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National Politics|By Amy Walter, September 17, 2015

The obvious take-away: three hours + 11 candidates + evening time slot = ugh. By hour 2.5 it was time to wrap up. Here are my observations from the marathon debate:

National Politics|By Amy Walter, September 16, 2015

At its core, politics is all about timing. Are you the right candidate with the right message at the right moment? At some level, Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton would seem to be the right candidates for the moment. After all, Republicans have been frustrated since 2008 by two things: 1. Obama's lack of executive/leadership experience and; 2. the lack of GOP control of the White House to roll-back...

National Politics|By Marc Hetherington, September 15, 2015

Most Americans would agree that the last decade or so has been a horrible one for American politics. Troublesome signs have been everywhere. Palpable fear of a terrorist attack. Two unpopular wars. An economic calamity. Sequestration. Government shutdown. Donald Trump. I could double the length of this list with no trouble at all. Government is not working and Americans are angry....

Michigan House|By David Wasserman, September 15, 2015

Today, Michigan GOP Rep. Dan Benishek announced he will retire after three terms. Although Democrats will cheer the news, it's not clear that Benishek's retirement improves their prospect of picking up the seat, which takes in the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula. After all, Benishek was a serial underperformer who would have been breaking self-imposed term limits to run in 2016.

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, September 15, 2015

It’s start with the children’s book and recent movie, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, then substitute Hillary Clinton for Alexander and year for day. Hardly original: A Google search of the revised title turns up more than 200,000 hits. But apt.

National Politics|By Michael Nelson, September 14, 2015

Don’t you wish you were Kat Fletcher? An early supporter of the British Labour Party’s newly elected leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and the deputy mayor of the Islington section of London that Corbyn represents in the House of Commons, Fletcher placed a sentimental 20 pound bet on her neighbor back in June. The odds against Corbyn succeeding were 100-1 at the time. On Saturday, he won with nearly 60...

Illinois House|By David Wasserman, September 11, 2015

When Illinois Democrats drew their dream map in 2012, they tried to carve themselves 13 of the state's 18 seats. But after the 2014 GOP wave, they only hold ten. Republican Reps. Robert Dold (IL-10) and Mike Bost (IL-12) unseated Democratic incumbents, and Democrats didn't even come close to unseating Rep. Rodney Davis (IL-13). If there was any consolation for Democrats, it was that Rep. Cheri...

Senate Overview|By Jennifer Duffy, September 11, 2015

Arizona: As he gears up to seek a sixth term, Republican Sen. John McCain may have fights on his hands in both the primary and the general election. In 2010, former U.S. Rep. J.D. Hayworth challenged McCain in the GOP primary, arguing that the incumbent is too moderate. McCain prevailed though with 56 percent to 32 percent for Hayworth, and went on to win the general election with 59 percent....

GOVERNORS OVERVIEW|By Jennifer Duffy, September 11, 2015

North Dakota: Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple announced in late August that he would not seek a second full term in 2016. There is no shortage of credible, first-tier candidates on the Republican side. The two getting the most mention are Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley. Strategists say that it is unlikely that they will both run, suggesting that the two will meet to...

  • 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

Democrats Find It’s Risky to Poke the GOP Elephant

June 27, 2017

There’s an old say­ing that close only counts in horse­shoes and hand gren­ades, and that’s cer­tainly how Demo­crats must feel after los­ing their third and fourth at­tempts of the year to wrestle away Re­pub­lic­an-held seats in spe­cial con­gres­sion­al elec­tions. In fair­ness, the first two shouldn’t fully count against them since the Demo­crat­ic Con­gres­sion­al Cam­paign Com­mit­tee was...

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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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