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National Politics|By Charlie Cook, January 11, 2003

If the many announcements that various Democrats are or are not running for president weren't enough to signal the start of the 2004 campaign, the fight that broke out over competing economic stimulus packages surely was. The differences between the proposals offered by President Bush and by House Democrats provide an early outline of how the 2004 presidential campaign debate may shape up. Smarti…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, January 8, 2003

At this embryonic stage in the creation of the next Democratic presidential nominee, ranking the contenders is mostly guesswork, because there are few meaningful ways to measure who is ahead and by how much. However, by early April, the campaigns with the most to brag about financially will begin leaking estimates of how much they have raised in 2003. The ill-fated 1995-96 campaign of then-Sen. Ph…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, January 7, 2003

By its very nature and rules, Congress undergoes certain changes every two years at this point. But in some respects, given the relatively small number of retirees and incumbents losing re-election, fewer changes than normal are taking place as legislators and staff return to Capitol Hill this week. While veteran lawmakers like Republican Sens. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina and Jesse Helms of N…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, January 4, 2003

Here is a New Year's prediction: Heading toward the 2004 election, the word that Democrats will use most in attacking President Bush, his administration, and his re-election campaign will be "balance.…

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, July 12, 2016

Rather than set­tling a linger­ing ques­tion hanging over this pres­id­en­tial race, FBI Dir­ect­or James Comey’s re­com­mend­a­tion not to pro­sec­ute Hil­lary Clin­ton, and sub­sequent word from At­tor­ney Gen­er­al Lor­etta Lynch that the Justice De­part­ment was clos­ing the in­vest­ig­a­tion.

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, June 27, 2016

Every­one pretty much agrees that this is one of the most un­usu­al pres­id­en­tial elec­tions in his­tory, but the fo­cus is too much on quirky per­son­al­it­ies. To be sure, Bernie Sanders and Don­ald Trump are un­con­ven­tion­al pres­id­en­tial can­did­ates. But this elec­tion isn’t really about them or about Hil­lary Clin­ton either.

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, November 5, 2015

The Holy Grail in polit­ics is find­ing a can­did­ate who has the com­plete pack­age, the op­tim­al char­ac­ter­ist­ics to win a giv­en race. The list of re­quire­ments is daunt­ing. You want a can­did­ate who is bright and ar­tic­u­late but not eso­ter­ic, with re­lent­less fo­cus and dis­cip­line, es­pe­cially in stay­ing on-message. A com­pel­ling per­son­al story helps.

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, June 13, 2008

Considering how bleak Republicans' down-ballot prospects look, it is re-markable that they appear to have a 50-50 shot at holding on to the presidency. What makes this situation particularly unusual i…

  • 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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