than others, but few are as delicate as Iraq is for Democrats these days. On one level, the base of the Democratic Party has opinions conside…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, February 15, 2003

Preoccupied as we are with the prospect of war, it's easy for Americans to forget that congressional elections are just 21 months away. Party strategists, of course, are well aware of the approaching election and are busy drafting their blueprints. But House Democrats, who are 12 seats short of a majority, need more than just a good blueprint if they are going to win control in 2004. They also nee…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, February 11, 2003

It has been a very, very long time since a more politically turbulent set of circumstances existed than the one we face today. Likelihood of a war with Iraq within the next month is strong. Late last…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, February 4, 2003

With the fight for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination under way and Americans appropriately preoccupied with the Columbia tragedy this past weekend and the probability of war in the next two months, it's easy to forget that congressional elections are just 21 months away. In many ways, this election cycle will look familiar. Issues like the number of open seats, the effectiveness of candi…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, February 1, 2003

How disheartening it must have been for the president to wake up on the day he was to deliver an incredibly important State of the Union address and to hear immediately that the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence rating had just fallen to a nine-year low. But ever since Republicans did unexpectedly well in the November 5 midterm elections, they've heard a lot of bad news. The hottest debate…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, January 28, 2003

Things were very different when President Bush last walked down the center aisle of the U.S. House chamber to deliver his State of the Union message. His job approval rating in the two Ipsos-Reid/…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, January 21, 2003

With six virtually announced contenders in the wide-open contest for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004, and at least four more in varying degrees of consideration, there are as many theories of what will happen as people who are thinking about it. Most of the attention focuses on Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, who is the closest to a front-runner at this point. Also playing are Se…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, January 18, 2003

Conventional wisdom tends to cast the 6-point advantage the Republicans had in last year's total popular vote for the U.S. House as the truest measure of the relative strength of the two major parties…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, January 14, 2003

Although history tells us there is absolutely no relationship between a president's job approval rating during his first 33 months in office and whether he was subsequently re-elected, it is still int…

  • 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

Two Special Elections Add Suspense to Midterms

April 25, 2017

Two con­gres­sion­al spe­cial elec­tions in as many weeks make clear that while the Re­pub­lic­an Party is not in a free fall, things are not co­pacet­ic, either. Re­pub­lic­an state Treas­urer Ron Estes won last week’s spe­cial elec­tion in Kan­sas’s 4th Dis­trict to fill the va­cancy cre­ated by Mike Pom­peo’s nom­in­a­tion to head the CIA, but his 5-point vic­tory was far short of the...

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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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