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Battleground States|By Michael Nelson, November 2, 2016

Marjorie Sarbaugh-Thompson is professor of political science at Wayne State University, where she teaches courses on public administration and public policy. She is the primary author of The Political and Institutional Effects of Term Limits as well as multiple journal articles.

House Overview|By David Wasserman, November 2, 2016

The presidential race may be inducing whiplash, but the House battleground remains relatively stable in the final week. We rate only 40 House races in Lean or Toss Up, and Democrats would need to sweep 35 of them to win control, so Republicans remain overwhelming favorites to hold onto their majority. But there is still plenty of uncertainty about the size of that majority: Democrats could gain...

National Politics|By David Wasserman, November 2, 2016

The FBI may have injected last-minute uncertainty into the presidential race, but with eight days to go, the contours of Hillary Clinton’s coalition are coming into sharper focus. It’s not yet clear whether it will match the breadth of President Obama’s coalition, which was sufficient for a majority in both 2008 and 2012. But even if it doesn’t, it could be sufficient for a plurality.

Political Advertising|By Charlie Cook, November 2, 2016

During their coverage of the Watergate scandal, Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were told by their secret source "Deep Throat" to "follow the money." In trying to determine which are the last states that will make a difference, follow the money is good advice. Given the incredible level and quality of state-level polling being conducted for the Clinton campaign and...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, November 1, 2016

With just over 10 days to go be­fore Elec­tion Day, the out­come of the pres­id­en­tial con­test seems settled though the mar­gin is still in doubt. Of the name-brand polls, Fox News has the race closest—Hil­lary Clin­ton up 3 in a four-way race, up 5 when she and Don­ald Trump are matched head-to-head. The widest leads are 9 points (CBS News) and 11 (NBC News/Wall Street Journ­al). The ABC...

Senate Overview|By Jennifer Duffy, November 1, 2016

The hit that Republican U.S. Senate incumbents and challengers took in the wake of the release of the Access Hollywood tape in which GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump described sexually assaulting women has ebbed a bit, but that doesn’t mean that the party doesn’t face real challenges in its efforts to keep their losses to a minimum next week.

National Politics|By Amy Walter, November 1, 2016

There have been a lot of twists and turns to this campaign, but two things have remained constant. One, whenever the focus is on one candidate it benefits the other one. This is the byproduct of a race that is about personality instead of policy. And, it’s also what happens when you have two of the most disliked candidates in modern American history face off against each other. When we are...

National Politics|By Amy Walter and David Wasserman, October 28, 2016

Less than two weeks before the election, Trump continues to struggle to lock down traditionally Republican states -- even Texas and Utah -- and lags behind Clinton in key battleground states he would need to win. The third debate didn't alter the trajectory of the race. In fact, the debates proved to be nothing but a drag on Trump as they highlighted his biggest weakness: his temperament.

National Politics|By David Wasserman, October 28, 2016

It’s the morning after the election, and while half the country is waking up breathing a sigh of relief, another large share is disappointed, angry or even panicked. But what demographic voting patterns propelled the winner to victory? How did those patterns play out in the Electoral College map? And what does it mean for the future of American politics?

  • 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

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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