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Virginia House |By David Wasserman, January 8, 2016

Yesterday, a federal court judge ordered a new Virginia congressional map for use in this year's election, converting GOP Rep. Randy Forbes' 4th District into a safe Democratic seat. The new map (image courtesy of Daily Kos Elections) effectively unpacks Democratic Rep. Bobby Scott's 56 percent African-American 3rd District into two separate Democratic seats.

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, January 8, 2016

The pre­season phase of the pres­id­en­tial cam­paign is now of­fi­cially over, so what can we ex­pect—that is, if any­thing can really be ex­pec­ted this year? Cer­tainly few, if any­one, an­ti­cip­ated the rise of Don­ald Trump and Ben Car­son. The sus­tain­ab­il­ity of the former caught the polit­ic­al pros off guard; the col­lapse of the lat­ter was less of a sur­prise. Bernie Sanders has...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, January 7, 2016

Even so, early states that are “open” to any voter (i.e, Democrats) include some of the deep red states where Trump has strong support like Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas. There’s recent evidence that getting non-traditional Republicans to vote in southern states can work. Witness GOP Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran who owes his 2014 run-off win to African-American...

New York House|By David Wasserman, January 5, 2016

In both the 2012 and 2014 cycles, Rep. Steve Israel dutifully and shrewdly headed the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Today, he announced he will retire in 2016 in part to focus on writing a second novel. Israel's surprise decision isn't just a reflection of Democrats' dismal odds of taking back the House; it's also a testament to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's long tenure and the...

Political Books|By Michael Nelson, January 4, 2016

In Garrison Keillor’s invented Lake Wobegon, Minnesota, all politics isn’t just local, it’s personal.

Political Advertising|By Elizabeth Wilner, December 26, 2015

By now, most journalists and opinion elite understand enough about political media buying to know that super PACs and other non-candidate, non-party-what we at CMAG refer to as "outside"-groups often pay significantly more than candidates pay to advertise on TV. Certain laws, as well as just plain good business sense, ensure that candidates get access to the airwaves at relatively reasonable...

New York House|By David Wasserman, December 21, 2015

Over the weekend, New York GOP Rep. Richard Hanna announced he would not seek a fourth term in his swing seat covering Binghamton and Utica. Hanna, a wealthy construction businessman, is the most liberal Republican left in the House and his move comes not only as a boon to Democrats looking to pick up his seat but a setback for GOP leaders who count on his vote.

Political Books|By Michael Nelson, December 21, 2015

Slingshot: The Defeat of Eric Cantor tells a story. That alone makes it unusual for a work of political science. Even more unusual is the story of how the book came to be. Randolph-Macon College economics professor David Brat, still mad because he was denied the Republican nomination for a Virginia House of Delegates seat in 2011 in favor of a rich-kid protégé of Eric Cantor, decided to...

House Overview|By David Wasserman, December 18, 2015

Believe it or not, there are more open seats than just the White House in 2016. As of today, there are 30 House members either retiring or running for higher office, as well as one vacancy. Of those 31 seats, 18 are currently held by Republicans. These numbers are fairly close to the historical average, and if the past is any indication, it's likely there will be around 40 open seats after all...

  • 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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Charlie Cook's Column

No Easy Wins for GOP Lawmakers Under Trump

June 23, 2017

For con­gres­sion­al Re­pub­lic­ans in the new norm of the Trump pres­id­ency, noth­ing is easy, and everything is hard. Rais­ing the debt ceil­ing in or­der to keep the gov­ern­ment from de­fault­ing on its debt is nor­mally easy; now it is hard. Passing an om­ni­bus budget bill to simply keep the gov­ern­ment op­er­at­ing (for­get the idea of passing the full bat­tery of 12 ap­pro­pri­ations...

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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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