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POLITICAL ADVERTISING|By Elizabeth Wilner, December 15, 2015

More money has been spent on television advertising in this nascent presidential race than has ever been spent by this point before. And yet for many candidates, the rising tide isn't lifting their boats. Jeb Bush is the glaring example: $35 million spent on TV ads on his behalf as of December 14 and poll standings in single digits. But one analyst for another campaign who has been tracking ad...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, December 14, 2015

Being successful in politics depends on meeting voters where they are, not where you think they are or, where you think they should be. It’s about recognizing the political environment and working with it, not against it.

POLisci|By Frances Lee, December 14, 2015

Ever since winning control of the House of Representatives in 2010, the Republican party in Congress has been divided internally on a basic question: what is Republicans’ role as a congressional majority in divided government? The party has split not so much on questions of public policy as on strategy. At their root, these disputes center on the Republican Congress’s responsibility for...

House Overview|By David Wasserman, December 11, 2015

To most Republican strategists, there's no bigger nightmare than Donald Trump as the GOP's presidential nominee in 2016. This week, just about every Democrat running for president, Senate, House, and their respective campaign committees sought to tie Republicans to Trump and brand them one big bunch of xenophobes. Talk of a down-ballot Republican apocalypse has reached fever pitch.

Illinois House |By David Wasserman, December 11, 2015

Democratic Rep. Bobby Rush has easily won reelection in a heavily African-American Chicago seat for 24 years, but his fight for a 13th term may be decided in a courtroom rather than at the polls. It's a well-worn tradition in Illinois politics to challenge petition signatures, but primary challenger Chicago Alderman Howard Brookins, Jr. is confident Rush is 572 signatures short of the 1,314 he...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, December 11, 2015

Nev­er hav­ing been pres­id­ent, I can only guess that the day of the Kennedy Cen­ter Hon­ors ex­tra­vag­anza would be one of the most en­joy­able of the year. Not the part about dress­ing up in form­al wear, ne­ces­sar­ily. But spend­ing an af­ter­noon and even­ing hanging out with some of the most ac­com­plished people in mu­sic and the arts, some of them our her­oes, and listen­ing to...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, December 9, 2015

Thus far, this campaign has provided more questions than answers. I have dubbed the motto for 2016: WTF?!. But, some questions are more important – and the answers more consequential – than others. Here are the four BIG QUESTIONS that, when answered, will help us not only determine who the nominee will be, but also understand how he/she got there.

National Politics|By David Wasserman, December 8, 2015

Republicans contend that the 2016 election will be about Americans’ desire for change after eight years of a Democratic president. Democrats hope the election will tell a different story of change: a continued march toward a more diverse electorate that is ever more hostile to the GOP’s Electoral College fortunes.

National Politics|By Michael Nelson, December 7, 2015

The centennial of Frank Sinatra’s birth this Saturday is being celebrated for all sorts of reasons, most of them musical and cinematic. An aspect of the Sinatra legacy that’s easy to overlook is the weaving together of the celebrity world with the world of politics that, for better or worse, Sinatra pioneered.

  • 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

How Fake News Undermines Democracy

January 17, 2017

Al­most 130 years ago, Ger­man philo­soph­er Friedrich Ni­et­z­sche wrote, “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” In a per­verse way, BuzzFeed and CNN made Pres­id­ent-elect Trump stronger this week.

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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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